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Gingerbread Playdough

For a fun scented playdough Christmas activity, try this simple Gingerbread playdough recipe! This easy playdough recipe takes 5 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to make. And the playdough will last for months!

RELATED: How to Make Playdough

DIY Gingerbread Playdough Recipe

Gingerbread Playdough Recipe

Isn’t the smell of freshly baked gingerbread cookies the best? The smell of this playdough might also be one of our favorites. It smells like freshly baked gingerbread cookies!

For more playdough recipes, see more Christmas playdough recipes.

Now if your kids are still putting things in their mouth, they may not be ready for this recipe as this is for pretend play (and we don’t want them to think it’s actual cookies!). Try our traditional playdough recipe instead.

What’s also fun about this playdough recipe is that kids can pretend to bake them, roll the dough out and use cookie cutters to make the gingerbread men.

Gingerbread Man Playdough

Watch the Video Tutorial

How to Make Gingerbread Playdough

There are many ways to make playdough – using a stove-top or using a kettle with boiling water. Personally, we prefer the stove-top method. We find it’s easier to mix the ingredients in the pot. There are also no-cook playdough options but we also prefer this cooked playdough recipe. We find this recipe to last the longest and be the softest. This recipe only takes a few minutes to make and it will last for months!

Do I need to include all of the traditional gingerbread cookie spices? 

We tested a few different recipes. This one is an easier version with less spices. We found that the smell difference was negligible and that the texture was better with less ingredients. So save yourself some time and try our recipe which is easier to make!

Homemade Gingerbread Playdough

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: Flour, Salt, Cream of Tartar, Spices (Cinnamon, Ginger) Water, Oil, Vanilla. Skip down to the recipe card below to see the full recipe instructions.

Do you need cream of tartar?  Yes, if you want a soft playdough and want it to last longer, you need to add a little bit of cream of tartar. We tested different amounts and found 2 teaspoons to be the perfect amount to make the playdough super soft. If you skip the cream of tartar your dough may turn out a bit more dry and crumbly. It also helps your playdough last longer.

Do I need food coloring? Not for this recipe! The best part about the cinnamon and vanilla in this recipe is that it naturally gives the dough a gingerbread color.

How to Keep Playdough Soft

First wrap your playdough in saran wrap then store in an air-tight container. You’ll notice that playdough will go hard if left out – so the less air that can get to the playdough when storing, the longer it will last!

How Do I Make Playdough Soft Again?

If your playdough dries out and turns out to be a little dry after making it, try adding in a little more oil first. You can knead the oil in with your hands. You can also knead in a little bit of water.

Homemade Gingerbread Playdough Recipe

5 from 1 vote

Gingerbread Playdough Recipe

An easy gingerbread playdough recipe!
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes



  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla


  • Mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar and whisk well. 
  • Add in the ginger and cinnamon and whisk well. 
    Add Ginger to Playdough Mix
  • In a pan or pot, add the water, oil and vanilla and mix.
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar, cinnamon, ginger) to the pot and mix well. Cook on low to medium heat.
    Mix Gingerbread Playdough in Pot
  • Because of the cinnamon, this playdough takes a little longer to come together and cook. Keep mixing well and spread out in the pan if possible so that the salt mixes well with the water to dissolve. 
  • Do not continuously stir while cooking. Let it sit for a few seconds before mixing and flipping the dough in the pot. The dough is done when it starts to form a ball and looks fully cooked. 
  • Take off the heat and let cool. 
  • Knead for 10 minutes to make the dough smooth.
    Knead Gingerbread Playdough

More Christmas Playdough Recipes

See these 3 other Christmas scented recipes.

Christmas Playdough Recipes for Kids

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10 comments on “Gingerbread Playdough”

  1. I am planning to make gingerbread scented play dough for my PreK class. I am planning to give each child a 4 oz. container of the dough, along with a book called Gingerbread pup and a dog themed cookie cutter. How many ounces of dough does this recipe make? I have 21 students so I need to “do the math” to have enough of the ingredients required. Thank you!

    1. Hi! Sorry I haven’t measured the total weight that each recipe makes but I think you could easily split it into 2-3 portions per child.

  2. How long does this playdoh last? Does it mold? I wanted to make this for my child’s classroom as a gift but I don’t want it to go bad if I make it too soon before the holidays.

    1. It should last at least a month if stored properly. Keep stored in an air tight container or bag.

      1. I just came here to say it’s been almost a year since we made this play dough. Not only does it still smell fantastic, it’s soft and no mold. We keep in airtight plastic containers! It’s perfect!

  3. I made a double batch of this playdough. It turned out great! I followed the instructions exactly as written. The consistency is smooth and the smell is divine. Thanks for a foolproof recipe!

    1. The Best Ideas for Kids

      It should start to form a ball and look like it’s cooked (not doughy still).

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