Make Soft Gingerbread Playdough in Minutes

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More Christmas

Try baking this gingerbread playdough recipe for the holidays!

homemade gingerbread play dough

Looking for a fun kids’ craft to keep them occupied during winter break?

Consider making this homemade gingerbread playdough as a creative Christmas craft or activity. With basic pantry ingredients (which you likely already have at home) and a simple cooking method, the easy dough comes together in a cinch!

easy to make gingerbread play dough activity
We love this homemade playdough because of its buttery soft texture and delicious gingerbread scent. Break out your rolling pins and cookie cutters for some fun device-free entertainment for the whole family as both kids and adults will love this fun holiday craft project!

dry ingredients for gingerbread play dough

mixing gingerbread play dough on the stove

molding gingerbread play dough with hands

rolling gingerbread play dough on a cutting board

Homemade Gingerbread Playdough


Supplies Needed

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water



In a medium saucepan, stir together flour, salt, cream of tartar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.


Mix in the water and oil, then stir until the mixture thickens like a batter.


Cook mixture over low/medium heat on the stove until a thick dough forms.


Place the dough onto parchment paper and knead until smooth. Each batch yields about 2 cups of soft, fragrant, gingerbread dough.

homemade gingerbread playdough gift in a jar

Hip Tips for this Gingerbread Playdough recipe:

  • DIY gift idea: Place your finished dough in a jar and attach a little gingerbread man cookie cutter with some ribbon for a festive last-minute handmade gift!
  • Is this dough edible? Although it smells like yummy gingerbread, this dough is not meant for eating, nor would it taste appetizing because of the salt. However, I like how it’s safe for little hands and non-toxic just in case kids are tempted to taste it!
  • How to store the dough to keep it fresh: Place the ball in a sealed bag or container so it can last for a few days between play sessions.
  • Consider doubling this recipe for larger play dates. This recipe makes about 2 cups of dough so double the batch when more than 2 kids are playing.
  • Want to make snow dough? Hip reader Sue suggested making white dough from this recipe (without the spices) and when it’s done, add a considerable amount of glitter when kneading. The glitter stays in the dough, and voila, now you have snow dough!

rolling out gingerbread play dough on a cutting board

Though my kids have grown, we still LOVE playdough!

In fact, the last time I made this a few years ago, my then 13-year-old helped me make the batch and I could tell he was actually into it! We haven’t just sat down and played with playdough since they were little. Even as an adult, molding and working with the dough is oddly satisfying and stress-relieving, which we all need during the holidays. 😄

This recipe smells heavenly, is easy to make, and results in a super soft texture dough (which is even more of a treat when it’s still somewhat warm from the stove). Adding that little bit of oil keeps it from drying out so playtime doesn’t have to end. Enjoy!

Try these DIY cinnamon Christmas ornaments with the kiddos!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 24

  1. Grace

    Can this dough be baked to make ornaments or handprints?

  2. sne3103

    That looks good enough to eat πŸ˜‚

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ha yes agree!

  3. Katie

    I just tried this, and it was SO simple!! πŸ™‚ Do you mind if I share this recipe on my own blog if I give full credit to Hip2Save? I would love to be able to share this as a post!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sure, you can share one photo and link to us for the full directions – that’d be great – thanks so much!

  4. Mackenzie

    Does it need to be stirred while cooking? Stirring, or not stirring….which is better for getting the right consistency?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I would say stirring is good!

  5. R

    Excellent dough! Very soft. Easy to make. Smells delicious, which is a plus. It’s gonna make my classroom smell like Christmas. I think I cooked it for a little too long, so it’s a little crumbly. But that’s my fault. 10/10

  6. Lori Vedders

    How long does it last?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey Lori! It seems this can last for a few days when used regularly – “Place the ball in a sealed bag or container so it can last for a few days between play sessions.” Hope that helps! πŸ₯°

      • Sue

        The cream of tarter helps make it last a long time. I make it for my kids and it lasts all month. I also make white dough without the spices and when it’s done, I add a considerable amount of glitter when I’m kneading it. The glitter stays in the dough. And now we have snow dough!

        • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

          Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to share how you’ve made it, Sue! πŸ’žπŸ™Œ

    • aschme

      My sons sweet teachers made this Last year as a Christmas gift for the children and put it in a mason jar and it is still good to this day minus some dog hair that got in it lol πŸ’œ

  7. Leah

    I’m really excited to make this for my kinder class! Does it have to be vegetable oil? Or can I use something else

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I think you could do any other oil like coconut oil. Have so much fun!

  8. Materof6

    This has been a go-to as well each year since you posted! I love how much softer it is than store bought Play-doh…love the snow idea too! You could put a couple of black Pom-Pom’s, a button, and a little piece of cloth and make a snow man kit! Lol!

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      Yay!! So glad you are loving this and that’s a great idea about making a snowman kit!!πŸ’—

  9. Lori

    This turned out great! I didn’t have cream of tarter so I used baking powder. It still turned out perfect. My granddaughters had so much fun with this easy to use dough.

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      So happy your granddaughters had fun, Lori!πŸ’•Enjoy!

  10. Dara

    I have used Talenti jars for storing Play-Doh and homemade
    Flubber. I think that’d work with this, too. And even very
    young kids are able to open and close the jars themselves!

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks a ton for sharing this helpful suggestion on storage, Dara!!πŸ₯°

  11. Angela

    We loved making this! Thanks for sharing. We made an extra batch and gifted it to cousins. We painted mason jars and attached a cookie cutter. Everyone loved it!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh i love it!! How fun, thank you for sharing Angela!

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