Piparkakut - The Best Gingerbread Recipe Ever
Recipe for My Mom's Finnish Gingerbread (Piparkakut)
For me Christmas would not be Christmas without baking and eating Gingerbread cookies. The gingerbread cookies that I like are not just any gingerbread cookies. They are made with my Mom's special recipe for Piparkakut or Finnish Gingerbread.
We've had them for as long as I can remember and Mom's always made a Gingerbread House with her cookie recipe.
In looking at different gingerbread recipes, I've discovered that many use ginger, cinnamon and cloves, but what is different with the Finnish recipe is the addition of cardamom, a spice with a unique distinctive taste.
Discover the best gingerbread recipe ever for Piparkakut and some of the things you can do with this Finnish Gingerbread.
Image of Freshly Baked Gingerbread (Nybakade pepparkakor) by Jonik used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
'Gingerbread' in Different Languages:
Norwegian - Pepperkaker
Swedish - Pepparkakor
Danish - Brunkager
Icelandic - Piparkokur
Finnish - Piparkakut
Latvain - Piparkukas
Estonian - Piparkoogid— Wikipedia
Scandinavian Gingerbread from Wikipedia
The Wikipedia entry for Gingerbread doesn't mention Finnish Gingerbread or piparkakut:
- In Scandinavia, the most popular form of ginger confection are the Pepperkaker/Peparkakor (Norwegian), or Pepparkakor (Swedish). They are thin, very brittle biscuits that are particularly associated with the extended Christmas period.
- In Norway and Sweden pepperkaker/pepparkakor is also used as window decorations, the pepperkaker/pepparkakor is then a little thicker than usual and decorated with glaze and candy. Many families bake pepperkaker/pepparkakor as a tradition with their kids.
- In English pepperkaker/pepparkakor would be referred to as ginger biscuits rather than gingerbread.
Baked Finnish Gingerbread Cookies
Freshly baked Christmas cookies by sirikri.
Can you smell them?
Vote on Finnish Gingerbread
Have you tried Finnish gingerbread or other Scandinavian Gingerbread snaps?
Finnish Gingerbread Spices
The biggest difference between traditional gingerbread recipes and the Finnish gingerbread version is the spices used.
The Nordic Recipe Archive recommends using cinnamon, ginger, cloves and orange peel recipe for Finnish gingerbread spices.
They recommend using this mixture to flavor Finnish gingerbread, apple pies, breads, cakes, fruit and berry desserts and beverages.
For the Finnish Gingerbread Spices recipe, I've kept all of their ingredients, but added in the secret ingredient from my Mom's recipe, ground cardamom:
Finnish Gingerbread Spices
- 1Â½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Â½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- Â¼ tsp ground cardamon
- 2 tsp dried, ground Seville orange peel
- Mix indigents together.
- Put into a small jar.
- Shake until mixed.
- Store in a cool, dry place.
More Gingerbread Spices and Ingredients
More Piparkakut Finnish Gingerbread Recipes
- Piparkakut (Finnish Gingerbread) | Fighting Tiger
A recipe for Piparkakut by Fighting Tiger.
- Old-fashioned Gingerbread Cookies - Piparkakut
Piparkakut, a traditional Finnish Christmas recipe from the Worldwide Gourmet.
- Finnish Gingerbread Cookies | The Fresh Loaf
Here is my Finnish mother inlaw's recipe for Gingerbread Cookies! It is hard to duplicate them just like hers because their ingredients taste different and they have a lot of different flours and different syrup too. These are still really good with
- Piparkakut - A Wee Bit of Cooking
There's something rather restorative about gingery biscuits, don't you think? Their aromatic spices, warm sweetness and golden hues are the perfect antidote to dark days and biting winds. Pretty sure the Finns agree with me as one can find the follow
- Gingerbread Biscuits (Piparkakut)
A recipe for Gingerbread Biscuits (Piparkakut) from Finn Guide.
Piparkakut recipe at Christmas-Cookies.com, featuring tons of traditional and modern Christmas cookie recipes, recommended Christmas cookie cookbooks, and Christmas cookie links
- Finnish Gingerbread Biscuits Recipe - The Foody
The Foody UK & Ireland Finnish Gingerbread Biscuits (Piparkakut) Recipe.
- Piparkakut - Recipe - NYTimes.com
A recipe for Piparkakut.
- 7 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons ginger
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cloves
- 2 teaspoons soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 1 cup margarine
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups molasses
- 4 teaspoons grated orange rind
- Sift Together: the dry ingredients: flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, soda, salt and cardamon.
- Cream well: the margarine with the sugar.
- Blend in: Eggs with the molasses and orange rind.
- Stir in/Mix Together: The dry ingredients with the other ingredients, gradually until the recipe is well-blended.
- Chill: Refrigerate overnight (Dough can keep up to 1 week)
- Roll out:1/8 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.
- Transfer to tray and Bake: 375 FÂ° for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
- Yield: 7-8 dozen cookies (depending on the size of the cookie cutters)
Baking Finnish Gingerbread Cookies - YouTube
Micke89's video on baking gingerbread from Christmas 2006.
Mixing the Gingerbread Dough
Mixing up gingerbread can be made easier if you separate out the ingredients.
Sift the flour with the spices in one bowl before starting, so it is ready to go.
Cream the margarine and sugar together, then add in the egg, molasses and orange rind.
