Ginger Ninjas by Anna Polyviou

This recipe is by punk princess Anna Polyviou who will be at this year’s Cake Bake & Sweets Show. More info for this and many other fantastic recipes can be found in her book, Sweets Street, which you can purchase here:

I don’t go traditional with plain gingerbread men, I go the whole ninja.
They’re super-cool and loads of fun to decorate, as well.


  • Gingerbread dough (see page 170: use the scraps leftover from the GINGERBREAD HOUSE)
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) milk
  • 1 quantity ROYAL ICING (see page 170)
  • Food colouring liquid in several colours


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the gingerbread dough to 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Cut out all
    the ginger ninjas, lay them on the baking tray (leave gaps between them to allow for spreading) and
    brush with the milk.
  3. Bake the ninjas for 20–30 minutes until golden brown, then cool on the tray.
  4. Prepare the royal icing, then divide it into smaller bowls. Cover the bowls with a damp cloth when not
    working with the icing.
  5. Add food colouring powder to each bowl, a little at a time. Mix well, adding more liquid to make a
    stronger colour.
  6. To make a paper piping (icing) bag, cut a large triangle of baking paper. While holding on to one
    corner of the baking paper, bring the other corner up and across to form a cone. Fold the ends over at
    the open end of the cone and secure with masking tape or a staple.
  7. Make a piping bag for each icing colour and fill each bag. Decorate the Ginger Ninjas as desired.

You can buy ninja-shaped cutters from cake decorating supply stores or draw your own designs
on baking paper and transfer them to the gingerbread. Cut them out with a small sharp knife.
It’s important not to let the icing dry out before piping the decorations, so have damp cloths or paper towel
on hand to keep it moist until you need it. If you don’t want to make your own paper piping bags, you can
use an ordinary one fitted with a fine nozzle.

Images and recipes from Sweet Street by Anna Polyviou, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99
Photography by Nikki To, styling by Rhianne Contreras.