GINGERBREAD dates back to the ancient Greeks.

Mostly used for medicinal purposes, gingerbread men and gingerbread biscuits have been around for centuries.

The version that I have given you the for today’s recipe originally came from America, when George Washington’s wife served it to a French aristocrat.

You do need to have a little patience as it is cake that needs to develop its flavours.

Gingerbread was traditionally served as a bread; it was thinly sliced and buttered.

It does taste best after being wrapped in layers of greaseproof paper and foil for a few days.

Happy Baking!



175g (6oz) black treacle.

175g (6oz) golden syrup.

175g (6oz) dark brown muscovado sugar.

175g (6oz) butter.

350g (12oz) plain flour.

Three-quarters of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.

1 tablespoon of ground ginger.

1 teaspoon mixed spice.

150ml (1/4 pint) milk.

1 beaten egg.

4 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped.


1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C / 320F / gas mark 3.

2. Grease and line a 20cm (8-inch) deep square cake tin.

3. Place the treacle, syrup, sugar and butter in a pan. Heat very gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Take off the heat.

4. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and mixed spice. Make a well in the centre.

5. Pour the milk into the sugar mixture when cool, the temperature should be tepid. Don’t be tempted to use while hot.

6. Gradually pour the syrup mixture into the well in the centre of the flour, along with the egg and chopped ginger. Beat with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth, shiny batter with a delicious spicy smell.

7. Pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin and bake for between one hour and an hour-and-a-quarter until well risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

8. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for at least one hour before removing the paper and cooling on a wire rack.

9. When completely cool, wrap in fresh greaseproof and tin foil. Store in an airtight container for at least two days before eating. This helps the cake to moisten and take on its classic chewy texture.

I made the Gingerbread in a square tin so it can be cooked and sliced into fingers, ideal for packed lunches.