Iced Gingerbread Birds Recipe

Wrap up these beautiful bird cookies for an impressive edible gift.

6 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup minus 2 tbsp molasses
2 eggs
Coloured Royal Icing
Sanding sugar


Step 1: In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt.

Step 2: In a standing mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until pale yellow.

Step 3: Add the molasses and eggs to butter mixture and mix on low until combined.

Step 4: Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until well combined. Divide dough into three discs and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour.

Step 5: Roll out dough to 1/8" to 1/4" thickness. Cut out bird shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350°F until firm to touch, about 11 minutes.

Step 6: Outline bird using coloured Royal Icing (bought or made) using a piping bag or prepared tubes. Fill in with same Royal Icing and spread with a fine-tipped knife such as a paring knife.

Step 7: Let sit for a minute then press cookie, icing side down, into a plate filled with sanding sugar. Let dry on rack.

Gift idea: Line steamer basket with linen napkin and place birds in basket.

Try a different gingerbread recipe, Gingerbread Square Cookies, or use either of these gingerbread recipes to make Holiday Gingerbread Boxes, a fun alternative to gift wrap.

Michael Graydon