It's Mardi Gras season and we all know what that means... glittery party time! Crack open the ginger and spice to get grooving and shaking with these cute dancers. 






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (6 votes)


  • 125 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g (½ cup) brown sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) golden syrup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 375 g (2½ cup) plain flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 18 walnuts or whole almonds
  • 250 g store bought ready made white icing/fondant
  • 1 egg white
  • 225 g (1½ cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • olive oil spray
  • cornflour for dusting
  • edible gold decorating dust
  • rose spirit or a white alcohol
  • lollies or chocolate (to decorate)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 90 minutes

Chilling time 30 minutes

Place butter and sugar into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat until light and creamy, about 5-6 minutes. Beat in golden syrup and egg yolk. Stir in sifted flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda and mix until a soft dough forms.  

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly together. Divide dough into 2, flatten each into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 3-4 baking trays with baking paper.

Working in batches, roll dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to 4-5 mm thickness then using a 12 cm gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out about 16 shapes, re-rolling the dough trimmings.

Place on the prepared baking trays, allowing enough space between cookies for baking. If the cookie’s arms are not very long, you may need to gently press the arms out a little with your fingers to make them longer.

Spray the walnuts or almonds with oil spray and then place one walnut on the chest of each gingerbread man. Gently fold arm/arms over the nut (don’t press onto nut).

Bake cookies in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until just golden around edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool for just 1 minute, and then gently loosen the walnuts, but don’t remove them yet. Wait another 2 minutes then carefully remove the nuts. Allow cookies to completely cool on trays.

Dust workbench lightly with sifted cornflour then roll white icing fondant to 4-5 mm thickness. Use the gingerbread man cookie cutters again and cut out sections from the waist down of the icing. Use a sharp knife to trim these sections for the shorts. Place shorts onto a baking paper lined tray and allow to dry for 1 hour. We also made little bow ties by cutting small rectangles, then pinching them in the centre.

To colour shorts gold, use a small paint brush to add about a pinch of gold dust into a small cup then add rose spirit by the drop, mixing with the brush until you have a smooth shimmering liquid. Brush gold liquid onto shorts and bow ties and allow to dry, about 10 minutes.

Place egg white into a small bowl and whisk until foamy. Gradually add icing sugar, beating until icing is smooth and thick. Mix well. Spoon icing into a plastic sandwich bag, snip off a small corner of the bag and pipe faces onto cookies. Pipe a little icing onto gingerbread men where the shorts will sit and then attach shorts.

Also pipe a small amount of icing onto the back of each lolly or chocolate. Carefully place one under the folder arms of each gingerbread man.

Allow icing to set, about 20 minutes.


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.


This recipe is from Cookie Scout, our weekend cookie project. Bake with us.