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Gingerbread stars with buttermilk icing

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for gingerbread stars with buttermilk icing.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking plus resting, cooling, standing
Gingerbread stars with buttermilk icing
Gingerbread stars with buttermilk icing

We love gingerbread any time of the year, but at Christmas it's an absolute must. Here, a hint of tang in the buttermilk icing adds another level of savour to this festive classic. Buy fresh spices for the best flavour.


  • 350 gm (1 2/3 cups) plain flour
  • 110 gm chilled butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp each ground cloves and ground allspice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 90 gm golden syrup or treacle
  • 1 egg
Buttermilk icing
  • 480 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 90 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • 1
    Process flour, butter, spices and baking powder, and a generous pinch of salt in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Add golden syrup and egg and process until mixture comes together into
    a smooth, glossy dough (2-3 minutes; at first it will look dry, but comes together when processed for long enough). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Gingerbread dough can be made 1-2 days ahead.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C and line baking trays with baking paper. Roll out gingerbread dough on a lightly floured piece of baking paper to 4mm thick, transfer to a tray and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes). Cut out stars with biscuit cutters (we used a nesting set for different sizes), transfer to baking trays and bake until edges start to darken (6-8 minutes). Cool on trays for 10 minutes.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for buttermilk icing, combine ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth, then spread over gingerbread stars and transfer to a wire rack. Stand until set (30 minutes), then serve or store in an airtight container with baking paper between the layers for up to a week.


Note This recipe makes about 24 stars in assorted sizes.