Gingerbread Families

Sophie Conran

“I first made this particular recipe with my nieces, who were overjoyed with the results. It has since been made many times. Because of the honey and muscovado sugar the texture is a little softer and chewier than the jaw breaking stuff you might be used to. You do not necessarily have to make people, it also makes excellent biscuits. If frozen, the mixture will keep for 3 months."


Makes about 4–6 families
(mummy, daddy, little boy
and little girl)

350g/12oz/scant 1½ cups plain
flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g/3½oz butter, straight from the fridge, cut into 1cm/½ inch cubes
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
175g/6oz/¾ cup dark muscovado sugar
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp runny honey
Writing icing and tiny silver sugar balls, to decorate


1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, butter and spices into a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour between your thumb and fingers (this is a perfect job for a 6-year-old) until you have a mixture that looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

2 Mix together the egg and honey in a small bowl and pour into the flour and butter crumbs. Mix with your hands (a lovely, sticky job) to make a dough. Form into 2 large, fat sausages. Wrap them in
clingfilm and pop them into the fridge for an hour to chill.

3 Dust a work surface with flour and roll out one of the sausages to 3mm/1/8 inch thick, leaving the other in the fridge until needed. Cut out your gingerbread families, rerolling as necessary, and
gently place on a non-stick baking sheet. Repeat with the second sausage of gingerbread dough. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden.

4 Remove to a wire tray to cool before adding faces and fabulous outfits with squeezy icing and any other decorations you fancy.