Pango-bakes; making pangolin cookies

Pangolin cookies

I don’t do a lot of baking but I do like making biscuits. When I made some spiced biscuits for Christmas, I couldn’t help myself, I had to try making a pangolin. I cut it out freestyle with I knife then used the handle of a teaspoon to make indentations for the scales. It worked but took ages… for one biscuit.

Freestyle pangolin biscuit

There are descriptions online of how to make your own cookie cutters using aluminium foil. I was considering this when Cathy from Marvellous Creatures posted her pangolin cookies on instagram and passed on a link to a pangolin cookie cutter! Such things do actually exist!

Armed with my new pangolin cookie cutter, I set about making cookies! …I may have got a little carried away with the quantities but I’ve got plenty to share for World Pangolin Day 🙂

Cakes the pangolin with the pangolin cookies

Pangolin cookies

I used the gingerbread recipe from the Good Housekeeping website. It’s a great recipe and really easy, there’s even a video showing what to do. I just added more ginger.

What you need:

  • 75g butter
  • 3 1/2tbsp golden syrup
  • 60g light soft brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp ground ginger

How to make gingerbread biscuits:

  1. Add butter, golden syrup and light brown sugar to a pan. Stir on a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger to a mixing bowl then stir together. Make a well in the centre and pour in the sugar and butter mixture.
  3. Stir together to form a dough (it might be easiest to use your hands).
  4. Chill for 30mins to firm up.
  5. Lay the dough between two sheets of baking parchment. Press dough lightly with a rolling pin. Give a quarter turn then repeat.
  6. Give it a final quarter turn, then start to roll backwards and forwards, giving regular quarter turns. Until dough is roughly thickness of a £1 coin.
  7. Using a biscuit cutter cut out the shapes. Bake at 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5 for 10 to 12min, until lightly golden brown.
  8. The biscuits won’t be firm but will harden when left to cool outside the oven.

Gingerbread recipe from Good Housekeeping.

Want to help pangolins – please read my blog: Ten things you can do to help pangolins 

Book cover of It's Not My Fault
Buy my book: a pocket-sized companion for when you feel like a pangolin and want to roll up into a ball.

Ten things to do to help pangolins

pangolin release by Save Vietnam's Wildlife

Pangolins are the world’s only scaly mammals. The word ‘pangolin’ comes from the Malay ‘penngguling’, which means ‘something that rolls up’. When threatened, they roll up into an impenetrable ball.

Despite the fact that there scales are made of keratin, the same as your fingernails and hair, they are killed and their scales removed to be made into medicine. It is estimated that a pangolin is taken from the wild every five minutes. They desperately need your help.

Here’s a few ideas of what you can do.

1. Make a donation

Many of the organisations that work directly with pangolins are small and in need of funds. These are the dedicated people rescue, rehabilitate and re-release pangolins confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade, work to raise awareness in the local communities and help to protect the places where pangolins live.

Why not increase the value of your donation by organising a sponsored event?

Pangolin resuced and released by Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary
Pangolin rescued and released by Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary

2. Adopt a pangolin

Some of the larger international NGOs have pangolin adoption schemes. By adopting a pangolin you are making donation to their pangolin conservation programmes and you get a cute soft toy pangolin in return.

DSWF adoption kit
The adoption pack from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

3. Organise a cake bake

Raise funds for pangolin conservation by baking pangolin-inspired cakes and selling slices to your friends and colleagues.
For inspiration check out this awesomely cool pangolin cake by Davina Behin Jones.

pangolin cake
Pangolin cake by Davina Behin Jones

Or try baking some pangolin biscuits. This pangolin cookie cutter is available on Etsy. I used it to make these gingerbread pangolins.

Pangolin biscuits

4. Learn more about pangolins and the illegal wildlife trade

The website of the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group is a great place to start but if you want a more in-depth understanding of the illegal wildlife trade then get a copy of ‘Poached’ by Rachel Love Nuwer.

Book cover of Poached by Rachel Love Nuwer

5. Buy pangolin art, t-shirts or jewelry

Lots of artists and crafters that choose to feature pangolins in their art also give a proportion of their profits to charity. If you buy from them, you’re helping raise funds and by raising awareness simply by wearing a t-shirt! What you wear can be a conversation starter.
Here are a few of my favourites:

pangolin bead necklace

gcf pango-pin

6. Start them young

Get your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews excited about pangolins. Share pangolin facts, colour pangolins or try your hand at some pangolin crafts. Create your own pangolin art or design a poster about pangolins – featuring crazy facts or the issues surrounding the illegal wildlife trade.
Here are my pangolin colouring and craft pages.

Pangolin mom and pangopup colouring page

peeping pangolin

7. Follow Pipisin Pangolin on Instagram

Self-promotion but Pipisin is trying his best to raise awareness of pangolins. He is currently a mascot for WWF and TRAFFIC in China and would love to be friends with you too.
Pipisin Pangolin’s instagram

Pipisin instagram

8. Join a World Pangolin Day event

The ninth World Pangolin Day is on Saturday 15 February.
There may be events here you but if there isn’t, why not hold your own pangolin party.

9. Write to your political representative

Tell them about pangolins and ask them what your government is doing to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. Politicians represent us, the people, but it they don’t know what we care about then they might not take action.
If you see pangolins for sale in markets, restaurants or online, report it to the authorities.

10. Share

Share your love and concern for pangolins on social media. Post pictures of your World Pangolin Day celebrations; your artwork or cakes, or a selfie wearing pangolin t-shirt.

Share with your favourite celebrity or influencer, tell them about pangolins and perhaps they’ll support the conservation of these special animals too.

Use #WorldPangolinDay #Pangolin #ScalingUpPangolinConservation

pangolin release by Save Vietnam's Wildlife
Two of the lucky ones – rescued and released back into the wild where they belong by Save Vietnam’s Wildlife



Book cover of It's Not My Fault
Buy my book: a pocket-sized companion for when you feel like a pangolin and want to roll up into a ball.

Ambassador Pipisin

Pipisin in Beijing

In 2018, Pipisin Pangolin was invited to become an ambassador for WWF and TRAFFIC China. He jumped at the chance to help with their campaign to reduce the demand for pangolins and other illegal wildlife products.

Pangolins have the unenviable title of the most illegally traded wild mammals on the planet.  It is estimated that more than a million have been snatched from the wild in the past decade. They are poached for their meat which ends up in eaten as a expensive dish and their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine (even though they are made of keratin like our fingernails).

Since becoming Ambassador, Pipisin has attended lots of events and made lots of new friends.

Pipisin Pangolin






Add a pangolin to your Christmas tree

Super easy to make pangolin bauble for your Christmas tree.

Pangolin bauble

Print out the pdf onto paper or card. I printed onto paper, then stuck it onto some card packaging (a fish finger box!). Colour in and cut out the shapes.


Glue some card spaces onto the back of each shape, then glue the shapes on top of each other.


Click on the image below to open the pdf for printing:

Pipisin Pangolin bauble 2018


Try these other Christmas pangolin crafts.

Pangolin bauble
Pangolin Christmas bauble


Pop-up Christmas card
Pop-up pangolin Christmas card


Easy pangolin baublesPangolin Christmas baubles