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Gingerbread Playdough No Cook Recipe to Get in the Holiday Spirit

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Inside: Gingerbread Playdough No Cook Recipe you can make today to make your house smell AMAZING!

Get your kids in the holiday spirit this year with this fun gingerbread playdough recipe! It's a quick and easy project for you to complete for your preschoolers and kindergartners, since it is easy and to put together. All you need is a few ingredients, some silly mixins, and some printable gingerbread playdough mats.

A little warning:

Just go ahead and buy all the ingredients you need for the base playdough right now, because once you make this, you'll be shocked at how simple it is, and you'll be itching to make more of a different theme next week!

Gingerbread Playdough No Cook Recipe

This gingerbread playdough is perfect for the holiday season, but it can be made any time of year and enjoyed by all ages.

The best part about this recipe is that it doesn’t require cooking so there are no worries about hot ovens and keeping children out of the kitchen. Just mix everything together and add hot water, then mix mix mix!

How to Make Gingerbread Playdough Without Cooking?

Just like making traditional playdough on the stove, you'll put together all of your dry ingredients first, and then you add your hot water.

Gingerbread Playdough No Cook Recipe View

To make no cook gingerbread playdough, you heat your water up without a stove. Which means you use tap if it's hot enough, or you microwave your water until it's boiling.

Once your water is boiling add your oil, and vanilla extract.

Then carefully add water to your mixed dry ingredients slowly, mixing as you go.

Related: Adorable Roll a Gingerbread Man Dice Game for Preschoolers

PIN for later:

no cook gingerbread playdough recipe for beginners

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Do You Need Cream of Tartar in Playdough?

No. You do not need cream of tartar in playdough recipes. It's simply used as a preservative. If you only want to use this dough for a day or two, there is no need to add in cream of tartar.

If you'd like to use it for a week or more — or you don't want to risk it, you need to use a preservative, and the easiest one to find is cream of tartar.

Prepare Your Gingerbread Playdough

I love putting together everything ahead of time to make sure everything is super easy for me. Okay, easy for them too, but mostly this is for me.

Since there is a heat element to this, I like to put the playdough together when they're not around. Either napping, sleeping for the night, or are out shopping for Christmas with their dad.

To keep this playdough fresh and soft and amazing for as long as possible, I recommend storing it in an air tight container, like these, which fit this recipe PERFECTLY (click here to check the price on Amazon)

Another safety note: This playdough is NOT for eating. It tastes terrible, and you don't want it in your kids system. Please always supervise your children while they play with it.

Please note: You might need to add more flour after this is mixed together, so have more than you need!

No Cook Gingerbread Playdough Recipe

Yield: 2 Cups of Playdough

Gingerbread Playdough No Cook Recipe

Gingerbread Playdough Recipe Image

What better way to get in the holiday spirit than with this fun gingerbread playdough recipe. It smells DIVINE, and it's so quick and easy. Your house will smell like cloves in no time at all.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon oil (vegetable or whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves (a little goes a LONG way)
  • Splash of vanilla extract


  • Microwave Safe bowl
  • Air Tight Container
  • Mixing Spoon


  1. Mix together all of your dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves) in your mixing bowl.
  2. Add one cup of water to a separate microwave safe bowl and microwave until it's boiling
  3. Add oil and vanilla extract to your water and mix around, then add the water slowly to your dry ingredients bowl, mixing continually. Don't worry about any clumps in this step, you'll be able to fix them in the next step.
  4. When all the water has been added, remove from bowl onto counter, and kneed until all of the ingredients are mixed well, and it's cool enough for small hands.
  5. When done playing, put all of the dough into an airtight container to keep longer.


Cream of tartar is used as a preservative. I recommend using it, but the recipe will still work without it. Without it, I wouldn't recommend keeping the dough longer than a few days.

Although it smells amazing, it tastes awful! Don't eat it please!

Always supervise children when playing with this dough.

For all your playdough mat needs, check out my shop by clicking the banner below!

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  1. I made this with my first graders today and they LOVED it! The recipe came out perfect and I love that I could make it in my classroom and not need to bake anything!

    Thank you so much for an amazing recipe!

    1. YAY! That’s awesome! I bet your classroom smelled amazing all day! Haha

  2. Holly yousey says:

    I made this for my classroom today. I needed more like 2 cups of flour to keep it together but it smells amazing and I’m excited for the kids to play with it this week!

    1. Me too! Glad it wasn’t just me. Haha I thought all hope was lost but we just kept adding more and more flour and it finally got there!

      1. I’m surprised! I didn’t have that issue, but I’ll add it into the post so everyone is aware. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Small Town Life says:

    I’m making this with my students with dyslexia as a way to keep them engaged before the holidays. Lol. I just brought the amount of water down to 1/2 C and it was perfect. I plan on giving them a dusting of flour to knead it. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    1. Thanks for the advice! I went and reviewed my notes on this recipe, and I did make it with 1/2 cup water! I’ll fix the recipe. Eek!

  4. I don’t have a love, can I still make it without?

    1. Absolutely! It’s all just for the scent. When we have family in, we make it without clove because my family hates the smell of clove haha, it doesn’t change anything!

  5. Can this be successful without boiling water? Trying to make this in a classroom without microwave access

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