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Ninja bread men
Ninja Breadmen for Christmas!Clare Wilkinson


Clare Wilkinson, food stylist and photographer, gives us her recipe for Ninja-Breadmen, which are perfect for an alternative Christmas tree decoration

Serving: Makes 24 biscuits
Time: 1 hour +
Difficulty: Medium


For the biscuits

  • 200g molasses or treacle 
  • 165g butter, softened
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the royal icing

  • 2 egg whites
  • 500g icing sugar


  1. Preheat oven 180C and line a baking tray with parchment.
  2. Add the butter, sugar, vanilla and molasses to a bowl and beat for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, bread soda, and salt. 
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until the dough just comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until firm.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut off a quarter. Wrap the remainder back up in the clingfilm and place back in the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin until 5mm thick.
  6. Cut out ninja-breadmen, place on a baking tray and bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Allow the biscuits to cool on the tray for 5 minutes and then place on a cooling rack. 
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough until you have enough to kick some food-loving butts.
  8. While the biscuits are cooling, make the royal icing. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the egg whites. Whisk until the mix is combined and stiff. If you feel the icing is too thick to pipe, add 1-2 teaspoons of water to loosen. Place the mix into a piping bag with a tiny nozzle or use a disposable piping bag and a snip a small hole at the end. Use immediately as the icing will harden if left uncovered.
  9. When the biscuits are cooled, decorate your little ninjas with the royal icing.
  10. To make the ninjas into hangable decorations, cut out cardboard to fit each biscuit. When the icing is set, superglue the cardboard to the back of the biscuits. Glue a piece of looped ribbon to the card and leave to set. The superglue makes the biscuits inedible, so keep away from little hands that might be tempted! The gingerbread should last for about two weeks before they start to get soft.

Recipe and photography by Clare Wilkinson. Find more from Clare here and follow her on Instagram.