Christmas Cookies Winter

Lemon & Cardamom Gingerbread Cookies

Lemon & Cardamom Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread is one of those cookies that I’m always ‘meh’ about when I think of it. Each year I inevitably end up making some to turn into a gingerbread house (or this year, a Christmas tree made of stacked gingerbread stars!). Every time I end up snacking on the dough scraps and nibbling bits of baked rejected gingerbread. And every time I’m like ‘hmm this is actually pretty delicious’.

Lemon & Cardamom Gingerbread Cookies

This year I deviated a bit from the regular gingerbread recipe, adding cardamom into the dough too. Adding cardamom into spiced bakes is something I’ve become accustomed to after eating many Swedish cardamom buns this year. If you’re a cardamom hater though, there’s no harm in leaving it out. Dipping the gingerbread in a lemon glaze, a trick I learnt a few years ago from Carey is something I also LOVE to do. That acidic coating on the spicy gingerbread is an amazing pairing and takes the cookies from ‘yeah it’s quite nice’ to ‘OMG GIMME MORE’. My favourite thing though is how it crackles once dry making making them look all frosty!

As Williams Sonoma is finally coming to the UK selling some food products in Harrods, much to my excitement, they sent me some kitchen goodies including their snowflake cutters which I used here. Gingerbread keeps its shape really well upon baking so those patterned cookie cutters/stamps do work properly. It’s also way way easier to use a textured stamp than pipe on icing to decorate the cookies (something I despise doing) and looks just as pretty.

Lemon-Glazed Gingerbread Cookies

Lemon & Cardamom Gingerbread Cookies

Yield: 30-40 cookies, depending on cutters used


  • 75 g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
  • 75 g (1/4 cup) golden syrup or honey
  • 1 small egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 heaped tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 250 g (2 cups) plain white flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder


  • 200 g icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • lemon juice


  1. Cream together the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the salt, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom to the bowl and mix in well. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix together until a soft dough forms. 
  2. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours until firm.
  3. 10 minutes before removing the dough from the fridge, preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF)
  4. Divide the chilled dough in half. Roll out one half on a large piece of baking paper, sprinkling with flour underneath and on top as needed, using a lightly floured rolling pin. Roll until the dough is about 4mm (1/8 inch) thick. Stamp out shapes using cookie cutters - mine were 5cm (2 inches) diameter - dipping them into flour if needed to prevent them sticking.
  5. Transfer the cut shapes to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 8 minutes (for 5cm/2" diameter cookies). Once baked transfer to a wire rack to cool.  
  6. Repeat the rolling and cutting with the rest of the dough, re-rolling scraps as needed.
  7. Place the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Add lemon juice 1 tsp at a time until you get a thin glaze. Dip the top of each baked cookie into the glaze and place glazed side-up onto a wire rack so the excess can drip off. Leave for at least 1 hour so the glaze can set. Once set, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 


  • ground ginger tends to lose it's flavour quite quickly, in my experience. So if you want v gingery cookies, pick up a fresh bottle of the stuff if yours is 12+ months old

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  • Rossi @ A Baking Girl December 13, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    These are gorgeous, I love the glaze!

  • Natalie December 13, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    These cookies look so beautiful! I love the combo of lemon and cardamom in gingerbread cookies – it sounds delicious ♥

  • fatimah December 13, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    citrus and cardamom go really well with each other, these look super yummy! woohooo on WS coming to the UK!

  • Susan December 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you; you have elevated two of my favorite flavors in this gingerbread recipe, and I look forward to making a fresh new version of an old classic. Your cookies are gorgeous with the glaze, and for the first time ever I think I am going to buy a product used in a blog. Altogether, a super satisfactory reading experience of your blog entry today!

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  • michailaj December 16, 2017 at 1:00 am

    These look SO good. I love making Christmas cookies; speaking of me and my Mom whipped up some yesterday/ We enjoy converting recipes to make them healthy!

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  • Martin Huang December 18, 2017 at 4:01 am

    The best cookies for this year Christmas and it’s perfectly delicious.

  • Anthea Garrod December 18, 2017 at 4:47 am

    The recipe looks lovely and I will definitely try it as it reminds me of Christmas in Germany. However, I cannot see that Harrods are selling the cookie cutters over here yet…

  • Diego Lopes December 18, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Wow, these look amazing! And I already love gingerbread cookies, the lemon sounds like a really special touch, can’t wait to try these!!

  • Bev December 20, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Can I grind my cardamom seeds and use that, or will it still be too ‘rough’? What about finely grated fresh ginger?

    • Izy December 20, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Yes! that should be fine, you may even need to use a little less (3/4 tsp) as freshly ground cardamom is stronger than pre-ground in my experience. For the ginger you can give it a shot but I’d be worried about the fresh stuff adding too much extra moisture to the dough so the cookies become cakey.

  • Erica Lea | Buttered Side Up December 21, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Love those cutters! And LOVE the idea of dipping the cookies in icing. That would save loads of time. Especially if you aren’t gifted in icing…like me. Heh heh.

  • Christine Fieser December 21, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Can I use molasses instead of honey?

  • Eva Kosmas Flores December 22, 2017 at 1:17 am

    These are SOOOOOOO pretty!!!!! I love the way the icing gets whiter in the deeper parts of the snowflake!! Heart eyes for DAYZZZZ

  • Village Bakery December 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Izy!!! I’m so glad I stumbled across this recipe. Definitely going to have to make it for Christmas dinner!

  • Laura December 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I’m probably just missing it but how many cookies does this recipe make?

    • Izy December 23, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      It made about 30 cookies when I was using those snowflake cutters!

  • Sarah December 24, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Izy these are beautiful! Where did you get the cookie cutters? I love how the glaze comes through in the details.

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