Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

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These perfect gingerbread cookies with lemon icing will delight your tastebuds and fill your home with the most delicious aroma, and so much love.



Gingerbread Cookies

  • 450g (3 cups) plain flour, sifted
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 150g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) treacle
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 23cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten

Lemon Royal Icing

  • 240g (1 ½ cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp good quality lemon essence
  • Juice of ½ lemon


Gingerbread Cookies

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, ground spices and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt butter, sugar and treacle together in a large saucepan, then bring to the boil. Remove saucepan from heat and add bicarbonate of soda with a gentle stir, ensuring all is dissolved. The mixture will foam and become paler in colour.
  3. Add fresh ginger, lemon zest and vanilla paste to butter and sugar mixture with another gentle stir.
  4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then mix sifted dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture in small batches, then egg, until smooth.
  5. Bring the dough together into a ball, it will be warm and very soft, but do not add any flour. Flatten the dough into a disc, cover in cling film and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced), place oven rack in the middle of the oven, and line 2-3 baking trays with baking paper.
  7. Unwrap the dough and allow it to soften for 10-20 minutes to a workable consistency. Roll the dough out to approximately 7mm thickness, cut out cookie shapes using medium-sized star or other chosen cookie cutter, and place on on baking tray, approximately 5mm apart (refer to Baking Notes regarding cookie thickness and size).
  8. Refrigerate cookies on baking tray for 5-10 minutes while preparing the remainder of the cookies. This will encourage the cookies to hold their shape when baked.
  9. Roll the remaining dough together, and repeat the process of rolling, cutting and refrigeration until all the cookie dough is used up.
  10. Bake cookies one tray at a time in preheated oven for 7 minutes, or until very lightly golden and fragrant, and a small indent is left when pressed gently with a finger. Transfer cookies to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Lemon Royal Icing

  1. Whisk egg white on low speed in stand mixer with whisk attachment, while adding sugar tablespoon by tablespoon until you are left with a thick white royal icing.
  2. Add lemon essence, then add lemon juice drop by drop while continuing to whisk on low speed until you achieve the ideal piping consistency (refer to Icing notes).


  1. Place lemon royal icing in a piping bag fitted with a very fine pinpoint nozzle (refer to Icing Notes).
  2. Place cookie on a non-slip surface or baking mat. Pipe the outline of the cookie shape, then fill or ‘flood’ the cookie surface with icing, coaxing it a little with a toothpick or cocktail pick if needed. Give the cookie a gentle tap on the bench to also help the icing settle into shape. If your icing is at the right consistency, you should notice a smooth surface of your cookie after approximately 15-20 seconds.
  3. Allow cookies to dry completely, and package in an airtight container to maintain freshness for up to 2-3 weeks in cool, dry conditions.



Makes 60-70 medium-size star cookies