The Ultimate Halloween Recipe - Iced Gingerbread Bats by April Carter

Published Sunday, Oct 27 2013, 11:00 GMT  |  By  |  Add comment
As the witching hour of the spookiest day of the year - Halloween on October 31 - approaches, we've magicked up these suitably gothic treats. Bat-shaped Gingerbread biscuits with Black Icing - how cool are these?

gingerbread bats trEATs by April Carter

© Danielle Wood for Hardie Grant

trEATs by April Carter book cover
Kids of all ages will love them - and they'll certainly go down a storm with Trick or Treaters.

This recipe is just one of many from the new book by the very talented London-based baker April Carter.

April is the brains behind the Rhubarb & Rose blog, which follows her baking adventures in London.

Her new book, trEATs, packed full of foodie gifts you can make for friends and family at home, is out now, £12.99, from Hardie Grant.


  • For the gingerbread:
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g treacle
  • 75 g golden syrup
  • 75 g dark brown soft sugar
  • 450 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • For the decoration:
  • 250 g (9 oz) Instant Royal Icing sugar
  • 2–3 tablespoons water
  • A few drops of black food colouring


1 To make the gingerbread, heat the butter, treacle, golden syrup and sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and all of the ingredients are well combined. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

2 Into a clean bowl sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper, and stir to combine. Once the butter mixture has cooled, add the egg yolk and fresh ginger to it, mixing well. Then, fold in the flour mixture to form a dough.

3 Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Split into two discs and wrap each one with clingfilm. Chill them in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the dough to rest.

4 Once your dough is fully chilled, preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F/ gas mark 3) and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

5 Put one disc in the freezer while you roll out the dough of the other disc to 4–5 mm (¼ in) thick on a floured surface. Cut out bat shapes using a cookie cutter, or make your own cardboard template and use a sharp knife to cut around it.

6 Transfer your bats to the baking trays and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. Bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes, or until the edges of the shapes are firm. Fully cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.

7 Using a food processor with the whisk attachment, whisk the Instant Royal Icing sugar with the water for 5 minutes to create a smooth paste that is thick enough to pipe with. Place a small amount of the white icing in a bowl for the bat eyes. Cover and set aside.

8 Add the black food colouring to the remaining icing and mix well in thewith a spatula. Transfer the black icing to a piping bag and snip a small amount off the end. Pipe a black outline on all of the bat shapes. Reserve a small amount of the remaining black icing in the bag for the bat eyes.

9 Thin out the remaining black icing with some more water to give it a runnier consistency, then, with a teaspoon, use it to fill in the bat outlines. Allow the icing on your gingerbread bats to set for at least 2 hours, then ice the bat eyes using the remaining white and black icing. Store in a tin or an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information

Makes 30 bats

Other Halloween recipes kids will love:
Spider Web Pumpkin Cupcakes
Green Slime Eyeball Pasta
Popcorn Toffee Apples