The History of Gingerbread and Why We Love It

The History of Gingerbread and Why We Love It

Posted on Nov 21st 2022

Where Did Gingerbread Come From?

Gingerbread can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece and Egypt where it was commonly used for ceremonial purposes. It wasn’t until the 11th century that it made its way to Europe when Crusaders brought back ginger from the Middle East. Aristocrats' cooks experimented with ginger, and as it became more affordable, gingerbread treats became popular with the masses. The first gingerbread man is credited to Queen Elizabeth I, who presented visiting dignitaries with one baked in their own likeness. To do a more in-depth dive into this spicy delicacy, check out The History of Gingerbread.

The Wonderful World of Gingerbread

Countries all over the globe love their gingerbread. The most common way is in the shape of thin, crisp cookies like Czech Pernik, Russian Pryaniki, Croatian Licitars, Scandinavian Pepparkakor, and Dutch Speculaas cut into hearts or other fanciful shapes.

But sometimes it comes in cake form, like this Piernik, a Polish gingerbread cake packed with delicious flavor. Or try the polish-inspired American version with this Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze recipe—both delicious ways to bake for guests and give in to your gingerbread cravings.

And of course, we all know about the gingerbread house contests that have taken over our holiday TV viewing like the All-Star Gingerbread Build, Holiday Gingerbread Showdown, and Gingerbread Giants where contestants battle for gingerbread creation bragging rights.

Gingerbread has come a long way! Today it’s not uncommon for people to add a touch of ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, or all-spice to the recipe for a more fall-like flavor. Some bakers even like to add a touch of heat by baking in some fresh ground ginger, turmeric, or cardamom and anise. And no matter how you like to make your gingerbread, the most popular way to sweeten it is with any combination of brown sugar, molasses, light or dark corn syrup, or honey.

3 Ways To Enjoy Walkers Gingerbread

Made with all butter and just the right amount of snap and spice, you can easily snack on your choice of Walkers Gingerbread straight from the box, or check out 3 more ways to enjoy it this holiday season:

  1. Make Some Delicious and Adorable Holiday Desserts
    Delight your dinner guests with these dreamy White Chocolate Cheesecakes with Mulled Wine Fruit dessert! With super simple preparation, you can serve these individually or make one large cheesecake.

    White Chocolate No-Bake Cheesecake and Walkers Gingerbread Men

    Or maybe you want something more casual for the kids to enjoy? Try baking up a batch of these Homemade Gingerbread Cookie Cupcakes topped with a delicious Gingerbread Cookie Frosting.

    But the baking with gingerbread doesn’t stop there. Check out these recipes just waiting to be made and devoured at your next holiday party:
  3. No time to bake? Just decorate!
    Kick off the holidays by hosting a cookie-decorating party. Need some tips and inspiration? Try these 5 Tips For A Fun Cookie Decorating Party. And, to properly prepare for the fun, have guests bring their favorite premade gingerbread cookies. Be sure to buy plenty of Walkers Gingerbread Men ahead of time so you’re ready to go when guests arrive!

    Walkers Gingerbread Men
  5. Give a “CHEERS” to Ginger!
    Gingerbread isn’t just for decorating - you can dunk it too! Toast to the holiday season with this Ginger Pear Bourbon Martini garnished with our Walkers Shortbread Gingerbread Men.

    Pear Cocktail and Walkers Gingerbread Men

Whatever direction you go with gingerbread, just make sure it’s Walkers, and have a delicious holiday season!