Cookie Repository, Delicious Desserts, GBBO - Season 13

GBBO Season 13 – Week 2 Showstopper: 3D Cookie Mask

The Great British Bake Off is one my favorite shows, inspiring new bakes, new flavors, and new techniques! Join me on my journey to bake through all the Season 13 Challenges.

Since replicating Season 8 of the Great British Bake Off wasn’t enough, I decided to try my hand at a different season! This time, I am working on season 13 which is the most recent season! This season had some great bake ideas as well as some not-so-great ones (but we’ll get there when we get there).

So, I figured, let’s do this all again! One of the big challenges I wanted to attempt this time around was coming up with original ideas for the signature and showstopper challenges instead of doing a recreation. On your mark… Get set… Bake!

I have made it to the Week two showstopper: a decorated cookie mask! This was an interesting challenge mainly because the shape of the mask is a difficult one to make. There are no mask shape molds readily available to purchase.

But I was determined to carry forward! I decided to theme my mask “seasons change” and try to do a juxtaposition between winter and spring. I used a gingerbread biscuit as my base. One side of the mask is more winter flavors (i.e., pomegranate) while the other side is more spring flavors (i.e., strawberry and jasmine).

Check out the Season 13 Great British Bake Off Page to see other bakes from this series or the Make section for more recipes! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think and how the recipe works for you!


Since this mask is based on cookies, there were not a lot of interesting ingredients needed to make the biscuits. I added molasses and a ton of spices into my gingerbread cookies. For the sugar cookie decorations, I sourced some more unusual extracts including pomegranate, strawberry, and jasmine.


The Gingerbread Base

I wanted to start with the gingerbread base because it needs to cool before I can put anything together. Also, without a base, I can’t really have a cookie mask, now can I? To start, I beat together the butter, light brown sugar, and molasses. (If you don’t want to use molasses, you can use dark brown sugar instead).

I wanted to butter mixture to be light and creamy after it was beaten. I ended up letting the mixture whip for quite some time. Once I was satisfied with the mixture, I added in the egg.  

In a separate bowl, I whisked together the flour, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. So many spices. I love gingerbread cookies because you can really play with the spice amounts, and it will (almost always) end up delicious any way. But it’s your own unique spice combination!

On a low mixer speed, I added the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (this can, of course, be done by hand as well). I wanted the ingredients to be just combined to avoid overmixing. The dough became quite thick. I turned out the dough and rolled it out into a large disc (about ¼ inch thick). The disc was wrapped in plastic and placed in the fridge to chill.

Lastly, I pulled out the disc and used an outline to cut out the shape of the mask! I decided to cook the mask flat because I thought the flat effect worked well for the mask I was making. Then the cookie mask was put into the oven and hoped that baking didn’t mess up the shape! (Extra dough was baked as normal cookies)

Sugar Cookie Flowers

I wanted to make two types of sugar cookie flowers. The winter side has pomegranate extract added and the spring side has strawberry and jasmine extract added. But each cookie base is very similar. These sugar cookie flowers will act as the decorations for my cookie mask.

To start, I creamed together the butter and sugar. This was done until the mixture was light and fluffy. Again, I whisked for several minutes to really whip the ingredients together. Then I added in the extract(s), flour, and salt and mixed until just combined.

I used a cookie cutter to make the flowers. I had originally wanted to pipe many small flowers, but I quickly discovered that the dough is not the best at holding its definition in the oven. So, cut-out cookie flowers seemed like the best way to go for the cookie mask decorations.

Royal Icing

I needed some icing to decorate the cookie mask and royal icing is the typical go to when it comes to icing cookies. I feel like buttercream would be way too heavy for what I wanted. To make the icing, I mixed meringue powder, water, and powdered sugar. Royal icing is very easy to make.

I colored the icing white and green. The white icing is going to be for the winter side, the green icing is for the spring side.


The last step of the process is putting everything together to make the decorative cookie mask! I start by icing the mask. The first side I focused on was the half belonging to winter. I did an outline before flooring the inside with icing. Before the icing set, I placed the winter flowers around the mask.

The spring side was a very similar process except I used green frosting and the spring flowers. I wanted to make the mask semi-symmetrical. Or as symmetrical as possible.


This mask took a lot more time to make than I had originally anticipated. There were many attempts. And many failed attempts. First the gingerbread cookie was growing too much and not holding its shape. Then the sugar cookies melted too much and not holding their shape. It felt like a journey to find the right recipes and combinations. 

But I really enjoyed the result. The gingerbread cookie was bursting with spice and flavor. Maybe my mouth is just sensitive, but I could taste the different spices transitioning throughout the cookie as I ate. The sugar cookies were even more interesting. They were bursting with flavor while being gentle with fruitiness and floral flavors.

While I am not crazy about the whole mask shape, I would make these cookies again in a more traditional shape.


Playing with Color

When adding color to food, it’s important to remember that the base color will influence the color you are trying to achieve. If the base starts off white, then all the colors will be paler. To get a “true” color, a lot of color would need to be added. Remembering the base color is important when planning the recipe as you don’t have to have to fight too much to get the desired color.


Decorated Cookie Mask

This cookie mask is made up of flavorful gingerbread and sugar cookies held together with royal icing.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Course Dessert



  • 6 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • ¾ Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup Molasses
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Ginger
  • 2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ Teaspoon All-Spice
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt

Sugar Cookies (Pomegranate)

  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter softened
  • ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Pomegranate Extract
  • 2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Red Food Coloring

Sugar Cookies (Strawberry & Jasmine)

  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter softened
  • ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Strawberry Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Jasmine Extract
  • 2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Yellow-Orange Food Coloring

Royal Icing

  • 2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Meringue Powder
  • 4 to 5 Tablespoon Water
  • Green Food Coloring



  • Beat together butter, brown sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and spices
  • Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and make sure to whisk together until just combine
  • Roll out dough into a disc that is ¼ inch thick. Wrap and Chill until firm (about 20 to 30 minutes).
  • Heat oven to 350° Fahrenheit
  • Shape Dough into desired shape using a paring knife or cookie cutter
  • Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completed

Sugar Cookies (Both Flavors Use the Same Method)

  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add extracts, flour, and salt and mix until just combine. Roll out dough and use a cutter to create the desired cookie shapes. Let chill for 20 to 30 minutes minimum.
  • Let bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking tray for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

Royal Icing

  • In a large bowl, whisk together meringue powdered and water until foamy.
  • Add in powdered sugar, one spoon at a time, and whisk until a smooth liquid is formed
  • Add in food coloring and mixture into a consistent color. (Make white and green icing)
  • Place each icing color in their own piping bag and set aside


  • Starting with the white icing, cover the desired area and gently fasten the sugar cookie flower to the gingerbread cookie in the desired coverage
  • Repeat step above with the green icing and desired corresponding cookies.
  • Let Icing set. Enjoy!!
Keyword Gingerbread, Shortbread

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