xmas month 2021 - gingerbread christmas tree


Welcome to Xmas month 2021. Normally I do Xmas week because I work full time and only bake during the weekends so I need all the time I can get to complete 5 bakes in time for Christmas. This year I'm on leave and have had plenty of time to bake so I'll be spreading the posts out over a few weeks.

I often make gingerbread at Christmas but I've never attempted a gingerbread house or tree before. This year I threw caution to the wind, picked up my star shaped cutters, whipped up some gingerbread, made a batch of royal icing and made a gingerbread Christmas tree.

Making a Gingerbread Christmas Tree is a labour of love. None of the steps involved are difficult but they all take time, so in total it was a three day process. Day 1, I made the gingerbread stars then let them cool. On Day 2 I decorated the stars then Day 3 I assembled the tree.


I think this would be a great family activity. Once you’ve made the gingerbread you can be as creative as you like with the decorations. I went classic with white royal icing but you could use sprinkles, candy canes, Smarties or coloured fondant.


Here’s the recipe for you which makes one large tree. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree, adapted from this recipe 
50g butter
100g (½ cup) firmly packed brown sugar
125mls (½ cup) golden syrup
1 egg, lightly whisked
300g (2 cups) plain flour
75g (½ cup) self raising flour
1 tbs cocoa powder
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Royal icing 
1 egg white
2 cups sifted icing sugar
½ tsp lemon juice

To decorate 
Decorations of your choice – sprinkles, candy canes, Smarties, icing sugar

Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Combine the butter mixture and egg in a large bowl. Sift the combined flours, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and bicarbonate of soda over the butter mixture. Stir until well combined.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Shape into a disc, divide into 2 portions then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to rest.

Preheat oven to 180ºC conventional. Line 4 large baking trays with baking paper or if you only have 2 trays, then cool the tray a little before reusing. Roll 1 portion of dough out on a lightly floured sheet of baking paper until 4mm thick. Use graduated star cutters to cut out four 3cm stars, six 5cm stars, six 7cm stars, six 9cm stars and six 11cm stars from the dough, re-rolling the dough as necessary. I used the handy Joseph Joseph adjustable rolling pin to do this step.

Place the stars 2 cm apart, graded by size, onto the prepared trays. Use the tip of a plain piping nozzle to cut out a hole in the centre of 2 of the smallest stars. I normally place the unbaked gingerbread in the fridge whilst one of the trays of gingerbread is baking. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until light golden and crisp. The smaller stars will need the least amount of time, the larger stars the longest. Set aside on the trays to cool completely.

To decorate 
Place the egg white in a bowl and whisk a little to break up the egg white. Add the icing sugar a few tbs at a time, whisking continuously until all incorporated. Add lemon juice and continue whisking until the icing is thick enough to hold stiff peaks and is smooth and shiny. The lemon juice will extend the setting time of the icing.

If the icing is too thick and stiff to pipe, add a little hot water and whisk again to loosen up slightly. Place icing in a piping bag fitted with a 1-2mm plain nozzle and decorate the points of the stars with icing then decoratively pipe around the edges, flooding a few of the stars with the icing for contrast. Set aside for 3-4 hours or until set. Place the remaining icing in a sealed container and place in the fridge.

To assemble
Place one the largest stars on a serving plate then add the stars one at a time gluing each layer with the reserved royal icing. Rotate the stars slightly as you go to form the branches of the tree. Continue stacking and gluing the remaining stars in decreasing size, finishing with two 3cm stars. You may not choose to use all the stars.

To top the tree, glue the last 2 small stars together and then glue upright. Pipe extra icing on the stars to create a snowy look and add any additional decorations at this time. Set aside to set and then dust with icing sugar just before serving.


The undecorated gingerbread will keep for 1 month in an airtight container. The decorated tree should last for 2 weeks depending on humidity.
It's a bit of a showstopper, isn't it?  
See you all next week with some more baking for Christmas.
Bye for now,



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