A Gingerbread Cookie Wreath makes the perfect edible Christmas gift! Easy to make, fun to decorate and delicious too – a festive project for the whole family.
You will also love my Gingerbread Layer Cake
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CHECK OUT MY DISCLOSURE
You know how much I love Gingerbread Cookies right? Nothing says ‘festive’ quite like the wonderful spices and aroma of gingerbread, baking a batch will make your house smell like Christmas.
Take the cookie love a step further to make this easy cookie wreath which makes the perfect edible Christmas gift.
This is a fun project to get the kids involved in and a lot less tricky than a gingerbread house to construct. Ready to make a cookie wreath?
Here’s what you will need
You will need a batch of my favourite gingerbread cookie recipe and royal icing for decorating and ‘gluing’ the wreath together.
My dough doesn’t require any chilling so you don’t have to make it in advance. However it is just as easy to make and chill for up to three days or freeze for up to a month.
COOKIE DOUGH INGREDIENTS
Here’s what you will need to make this recipe – there’s enough dough for at least two gingerbread cookie wreaths.
- Treacle (molasses) adds complex flavour and a dark to your gingerbread but you can make this recipe without it if you prefer (see below)
- Golden Syrup – Lyle’s Golden syrup is widely available in the UK and available on US Amazon. I prefer to use half treacle half golden syrup. You can make this recipe with 100% golden syrup if preferred – the cookies will not be as dark and will have a mellower taste. You can substitute golden syrup with light corn syrup or agave if needed.
- Soft dark brown sugar
- Ground spices: cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves
- Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- Butter or margarine for a dairy free version
- A medium egg
- Plain (all-purpose) flour
ROYAL ICING INGREDIENTS
- Egg whites – preferably pasteurised egg whites from a carton to avoid wasting the yolks
- Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- Vanilla extract (optional)
- A little water to thin icing if needed
- Food colouring – for tinting the icing (optional)
These simple tools make all the difference in getting your wreath just right!
- Digital scales – I always use these for accurate measuring
- Measuring spoons
- A rolling pin with spacing rings – makes rolling out the cookie dough evenly so much easier!
- A selection of cookie cutters in your favourite shapes
- Heavy cookie sheets (trays) that will not warp in the oven
- Oxo Good Grips Baker’s Silicone decorating kit is perfect for piping the icing on the cookies
- This reusable baking liner is fantastic for rolling out the dough on and for baking the cookies
HOW TO MAKE A COOKIE WREATH
The decorated cookies and ring can be made up to a couple of days ahead of assembling this edible wreath to allow the icing to dry completely. Keep the cookies in an airtight container separated by greaseproof paper.
STEP 1. Make the dough. Put the treacle, golden syrup, brown sugar, all the spices and butter into a large bowl. Microwave in short bursts until the butter starts to melt.
STEP 2. Use a small whisk to stir everything together then stir in the baking soda and the egg. Gradually add the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon.
STEP 3. Use your hands to mix the last of the flour into the dough, adding as much as required to create a pliable, non sticky, dough. You can now use the dough straight away or store it in the fridge for later use.
STEP 4. Roll out the dough. Use a rolling pin with spacer rings to roll out a third of the dough onto greaseproof paper dusted lightly with flour. You want the thickness to be about ¼ inch.
STEP 5. Use a plate or cake tin to trace out a 20cm (8in) circle. Use a smaller plate or cutter to cut out the centre. Re-roll any leftover dough.
STEP 6. Roll out more of the dough and cut into festive shapes using your cutters. I used a star/snowflake theme for my wreath but you can use gingerbread men, angels or a combination of festive shapes.
STEP 7. Bake the ring and cookies for 12 minutes at 170C then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
STEP 8. Make the royal icing. Put the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. Start adding the icing sugar a little at a time until the icing forms stiff peaks. Transfer some of the icing into a silicone bottle fitted with a small round tip. Decorate the cookies with the icing. Leave to dry completely before using.
STEP 9. Arrange the cookies around the base in a pleasing configuration and have a silicone bottle or piping bag of thick royal icing at the ready. Use the icing to stick the cookies to the cookie ring, overlapping them as needed. You can move the cookies around while the icing is still wet but it will be diamond hard when it dries!
