Gingerbread, orange and vanilla cookies recipe

(72 ratings)

Vanilla, spiced orange and gingerbread cookies are three delicious cookie recipes that are perfect for edible Christmas decorations, or any time of year

Preparation Time1 hours
Cooking Time10 mins 15
Cost RangeMid

Sweet and delicate vanilla, zesty orange and cinnamon and spicy ginger - this recipe trio sorts out all biscuits for all tastes.

Why make one kind of biscuit when you can have three? These simple cookie recipes are so easy to do you can create all three in an afternoon and fill the house with gorgeous baking aromas, perfect to get you in the festive mood. The cookies are all un-iced, so you can eat them straight away (once they've cooled, of course). Alternatively, top them with piped royal icing, or a flood of glacé icing to finish. Perfect after a wintery walk with a nice warming cuppa.


Vanilla cookies

  • 225g (8oz) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g (3oz) soft brown sugar
  • 75g (3oz) butter, diced
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Spiced orange cookies

  • 75g (3oz) butter
  • 75g (3oz) soft brown sugar
  • 2tbsp golden syrup
  • Zest from one orange
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Gingerbread cookies

  • 75g (3oz) butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 75g (3oz) soft brown sugar
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1-2 tsp milk




  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3.
  2. To make the vanilla cookie dough: Place the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a hollow in the centre and pour in the beaten egg, golden syrup and vanilla extract. Mix together well until you have a ball of dough. Place the dough in a plastic bag and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. To make the orange cookie dough: Place butter, sugar, honey, orange zest and juice in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted. Sieve the flour and dry ingredients in a bowl and add the melted ingredients. Mix well until the dough becomes firm. Place the dough in a plastic bag and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. To make the ginger cookie dough: Place butter, treacle and sugar into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted. Cool slightly. Sieve the remaining dry ingredients, except the bicarb of soda, into a mixing bowl. Pour the melted mixture into the dry ingredients and stir. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk and add to the mixture. Combine to make a dough, adding more milk if necessary.
  5. Roll each dough out on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick and stamp out the cookies, using your chosen cutters.
  6. Lightly knead and re-roll the trimmings together again to use up all the dough. Place the biscuits on baking sheets.
  7. Bake biscuits for 10-15 minutes until lightly coloured and firm but not crisp. Leave on the tray for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.