Super simple and fun to make, these Reindeer Cookies are made with a quick and easy spicy gingerbread cookie dough and a gingerbread man cookie cutter. They are perfect for Christmas gifts and taste amazing too! Don’t forget to add Rudolph’s red nose!
The Holidays are coming, and for me that means full-steam ahead in the kitchen with lots of fantastic cakes, bakes and desserts to make. But my big question to you is…
If Christmas was a flavour, what would it be?
For me, there’s nothing more festive than warm and spicy gingerbread. It’s just Christmas for me; the smell, the taste, the gingerbread lattes. Yes, I can’t resist those red cups of the Christmas period.
So let me bring you a little baking goodness to accompany the annual gift wrapping session, with these reindeer cookies, made with my favourite gingerbread recipe.
Reindeers or upside down gingerbread men?
Let me, let you into a little secret about these cookies.
You don’t need to dash out and find a reindeer shaped cookie cutter. Well unless you really want to…
Instead all you need is a simple gingerbread man cutter, or a gingerbread lady cutter; the skirt gives more room for the antlers. And more gingerbread to eat!
All you need to do, is cut out the gingerbread men as normal and then turn them upside down.
- The head becomes the face…
- The arms become the ears…
- And the legs become the antlers
How absolutely simply genius is that?
What you need to make these reindeer cookies?
View my Amazon shopping list with equipment and ingredients.
The beauty of these reindeer cookies is that they are made with my classic gingerbread recipe, that I’ve tried and tested over so many years, and it’s never failed me yet.
It’s really easy to make and uses simple ingredients, so I know you’re going to love it! When you’re ready, go and grab…
- Plain Flour – or All Purpose Flour
- Light Soft Brown Sugar – I prefer a light brown sugar to let the heat of the ginger come through. If you like a richer gingerbread, swap for a dark Muscovado sugar instead
- Gingerbread Spices – You can use a pre-mixed gingerbread spice blend, but it’s easy to make if you have ground spices in the cupboard. You will need:
- Golden Syrup or Light Corn Syrup – This helps keep the gingerbread soft but it still has that snap
- Baking Soda – Just a touch to help the cookies keep nice and light
- Butter – You can use either salted or unsalted, with a pinch of fine sea salt added to the recipe
Just like the ingredients, there’s nothing fancy needed here. So have a look through the cupboards for…
- Gingerbread man cutter
- Large mixing bowl and rolling pin
- Cling-film or plastic wrap
- Baking sheets and baking paper
- Piping bag and fine icing nozzle, or writing icing tubes
How to make gingerbread reindeer
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card
The longest part of making the reindeer is chilling the dough. Otherwise they’re
- 5 minutes to make the dough
- 10 minutes in the oven
- 5 minutes to decorate
And the best tip I can give you, is don’t overwork the dough!
Make the Gingerbread Dough
Grab the mixing bowl, and sift in the dry ingredients – flour, spices and baking soda. Add in the butter then gently rub the ingredients together with your finger tips.
Whisk together the egg and Golden Syrup then add to the rubbed-in mixture and bring everything together with a spatula. As the dough begins to form you might find it easier to use your hands.
Now wrap your dough and pop it in the fridge to chill while you grab a cuppa.
TOP TIP: Make sure you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. It’s easier to handle and less likely to stick to your rolling pin.
Baking the Reindeer Cookies
This really is as simple as…
Rolling out the chilled dough out onto a floured surface to about 3-5mm thickness, and cutting out the gingerbread men. Pop them onto a lined baking sheet and bake.
Make sure they’re cooled before the decorating them.
TOP TIP: If your dough breaks apart when rolling, it’s too dry. Add a sprinkling of cold water over the dough with your fingers, then gently bring it back together before rolling out again.
Decorating the Reindeer
If you’re like me and piping isn’t your strong point, then the easiest way I’ve found to decorate these guys is draw on the design you want first.
Use an edible food pen and give each reindeer:
Then all you need to do is pipe the icing over the top of your design. I use white runout icing but if you prefer you can use writing icing tubes instead.
For the full Rudolph reindeer cookie, don’t forget to add a red nose!
Frequently asked questions
This recipe makes approximately 24 cookies. For small batches, the recipe is easily scaled down.
The cookies should be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
The cookies will keep for up to 5 days if stored in an air tight container.
Yes, the dough can be made in advance and frozen. Make sure to double wrap the dough in clingfilm or plastic wrap, then add a layer of kitchen foil to prevent freezer burn. Remember to defrost the dough thoroughly before rolling out.
Top tips for perfect reindeer cookies
I love gingerbread all year round, but there’s nothing quite like tucking in to a spicy cookie and a glass of mulled wine to make it feel like Christmas.
To make sure your gingerbread reindeer are in top form for pulling Santa’s sleigh this year, check out these tips…
- Try a gingerbread woman cookie cutter – If you want a little extra gingerbread or room to ice the antlers on, switch to a girl cookie cutter with a skirt, just like mine. But don’t panic if you don’t have one, gingerbread men cookie cutters work just as well
- Draw on the design first – If like me you’re not confident to freehand pipe the icing design onto the cookies, then try drawing the design onto the cookies first. Edible food pens are great for drawing your guidelines.
- Use a fine icing nozzle – To pipe your reindeer’s features on a 1.5mm nozzle should be just right, but remember to make sure your icing is thick and runny but still firm for getting the best hold.
- Use writing icing tubes – If you don’t want to use a piping bag and nozzle, then you can use white and black icing tubes instead. They’re also a great idea if decorating the cookies with kids.
- Add a touch of Christmas sparkle – While the icing is still wet, sprinkle the antlers with edible sparkle lustre to make them sparkle. Instead, when the icing is dry paint the antlers with edible gold paint.
- Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line two large baking trays with baking parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and bicarb of soda. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips. The rubbed-in mixture should resemble fine breadcrumbs or sand. Alternatively, you can mix the dough in a stand mixer.
- Add the sugar to the rubbed-in mixture.
- In a separate bowl, add the egg and golden syrup. Whisk together.
- Make a well in the centre of the rubbed-in mixture, and pour in the egg and golden syrup. Mix together to form a smooth dough.
- Wrap the dough in cling-film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of approximately 3-5mm.
- Using a gingerbread man cutter, cut out as many gingerbread men as possible.
- Gently lift onto the lined baking tray with a flat palette knife. Gently lift onto the lined baking tray with a flat palette knife.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Take the gingerbread men out of the oven and slide them off the baking tray and onto a cooling rack to cool.
- To decorate the reindeer: When the gingerbread men are cooled, turn them upside down, so their feet are at the top.
- Using the food pen, draw the reindeer outline onto each gingerbread man including the antlers, eyes, eyebrows, ears and mouth.
- Trace over the outline with the royal icing, using a small round nozzle or a piping bag with the tip snipped off. Make sure the opening isn’t too wide else the outline will flood out rather than be fine.
- Add a little black gel food colouring to the remaining royal icing and add the eyebrows, pupils and mouth.
- Add a dot of icing where you would like the nose to be, and add a small ball of red sugar paste.
- When the royal icing is dry, go over the antlers with the edible gold paint.
- The gingerbread reindeer cookies will keep up to a week in an airtight container.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.