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Hawaij Gingerbread Men Cookies | My Little Larder

Hawaij Gingerbread Men

A delicious twist on your classic gingerbread men! These cookies have a delicious combination of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves spices.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 18
Author My Little Larder


  • 2 3/4 cups (350g/12oz) plain all-purpose flour
  • hawaij spice mix (see below)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 100 g/3.5oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp (175g/6.2oz) firmly packed soft brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 free range egg

Sweet hawaij spice mix:

  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Royal Icing:

  • 1 free range egg white
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar


For the hawaij spice mix:

  1. In a small bowl mix together ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and set aside.

For the ginger bread men:

  1. In a large bowl add flour, hawaij spice mix and baking soda. Whisk to combine then set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a large bowl and hand held electric mixer) cream together butter, brown sugar and golden syrup until pale and fluffy. Add egg and mix until incorporated.
  3. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides to ensure all the mixture is incorporated.
  4. Tightly wrap the dough in cling film (or beeswax wrap) and refrigerate for an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 160C/320F on fan-bake and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  6. Lightly flour a work surface then roll out dough to roughly 5mm/ 1/4in thick (you may want to do this in two batches). Alternatively, place dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll it out between these. I prefer this method as it prevents the ginger bread men taking on two much flour and stops them sticking to the work surface.
  7. Cut out gingerbread men using a cookie cutter and gently transfer to the lined baking tray. Leave approximately 3cm/ 1 1/4in between the cookies to allow them to spread while baking.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 min or until they start to turn golden.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 min on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the royal icing:

  1. Place egg whites, lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until mixture is smooth and shiny. If the mixture is too runny, add more icing sugar until you reach a thickness that will allow you to pipe the icing.
  2. Transfer icing to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, or alternatively place icing in a zip lock bag and snip off the corner. Decorate gingerbread men then allow the icing to set. Gingerbread men will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.