Piparkakut - Traditional Finnish Gingerbread Biscuits

December 25, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Makes 90
Author Notes

Finnish Christmas is all about family and food. And lots of it! Cooking and baking starts weeks ahead, and each Christmas we feature the same dishes reserved for Christmas time on our dinner table.

One of our Christmas favourites are the delightful little gingerbread biscuits known as Piparkakut. My memory of these goes as far back as I can remember, every Christmas would see these aromatic biscuits make an appearance. This recipe has been handed down from my grandmother to my mother to me.

They are super easy to whip up, and can be frozen so can be made in advance. —Peggy Saas

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup golden syrup
  • 7 ounces caster sugar
  • 9 ounces butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon mixed citrus peel
  • 2 eggs
  • 17.5 ounces plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons bicarb soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Place golden syrup, sugar, butter, spices and citrus peel into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to cool slightly, then beat with electric beater until light and slightly fluffy. Beat in eggs one at the time.
  2. Sift flour, bicarb soda and salt together, add to the mixture to form a dough.
  3. Wrap dough with clingwrap and place into refrigerator overnight.
  4. Next day: Preheat oven to 200C. Roll out dough as thin as possible. Cut desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place biscuits onto oven trays, brush with iced water and bake in oven for 6-8 minutes until brown and slightly puffy.
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13 Reviews

Sue January 19, 2022
Help. Someone made these biscuits for Christmas and I loved them. I’ve just had a go at making them myself and my mixture is like a cake mix. Definitely won’t be able to wrap in cling film. What have I done wrong? 🙁
Jas94 December 4, 2022
Hi Sue,
I’ve been making these biscuits for roughly 10 years now and always tend to add a little extra flour to the mix to get the dough consistency. I also find that letting it sit and cool a little between mixing, it thickens up :)
Martin December 20, 2021
First time I made them, also first time I ate homemade. I don't know why, but they seemed daunting to make but the process is super straightforward and easy. The only part that was stressful was when I was baking, as they were done in 6 mins and I had to be ready with the next batch by then. They would start to burn at 6 1/2 mins. I put 1 less oz of sugar and 1 less teaspoon of baking soda and they were fine. Oh, and it doesn't say anywhere, but you need to chop the citrus peel super fine (maybe in a mortar or spice grinder?) or else you'll have bits running around in your dough. No big deal, but worth noting.

Worth making again, without a doubt! Thanks for sharing!
Cookie S. May 15, 2019
I’ll eat all 90 of em. Thankyou 👵🏻
how T. December 16, 2017
Would maple syrup, honey or molasses work instead of the golden syrup?
Transcendancing December 17, 2017
Of those you listed, molasses is probably closest to the flavour /consistency of golden syrup. Hope that helps.
Sarah December 30, 2015
These were lovely! I didn't add the citrus peel (just because I didn't have any), but did add some cardamom too, I think I might add more of the other spices next time. I gave them as Christmas presents, they went down very well. Thanks for sharing! :)
Transcendancing December 23, 2014
Wow - that's a lot of dough! I've got enough to make cookies for *months*! But the results are awesome, a spiced cookie that's not too sweet and also feels like a treat. Great addition to my Christmas cooking :)
Ida-Maria S. December 9, 2014
Pepperkaker, as we call them in Norway! No Christmas without them :-) Thanks for sharing!
Darren January 19, 2014
What temp. for the oven?
Peggy S. January 19, 2014
200C/390F. Apologies, I have amended to include temp in method.
Missy December 28, 2013
Is golden syrup the same as light corn syrup?
Peggy S. January 1, 2014
Hi Missy, golden syrup is different to light corn syrup. I have read that you can substitute one for the other but I'm not sure corn syrup would give the biscuits the same taste as golden syrup does. I would suggest however that if you can get light treacle do that in the first instance as that is close to golden syrup.