Gingerbread Nativity


Give the Christmas tradition of a gingerbread house a more spiritual twist by making a ginger bread nativity instead! We’ve put together some instructions for a ‘basic model’ that any one can do. However you can design and plan your gingerbread nativity to be as elaborate as you like! Download the handout, or print this page.



  • Stable
    • Gingerbread (or honeybread) slab
    • Display plate or tray
  • Holy Family figures
    • Packet of Premixed hard icing
    • Liquid food colouring
    • Icing sugar for dusting
  • Optional extras
    • Marshmellows for sheep
    • Liquorice for fencing
    • Other lollies/candy to decorate

Basic Gingerbread

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Beat 125g of softened butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar until pale and creamy. Add 1/2 cup of golden syrup and 1 egg and mix well.
  3. Sift 2 1/2 cups of flour with 1 tsp of bicarbonate soda. Fold into the mixture with 1 tsp of ground ginger and 1 tsp of allspice.
  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into a rectangle shape about 1 cm thick.
  6. Bake on a greased cookie tray for 10 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool before working with it.


  1. Make an ‘A frame’ stable. Cut the gingerbread slab into two equal squares. Shave off the Ginger bread to make beveled edge along the side that will form the apex of the ‘A frame’. If desired, bevel the edges that make contact with the tray.
  2. Make three icing ‘snakes’ and use these to cement the two squares to the tray and each other as shown.
  3. Colour some icing yellow and mould a star. Attach it to the top of the ‘A frame’.
  4. Colour portions of the icing as desired (green, blue, brown, etc.) Use these to make the figures of the Nativity Scene.
    1. Mary: Make a 1 cm ball of white icing for the head. Using two shades of blue icing, shape a kneeling body with clasped hands (light blue) and a veil (dark blue). Add some white hands.
    2. Joseph: Make a 1 cm ball of white icing for the head. Using two shades of green shape a body and arms (light green) and a headdress (dark green). Add some hands (white) and a twig or toothpick for the staff.
    3. Jesus: Make the manger with some brown icing shaped into a trough. Create some needles of straw using yellow icing and place in the trough. Create the Baby Jesus using a small ball of white icing for the head and a lager one for the body.
  5. To finish, lightly dust the Nativity with sifted icing sugar to create a snow effect.

making a gingerbread nativity

 How did you go? Have you ever tried to make a gingerbread house or nativity? Got any tips for making gingerbread or assembling it? Let us know in the comments!

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Francine Pirola

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