Finally gradually start blending in the flour and spice mixture, until the dough is all mixed together.
Remember to refrigerate overnight.
Image of Gingerbread Cookie dough by Gill Rick.
Rolling out Gingerbread Dough
Rolling out the Gingerbread by tecknare
Professional Wooden Rolling Pin
This unfinished professional rolling pin becomes nonstick as flour fills in grain. The smaller size makes it easier to store.
Measures: 9-3/4 inches x 2-1/2 inches
Rolling out and Cutting the Dough
Another difference with Finnish gingerbread cookies is that they tend to be thinner than many of the American versions and they used different cookie cutters than the traditional gingerbread men.
When rolling out the refrigerated cookie dough, be sure to roll it to a thickness of 1/8 - 1/4 thick.
To make Finnish gingerbread, use hearts, stars, reindeer and pigs. yes pigs. For some reason pig gingerbread cookies are very popular.
IKEA Cookie Cutters available on Amazon.
Gingerbread and Pig Cookie Cutters
The cookie cutters we used at my Mom's weren't the typical gingerbread men. We'd make hearts, stars, reindeer and pigs.
This is very close to the pig that my mom uses to bake her Gingerbread cookies.
3 inch Tinplated Steel
A new version of cookies cutters from IKEA.
These let you make a 3D tree, star or reindeer from cookies.
Making Gingerbread (Pepperkake)
Baking Norwegian Pepperkake Sunrise
Since Finnish gingerbread cookies tend to be thinner than other versions. The cookies are cut from dough rolled to a thickness of 1/8 - 1/4 inches.
Thinner cookies may be a bit trickier to transfer the cookies over to the cookie sheet for baking.
Using a bendable or angled spatula is a helpful way to transfer the cookies once they have been cut to a baking sheet, and then also once they have been baked to a cooling rack for cooling.
Image of Heart Gingerbread by Sunrise.
Spatula for Moving Cookies
Cut Cookies Ready to Bake
Ready to bake by Superfantastic
Baking Sheets and Cooling Rack
Decorating Finnish Gingerbread Cookies
Many times Finnish Gingerbread is eaten plain, without any decorations.
When the piparkakut cookies are decorated, as in the Gingerbread houses, the decorating is done with a small amount of white icing using a simple royal icing recipe.
For the gingerbread house or decorated cookies, other decorations are added, in our house it was often M&M's, peppermint and sugar sprinkles, instead of gum drops and other candies.
Professional Icing Bag Set
Farberware's Professional 5-Piece Icing Bag Set includes a durable reusable pastry bag and metal decorating tips for your cookie icing needs.
Serving Gingerbread Cookies
Piparakakut is often consumed plain and served with a strong Finnish Coffee.
Christmas Cookies by hhsara.
Serve Your Gingerbread Cookies on an Iittala Plate
A classic Finnish design, Taika, for serving your holiday cookies.
Piparkakut in a Tin
Heart Gingerbread by nixielinks.
Turn Your Gingerbread into Ornaments
You can do more than just eat Gingerbread, you can also turn gingerbread cookies into decorations.
Cookie ornaments cut out of wreaths, hearts or stars make for good tree decorations.
For the hearts and stars you will need to cut a small hole to put the ribbon through. Use a cleaned marking pen cap to easily cut out a circle.
Make sure that the cookies are sufficiently baked, so they are not soft, which will make the ornaments harder to hang on the tree. Before hanging tie a decorative ribbon on the gingerbread ornament.
If you want them to be edible, you may want to put them on the tree shortly before the will be eaten (or cover with plastic wrap).
Heart Ornaments on Tanenbaum by Edgar Zuniga.
Heart Cookie Cutters
Make a Gingerbread House
Another fun activity to do with the kids (or grandkids) is to make a decorated house out of gingerbread.
There are all kinds of patterns available on the Internet that can be downloaded and used, or you can design your own after looking at different types and styles of gingerbread houses.
All kinds of tips and ideas for starting your own tradition and building a special gingerbread house can be found at the Finnish Gingerbread Houses lens.
Image of Small Red Gingerbread Hut by mwri.
Gingerbread Flavored Oatmeal
One way that I've found to satisfy my gingerbread cravings in a healthier way is by putting gingerbread ingredients to top a bowl of steel cut oatmeal.
To a good serving of oatmeal I add:
- Dark Molasses
- All Spice
- Sliced Almonds
The dark molasses is one of the healthier sugar sources. The All Spice is easier to come by and less expensive than the Cardamom. You could add ginger as well, but I've found that these three spices tend to be the ones I like best from the gingerbread spices.
Give it a try. It's a very healthy treat.
Steel Cut Oatmeal Image by Sleepyneko
Anna's Ginger Thins
Anna's Ginger Thins based on a Swedish Gingerbread recipe is the closest thing that I've found to the Finnish Gingerbread cookies, although they don't use cardamom.
They'll do in a pinch when I don't have time to bake Piparkakut or steel cut oatmeal and am craving gingerbread.
The Original recipe from Swedish grandmother Anna Karlson in 1929. Spiced using Ginger, Cinnamon and Cloves.
Enjoy Your Gingerbread
Get some before it's gone. The Gingerbread won't last long.
Gingerbread by Matty Turner.
History of the Best Gingerbread Recipe Lens
Will you be adding gingerbread cookies to your list of Christmas baking?