Renaissance Gingerbread Recipes

Renaissance Gingerbread MakingMaking Renaissance Gingerbread
(Source: ©drow/

These authentic Renaissance gingerbread recipes make a gingerbread that was once a highly prized confection quite unlike today's gingerbreads. Early versions of gingerbread were more like a crisp, sweet candy and there were many variations, some of which contained no ginger at all.

These sweetmeats were often formed or molded (printed) in various shapes before being dried or baked. Some gingerbread was decorated with comfits and gilded with an edible gold leaf before serving at special royal banquets.

You can now taste the actual gingerbread that Queen Elizabeth 1st loved to eat. Make your own gingerbread sweetmeats using the historical recipes once coveted by nobility. The Lords and Ladies at your house will love it.

Renaissance Gingerbread Recipes

The Queen-like Cloſet or Rich Cabinet (1672)

The First Gingerbread Men

England's Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) loved to eat gingerbread sweetmeats in any form. It's said that she delighted in presenting her notable guests with beguiling gingerbread likenesses of themselves — the world's first "Gingerbread Men."

To make Ginger-bread

Take three ſtale Manchets grated and ſifted, then put to them half an Ounce of Cinamon, as much Ginger, half an Ounce of Licoras and Aniſeeds together, beat all theſe and ſearce them, and put them in with half a Pound of fine Sugar, boil all theſe together with a quart of Claret, ſtirring them continually till it come to a ſtiff Paſte, then when it is almoſt cold, mould it on a Table with ſome ſearced Spice and Sugar, then bake it in what ſhape you pleaſe.

Another ſort of Ginger-bread

Take half a pound of ſweet Almonds blanched and beaten, half a pound of fine Flower firſt dried in an Oven, one Pound of fine Sugar, what ſorts of Spices you pleaſe, beaten and ſearced, and alſo Seeds, beat all theſe together with two Eggs, both Yolks and Whites, then mould it with flower and Sugar together, and ſo bake it in what ſhape you pleaſe.

To Make Almond Ginger-Bread

Take a little Gum-Dragon and lay it in ſteep in Roſewater all night, then take half a Pound of Jordan Almonds blanched and beaten with ſome of that Roſewater, then take half a pound of fine Sugar beaten and ſearced, of Ginger and Cinamon finely ſearced, ſo much as by your taſte you may judg to be fit; beat all there together into a Paſte, and dry it in a warm Oven or Stove.

Renaissance Glossary

Young Renaissance Girl Consulting the Renaissance Glossary

If you have difficulty reading the Early Modern English style of writing, or if you need to shed light on any outdated ingredient names and cooking methods, then view my handy Glossary of Historic Cooking Terms.

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Renaissance Baking Supplies

Variety of Renaissance Baking Supplies

Supplies such as Gum Dragon and 23kt edible Gold Leaf are not easy to find locally, so here's some helpful suggestions for getting  the historical ingredients you need to prepare your own Renaissance banquet or fair. Just click the button below.

Renaissance Baking Supplies Button

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