Medieval Gingerbread, Perfect for a Modern Autumn

Medieval gingerbread is one of my specialties.

It’s very easy to make and produces a lot of end product to share with family and friends. It’s a sweet or confection, not a cookie/cake like modern gingerbread. And sticky. You can also shape it, so it can be an especially pretty dessert.

Pictures and recipe after the jump!

Recipe from Gode Cookery


  • 1 pound honey (I’ve never noticed a difference in taste [the website I’m linking suggests using a flavored honey or organic], but I did add a little bit of my fancy Hawaiian honey)
  • about 1 pound of breadcrumbs (you might need more, you might need less. I could only buy it in a can of 15 oz, but I didn’t even need that much for this batch)
  • up to 1 tablespoon ginger
  • up to 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • up to 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (I didn’t measure it, I just sprinkled it on, and wound up with a little too much)
  • optional: pinch saffron, red food coloring
Tub of honey
Tub of honey
Gingerbread ingredients
Gingerbread ingredients: Breadcrumbs, ginger, cinnamon, white pepper, honey, saffron, red food coloring

Step 1: Boil the honey. Skim off any scum from the top.

Honey cooking in a pot.
Boiling the honey.

Step 2: Once the honey has boiled, turn the heat to low. Add the spices and food coloring if using. (I used 4 drops.)

Honey, spices, and food coloring in a pot.
Adding spices and food coloring

Step 3: Beat in the breadcrumbs a little at a time.

Adding breadcrumbs to the concoction.
Adding breadcrumbs

Step 4: Beat and add breadcrumbs until you have a thick, stiff, blended mass.

All breadcrumbs added
All breadcrumbs added

Step 5: Form the confection. There are several ways to do this; you could, for example, just roll it into balls. Here’s what I did:

I spread a piece of parchment paper on my counter. I scooped up a small piece of gingerbread and then covered it with another piece of parchment paper. After that I used a rolling pin to flatten it. Then I cut it into lozenges. You could also use cookie cutters.

Cooked gingerbread, ready to shape.
Cooked gingerbread, ready to shape.
Rolling out the gingerbread
Rolling out the gingerbread
Cutting the gingerbread
Cutting the gingerbread

It will remain a bit sticky. It will also harden as it cools. I piled all of it on a plate; if you won’t be eating all of it right away, you might use parchment or wax paper to separate the layers to keep them from sticking.

Finished gingerbread
Finished gingerbread

Ta da! Other than a slightly spicy aftertaste (why do I have such a heavy hand with pepper?!), this was probably the tastiest batch I’ve ever made. For a simple dessert, I highly recommend medieval gingerbread.

This post originally appeared in slightly altered form on Mirous Worlds.

8 replies on “Medieval Gingerbread, Perfect for a Modern Autumn”

WHAT. My mind was just blown. In Grade 8 we did a medieval feast and I looked up a recipe for gingerbread on the internet. All these years I thought the recipe was bunk because it ended up being more like what I dubbed “ginger-poop” than what I thought was supposed to be more like cake. It looked like step 3. Apparently I just didn’t add enough bread crumbs and there was no explanation how to finish it.

So glad I could help you find those missing connections!

This is a recipe where you definitely have to be able to feel it out, so it’s a little advanced for most eighth graders. Each time I’ve made it, I’ve used different amounts of breadcrumbs and spices.

I recommend trying it again. :)

Leave a Reply