STEP 10. Add a festive ribbon and package as a gift or use as a table centrepiece.
Use a sturdy paper box (like the cake boxes available on Amazon) lined with greaseproof paper. Keep the wreath stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Can I actually hang this wreath?
You CAN hang this gingerbread wreath if you like! If you want to use it as decoration on a tree I would advise you make smallish wreaths so they are not so heavy.
If you hang a cookie wreath for a prolonged time it will probably break eventually…
You can use my cinnamon cookie dough if you prefer! Any cookie dough that bakes crisp and lasts could potentially be used. Avoid crumbly dough as it won’t hold together.
Cookie wreath without the icing?
The royal icing is essential in creating a stable cookie wreath made from cut out decorated cookies.
You CAN create a cookie wreath simply by overlapping the cut out cookies prior to baking, as in the picture below.
You will need to chill this prior to baking so that cookies keep their shape better. Even so the wreath will be a little shapeless compared to the one assembled with royal icing.
Looking for more Christmas Baking ideas?
Easiest gingerbread cookies
Easy Ginger Cake
Vegan chocolate gingerbread layer cake
Gingerbread Cookie Wreath
- 85 g | ⅓ cup soft light brown sugar
- 100 g | 3 ½ oz molasses (treacle)
- 100 g | 3 ½ oz golden syrup sub with agave nectar or light corn syrup
- 115 g | 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda bicarbonate of soda
- 1 egg (medium)
- 440 g | 3 ½ cups plain flour, more if needed plus more for dusting and rolling
- 80 ml | ⅓ cup egg whites
- 250 g | 2 cups icing sugar or as much as needed
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
- Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) and line 2 heavy trays with baking paper (you will need to bake in batches).
- Put the sugar, treacle, golden syrup, butter, spices and salt in a large bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts until the butter starts to melt.
- Stir until butter melted completely and you have a smooth thick liquid.
- Stir in the baking soda and then the egg.
- Gradually add all the flour, stirring it in with a wooden spoon.
- Use your hands to mix the last of the flour into the dough, adding as much as required to create a pliable, non sticky, dough. Briefly knead the dough on a lightly floured worktop and gather to form a ball.
- You can now use the dough straight away or chill it and use later. Cut the dough into thirds, keeping any unused dough covered so that it doesn't dry out.
- Roll out the dough. Line your worktop with a piece of greaseproof paper, dust with a little flour and roll out to a thickness of ¼ inch .
- Use a plate or cake tin to trace out a 20cm (8in) circle. Use a smaller plate or cutter to cut out the centre. This ring will form the base of your cookie wreath.
- Cut out cookies using your favourite cutters – you want a variety of sizes but you can stick to one theme in terms of shape. Carefully lift the cookies and arrange on your prepared cookie sheet, spaced slightly apart. Reroll any leftover dough to cut out more shapes.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes until the cookies just start to colour a little at the edges. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
- Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer). Start whisking on low speed until frothy.
- Increase the speed. Start adding the icing sugar one tablespoon at a time once you have soft peaks. Add as much icing sugar as needed to create a stiff peaks. The icing needs to be really thick to assemble the cookie wreath but thinner for decorating the cookies. Add a few drops of water until it drops slowly off a spoon for decorating purposes.TOP TIP: always keep the royal icing covered otherwise it will quickly dry out.
- Put the royal icing in a piping bag and snip a very small hole at the tip (or use a silicone bottle as I have done). If you wish to fill (flood) the cookies, thin half of the icing with a little water and use it to fill an outlined cookie – pushing the icing to the edges using a toothpick. Leave to dry completely at room temperature before using to create the wreath.
Aseemble the cookie wreath
- Arrange the cookies around the base in a pleasing configuration and have a silicone bottle or piping bag of thick royal icing at the ready.
- Use the icing to stick the cookies to the ring, overlapping them as needed. You can move the cookies around white the icing is still wet but it will be diamond hard when it dries!
- Add a festive ribbon and package as a gift or use as a table centrepiece.