Grasmere Gingerbread

It’s actually sunny outside.

Sunny! On a Bank Holiday weekend!

All this sunshine has started me thinking about summer holidays.

Even though we all know that the minute the schools break up for the summer, the storm clouds will gather and Britain will disappear behind grey and wet mist and murg.

But, hope springs eternal.

And this year we are staying in Britain and heading to the Lake District.

And so I started thinking about the Lakes, and Cumbria, and Grasmere.

And Grasmere Gingerbread.

Which is unlike any other Gingerbread in the world.


If you have never tried it, it’s quite difficult to describe.

Thin and crispy and chewy and not quite a biscuit and not quite a cake. Sort of flapjacky and possibly a bit treacle-tarty. Sweet with a lot of fire.

The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but you can order the authentic gingerbread online from the Grasmere Gingerbread shop.

Or turn up at St Oswalds Church in Grasmere on the Saturday nearest St Oswald’s day in August when the gingerbread is given out after the rushbearing ceremony.

Or you can have a bash at making it yourself.

There are loads of attempts at the recipe out there. It seems like everyone from Jackie Kearney to Jamie Oliver has had a go.

So here’s mine.

You will need

125g plain flour mixed with 125g fine oatmeal.

Add 5 tsp (yes you did read that right) of ginger and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda. Mix well.


Melt 150g of butter and add it to the dry mixture until well combined.


Stir in 175g brown sugar

Then stir in 1 tbsp of golden syrup.

Or, if like me you discover that the tin of golden syrup you knew was lurking in the back of the pantry was actually a complete figment of your imagination, then add whatever gloopy syrup type substance you actually do have in the pantry. (In my case 1 tbsp treacle and then 1 tbsp maple syrup because the mix had gone a very scary colour).

Mix well.


Line a shallow baking tray with grease proof paper.

Pour the mix into the tray, even it out and flatten with the back of your spoon. Don’t make it too thick – this should have more of a biscuit depth to it.


Bake at 180C for about half an hour.

Cut into squares once it’s cooled down a bit but before it’s gone completely cold.


Munch contentedly



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