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Halloween Skeleton Gingerbread Men

Halloween Skeleton Gingerbread Men

Fun and spooky gingerbread men biscuits made with black cocoa powder and decorated as skeletons for Halloween
Course Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword Cookies
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 195kcal
Author thebakingexplorer


For the gingerbread men

  • 275 g Plain flour
  • 50 g Black cocoa powder see notes
  • 1 tbsp Ground ginger
  • 2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 150 g Light brown soft sugar
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 100 g Butter or baking spread unsalted, cold
  • 1 Egg large
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract optional
  • 85 g Golden syrup
  • 15 g Black treacle (molasses)

For decoration

  • 75 g Icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla extract
  • ½-3/4 tbsp Water add slowly


  • Put the plain flour, black cocoa powder, light brown soft sugar, salt, ground ginger, and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl and stir them together
  • Add the butter in chunks or cubes and use your fingers to rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Or you can use a food processor to do this
  • Next add the egg, golden syrup, black treacle and vanilla extract. Stir them into the mixture until a dough forms. Try not to over work the dough
  • Roll the dough out onto a well floured surface using a rolling pin. Move the dough around every few rolls to make sure it isn't sticking to your surface. Aim for a thickness of 3-5mm
  • Using a gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out your shapes. You will need to re-roll the dough out to use it all up
  • Lay the shapes out onto lined baking trays, and put them in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes
  • While they're chilling, pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4
  • Bake the gingerbread men for 10-12 minutes. It is hard to tell when they are done because they are black, they will look dry and not have any raw dough patches, but they will still be soft (they will firm up as they cool)
  • Let the biscuits cool on the trays as if you remove them too soon they could break apart
  • For the icing, mix the icing sugar with the vanilla and water, add the water slowly and mix until you have a thick pipeable paste
  • Put the icing into a piping bag and snip a little off the end, then pipe the skeleton features onto the biscuits
  • Store in an airtight container and eat within 1 week. They can also be frozen


  • You can use either unsalted butter or a baking spread to make the biscuit dough.
  • If you don't have black cocoa powder, you can use regular cocoa powder plus black food colouring.
  • Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing cinnamon, coriander seed, nutmeg, clove, pimento and ginger. If you can't get hold of it, you can use a pumpkin spice mix instead.
  • I really recommend using light brown soft sugar if you can for these biscuits, but caster sugar will work well too.
  • Golden syrup is sold all over the world, so check the international section in your supermarket if you're not based in the UK. You can also buy it online from Amazon (see link below). If you can't get hold of it, you can substitute it with light corn syrup, maple syrup or honey, please note I've not tested this recipe with these substitutions.


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 172IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg