Magazine Poland

Polish Christmas Recipes: Pierniczki świąteczne, the gingerbread cookies

Christmas time is here! Now if you’re a bit like us, you won’t care much for silly presents you don’t even need, for Christmas’ main attraction is food, and there’s no present like a gloriously filled Christmas table.

With this in mind, Kafkadesk’s very own Chef Paulina Kotkowska has prepared a series of Polish Christmas recipes to countdown to C-Day! What’s on the menu today? Her Pierniczki świąteczne, the traditional Polish Christmas gingerbread cookies…

You can find tons of ideas and recipes for Pierniczki świąteczne during the holiday season. Poles loves to eat them but they also traditionally hang them from the Christmas tree. These gingerbread cookies are very easy to make and can be, even should be, made well before Christmas. In fact, they are quite hard after baking and the longer they lie, the softer they become and I just love when they melt in your mouth!

But most importantly, baking these cookies can be turned into a fabulous family time as children love to make different Christmas shapes from the dough. I like making them on a rainy December Sunday afternoon when the scent of all the spices fill the air and make the whole kitchen smell delicious, it’s very heartwarming!


Yields: about 50 cookies

Preparation time: 30 min


  • 300g mixture of plain and rye flour
  • 150ml honey
  • 1 egg
  • 50g sugar
  • 60g room-temperature butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice (cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, anise star, cloves)
  • 1 tsp bitter cocoa powder
  • various shapes of molds

For the icing:

  • 150 g (1.25 cups) icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water


  1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, sugar, spices, cocoa). Add the soften butter and honey. Stir well.
  2. Add the egg and stir well until the dough starts to take.
  3. Knead the dough into a ball.
  4. Wrap it with clingfilm and put it into the fridge for about half an hour.
  5. Heat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured table or board to about 3mm thick and cut out the gingerbreads using your various molds.
  7. Line a baking tray with baking paper and carefully place the gingerbread on it. Leave some space between each cookie so that they don’t stick together.
  8. Bake the gingerbreads batch in oven for about 8-10 minutes. They have to be golden and remain a bit soft.
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  10. To make the icing, mix together icing sugar with egg white and water.
  11. When the cookies are cooled, you can decorate them as you like!

Kafkadesk notes

You can also decorate pierniczki świąteczne with some melted chocolate. You just have to melt half a bar of dark chocolate with two tablespoons of butter. Then use a basting brush to spread the chocolate on the cookies.

If you want to hang them on your Christmas tree, you just need to make a hole for the ribbon on top of the cookies just before baking them. You can use a chopstick or a straw. Don’t make the hole too close to the edge or it will break with the weight.

Pierniczki świąteczne can be stored in a tin for up to two weeks.


Don’t forget to check out Chef Kotkowska’s other Christmas recipes: like her Barszcz Czerwony, her Ryba po Grecku, and of course, her delicious deserts, Makowiec and Sernik.