The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

English Gingerbread

Paddyscake's picture

English Gingerbread

A co-worker is engaged to a Brit and she is very fond of a Gingerbread
they have there. To have it shipped here is quite expensive and with further
research she found a recipe. It calls for some ingredients we're not familiar
with : muscovado sugar and golden syrup.
Is the golden syrup like light corn syrup?
Thanks all

Teresa_in_nc's picture

You can probably find both the muscovado sugar and Lyle's Golden Syrup from a US supplier online. The viscosity of Lyle's and light corn syrup may be similar, but I am sure the taste of the gingerbread would not be the same.

I'm not sure if muscovado sugar and turbinado sugar are the same or similar, but it might be okay to subsitute one for the other. Maybe someone else knows the answer to this?

qahtan's picture

You have a dominant flavour of ginger and I expect there is some molasses in it, also a strong flavour, one would not miss the sugar being other than Muscavardo. It's just that that is the "best" brown
sugar in UK.......and yes you could use corn syrup instead of the golden syrup.
Ginger bread is very easy to make, but is also best made a few days before required to blend and mature the flavours......qahtan

helend's picture

oh boy have you opened a can of worms - there are more recipes for gingerbread than you can shake a stick at not to mention the really heated debate we had at work the other day about gingerbread and parkin, with or without oats, black treacle, brown sugar etc

As a brit I have my own recipe which includes crytallised stem ginger and no black treacle but more golden syrup and it needs to be kept for at least 2 days before being cut. Enjoy!


8 oz white plain flour
pinch salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tbs ground ginger (yes tablespoons!)
2 tsp mixed spice
1 oz medium oatmeal
5 oz raisins
3 oz preserved stem ginger
7 oz golden syrup
6 oz butter
4 oz dark brown/dark muscovado sugar
7 fl oz milk
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 130c and grease/line 8/9" square tin.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Chop the stem ginger finely and add to the bowl with the oatmeal and raisins.

Heat the syrup, butter, sugar and milk until just melted then leave to cool slightly.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and break in the two eggs. Break up the yolks and then stir in the cooled syrup mix. Beat well with a wooden spoon to combine.

Pour batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes until well risen and firm.

Allow to cool slightly then lift out of tin and wrap (still in greaseproof paper) in foil. For two days to develop "sticky"

Leave to cool completely befor cutting in half and then in slices.

expatCanuck's picture

Folks -

Greetings.  A couple of ingredient questions.

'mixed spice' - is that what this Canadian might also refer to as allspice?
(and if not, what is it?)

'medium oatmeal' - does this refer to ground oats (not unlike flour), as opposed to 'rolled oats'? (which are ofter referred to as oatmeal on this side of the pond)

Thanks kindly.

- Richard

helend's picture

I know I have looked all these up before when wanting to use recipes from around the world

the following sites give some answers ...

on treacles etc

on sugars under products unrefined

qahtan's picture

I like Parkin better than gingerbread......
but being a Brit I will take gingerbread at a pinch... :-))) qahtan

Paddyscake's picture

Just a couple more questions, if I may.
What is preserved stem ginger? I'm familiar with pickled ginger,
as for sushi. Crystalized ginger and of course fresh ginger.

Could you please describe Parkin?

helend's picture

Preserved stem ginger is the same as crystallised or comes in sugar syrup - I make my own.

I'll leave Qahtan to describe Parkin - I'm a west country girl :-)

Teresa_in_nc's picture

The recipe I use for Parkin has oatmeal in it - is that more or less traditional?

Growing up in the American South, we had gingerbread a lot and always with warm lemon sauce. It has ground ginger, molasses, and maybe brown sugar in it and probably doesn't bear too much resemblance to English gingerbread, but we still love it.

qahtan's picture

Yes Parkin has fine oatmeal in it. some where I have a good recipe fore it if you would like it......

HelenD where in the west country are you from.. I lived in East Budleigh, near Exmouth for a while.. well it's not really near Exmouth but that's probably the biggest place near it. qahtan;-)))

qahtan's picture

Traditional Oatmeal Parkin

Real oatmeal parkin is unbeatable, but do make sure you leave it at least a week before eating – that way it will become much more moist and sticky than when it was first cooked. Originally it was kept in proper wooden parkin boxes, but nowadays a tin will do instead.

8 oz (225 g) medium oatmeal

4 oz (110 g) self-raising flour

a pinch of salt

7 oz (200 g) dark syrup or golden syrup

1 oz (25 g) black treacle, plus 1 teaspoon

4 oz (110 g) margarine

4 oz (110 g) soft brown sugar

2 level teaspoons ground ginger

1 large egg, beaten

1 tablespoon milk

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C).

You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake tin, lightly greased.

First weigh a saucepan on the scales, and weigh the syrup and treacle into it. Then add the margarine and the sugar to the saucepan and place it over a gentle heat until the margarine has melted down – don't go away and leave it unattended, because for this you don't want it to boil.

Meanwhile, measure the oatmeal, flour and ginger into a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt, then gradually stir in the warmed syrup mixture till the mixture is all thoroughly blended. Next add the beaten egg, and lastly the milk. Now pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 1¾-2 hours. Then cool the parkin in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out. Don't worry too much if the parkin sinks slightly in the middle – it sometimes happens in Yorkshire too, I'm told.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith's Book of Cakes.

Paddyscake's picture

Thanks for all your help! I can't wait to try the Gingerbread
and the Parkin recipes! do you make the warm lemon sauce?

helend's picture

Qahtan I was brought up in South Gloucestershire - so a bit higher up, my Dad is from the Forest of Dean a bit more west but my parents have just brought a new place in Exmouth and I have a fair idea of where East Budleigh is although I don't know it well.

I am marooned in the Midlands now so make things that remind me of home - do you know lardy cake?

Your parkin recipe looks good - does anybody else have to hide cakes that should be kept too?

qahtan's picture

Wow what a small world. The last time I was in Exmouth was about
10 years ago.... A friend lived in St Andrews Rd.
I have lived in Canada over 40 years but I still cook very British.
It is a very nice Parkin and it is better to hide it away for a while.qahtan ;-)))