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a blue harry potter book resting on top of a dark teal towel with several newt shaped ginger biscuit cookies on top

Professor McGonagall's Ginger Newt Biscuits

  • Author: Whip & Wander
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 43 minutes
  • Yield: 36 newt biscuits 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: British


My version of Professor McGonagall's Ginger Newt Biscuits uses a classic ginger nut biscuit (or ginger snap cookie) recipe and a newt-shaped cutter to retain the shape of the magical treat. The resulting biscuit offers a distinctive crisp snap and a lightly sweet flavor perfect for enjoying with a cup of afternoon tea all season long.


  • 350g all-purpose flour (approximately 2 3/4 cups + 2 1/2 tbsp), plus more to flour your surface
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 oz (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small dices
  • zest of one orange
  • 175 g (approximately 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp, tightly packed) brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup (see notes for substitutions)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • (optional) Turbinado sugar, to top


  1. Line 2 baking half sheets with parchment paper and reserve to the side.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt until evenly mixed.
  3. Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture is gravelly and resembled breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the brown sugar, golden syrup, and the beaten egg and stir with a spoon to combine. I find that once the mixture is semi-combined, it works best to combine the rest by hand, working the mixture until it is a smooth dough. At first, it will seem like you need more liquid, but don't be tempted to add any. As you keep working the dough, it should come together.
  5. Lightly flour your rolling surface and your rolling pin, then roll the dough out to approximately 1/4-inch. A thicker dough can be used but the biscuits are less likely to have their signature "hard as a nut" snap. Cut newts or other desired shapes with a biscuit/cookie cutter (see the section "Baking Various Shapes and Sizes of Biscuits" for tips on baking time and how to keep the dough from sticking to intricate cutters) and transfer to the reserved baking sheets. Sprinkle with optional turbinado sugar, if desired.
  6. Chill the cut shapes in the refrigerator for atleast 20 minutes to help the biscuits hold their shape. Once the biscuits go in the fridge, I like to preheat my oven to 350 degrees F (180C).
  7. Once chilled, bake for 12-16 minutes (depending on cutter used - see post above) or until their color deepens to a golden brown. After baking, allow the biscuits to cool fully. As they cool, they will harden further to help give you their signature biscuit snap!


Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.

Golden syrup substitutions: You may sub for light corn syrup for a lighter cookie or dark corn syrup or dark treacle for a darker/richer cookie. Molasses may also be used with caution as it tends to be bitter *please see post above for more detailed information on substituting golden syrup)


  • Serving Size: 2 newt biscuits
  • Calories: 171
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Sodium: 87 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 24 mg

Keywords: Professor McGonagall, Ginger Newt Biscuits, Harry Potter recipes