How to make gothtastic gingerbread bats with SERIOUS bite

By on Oct 11th

If you like your cookies gingery and spicy, GET EXCITED!

It's cooling down, and you know what that means? It's time for Gothic Charm School's gingerbread bats!

Some of you may remember the Offbeat Empire's favorite goth etiquette columnist, Jillian Venters, aka Our Lady Of The Manners from Gothic Charm School. She's the author of Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them, and has given excellent gothic wedding advice on Offbeat Bride.

What you may not know, however, is that Our Lady Of The Manners also has a mean gingerbread bat recipe that has some SERIOUS bite. As Jillian herself says (in her fabulous third-person), "The Lady of the Manners doesn't think gingerbread is proper gingerbread unless it makes your tongue tingle. You Have Been Warned!"

You HAVE been warned. Ready to bake?

Gothic Charm School Gingerbread Bats


  • 2 1/2 C. flour (with an extra ½ C. set aside, just in case)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 C. butter
  • 1/2 C. molasses
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tsp. fresh ginger, very finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • a bat-shaped cookie cutter! The one I have is out of stock, but this one is available for $1!

NOTE: Prep time is at least two and a half hours — and the cookies have to chill in your fridge for a minimum of two of those. Plan accordingly!


1. Combine the molasses and butter in a saucepan over very low heat until the butter melts.

These cookies are looking gothic already!

Let's take a break and discuss mincing ginger, because I had never even attempted to mince it prior to baking these cookies. In fact, I Googled "how do I mince ginger?" and found this very helpful tutorial. In case you're wondering, this is the "thumb" part of the ginger:

See how it all makes sense now?

2. Add the sugar, minced ginger, and lime juice, stir until the sugar dissolves, then remove the saucepan from the heat.

NOTE: while that mixture cools, sift together all the dry ingredients.

I found this set of swan measuring cups at Goodwill. My husband makes fun of them, but I think they're adorbz and wanted to use this opportunity to show you one of them. LOOK HOW CUTE!

I like the sifting part of baking — pretttttty colors!

3. Fold the dry ingredients into the lukewarm butter/sugar/molasses mixture.

4. Add the egg (just crack it into the bowl!), and mix everything together until the dough is smooth and slightly glossy looking.

It's ok if you think this looks gross. I totally did.

(You may need to add a smidge more flour at this stage. But if your dough seems sticky or not holding together, add a spoonful or two of flour, then keep mixing.)

5. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap up in plastic wrap or wax paper, and chill for a minimum of 2 hours.


6. Pre-heat the oven to 325* F.

7. Roll out the dough on a floured cutting board, then cut out cookies with appropriately-festive cookie cutters.


8. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes.

The cookies should look slightly glossy, and feel slightly soft if you touch them — do not burn yourself!. Take them off the cookie sheets and let them cool. (On a wire rack, if you have such a thing. If not, setting them on some paper towels works just as well — and FYI, I just them on a plate.)

Many thanks to Jillian for her recipe! If you want more goth awesomeness from her, be sure to check the Gothic Charm School Tumblr.

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About Stephanie Kaloi

I am the former editor of Offbeat Families, and owner/photographer at Stephanie Kaloi Photography in Portland, OR.