A Bake in the Life: Gingerbread Traybake

This gingerbread traybake is definitely a childhood favourite of mine! My mum would bake it a lot especially around autumn and winter time, so the smell of it baking always reminds me of Christmas. Another one of my favourite gingerbread recipes is for Gingerbread Muffins, however the consistency of the batter is much thinner resulting in a lighter more syrupy muffin. In comparison, this recipe is more of a traditional gingerbread, dark brown, treacly and spotted with pieces of crystallised ginger which works well with sweet icing drizzled on top – delicious and very moreish! 🙂

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Gingerbread Traybake

You will need:

For the cake

10 oz/275g Golden Syrup

10 oz/275g Black Treacle

8 oz/225g Light Brown Sugar

8 oz/225g Butter/Margarine

1 lb/450g Self Raising Flour

2 tsp Mixed Spice

2 tsp Ground Ginger

2 oz/50g Crystallised Ginger Pieces

4 Eggs

1 tbsps Milk

For the icing

8 oz/225g Icing Sugar

2 tbsps Water

2 oz/50g Crystallised Ginger Pieces to decorate

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat your oven to 160ºC/Gas Mark 3/325ºF. Grease and line a 12 x 9 in (30 x 23 cm) roasting tin with grease proof/ baking paper (This recipe does make quite a large traybake, so if you want to make a smaller cake I would half the recipe to start with and see how much batter it takes to fill your desired tin).
  • Measure the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter/margarine into a large saucepan and heat gently until melted together (Be sure to heat the ingredients slowly, or allow to cool once melted to prevent a lumpy batter).

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  • Sift together the flour and spices into a large mixing bowl, pour the cooled wet mixture into the bowl and add the crystallised ginger pieces.

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  • Beat together the eggs and milk in a mixing jug before combining with the batter and beating until smooth and lump free (I decided to use an electric hand mixer to ensure a very smooth batter).
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake in your pre heated oven for 45-50 minutes until well risen and a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the traybake.

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  • Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out and continuing to cool on a wire rack.
  • Prepare the icing by shifting the icing sugar into a bowl and adding water a tbsp at a time until smooth but not so runny that it just runs off the edge of the cake.

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  • Once the traybake is cool spoon the icing over the top, sprinkle with crystallised ginger pieces to decorate and leave to set.
  • You are all done 🙂

I love this gingerbread so much I could eat the whole traybake! The combination of treacle, mixed spice and ground ginger baking in the oven always smells amazing. The final gingerbread is dark brown in colour, sticky on top and has a delicious spiced flavour that tastes good with vanilla ice cream 🙂 You can of course leave it plain, but I decided to top the traybake with plain icing sprinkled with crystallised ginger pieces which I think looks great and gives an extra sweet ginger flavour. Try not to be too put off by the rather excessive amounts of golden syrup and treacle in this recipe, it really is worth it for the amazing taste of this gingerbread – definitely try it out!

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A Bake in the Life…

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A Bake in the Life: Gingerbread Muffins

In the lab it has become almost a daily occurrence for me and another one of the postgraduate students to bring in our favourite homemade cakes and sweets to share with everyone. It is a really good way to get feedback on recipes I am trialing out and as our labs are full of people who pretty much live on coffee and cake it keeps everyone happy! After some discussion we decided that maybe we should have a weekly baking theme to encourage us to try out new recipes and share some of our old favourites. This week’s theme is… ginger 🙂

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I love ginger but I rarely use it in baking, so this was a great excuse to search out new ginger based recipes and make one of my all time favourite ginger bakes – Gingerbread Muffins. During my second year at university I spent a lot of time trying out different recipes in order to find the perfect gingerbread muffin recipe. As soon as I baked and tasted these muffins they became my absolute favourite and now I wouldn’t dream of making any others!

Gingerbread Muffins

You will need:

8½ Fl oz/250ml Boiling Water

12 oz/340g Golden Syrup

1 tsps Bicarbonate of Soda

4 Fl oz/125ml Oil

2 Eggs

8 oz/226g Caster Sugar

10 oz/284g Plain Flour

1 tsps Baking Powder

1 tbps Ground Ginger

1 oz/28g Crystallised Ginger Pieces

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tray with paper cases.
  • In a large bowl whisk together boiling water, golden syrup, bicarbonate of soda, oil, eggs and caster sugar (It won’t look the most appetising cake batter at this point, but don’t worry it is these wet ingredients that make the muffins so moist and sticky).

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  • In another bowl, sift together the plain flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger.

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  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat together until smooth.
  • Distribute the mixture evenly among the muffin cases (I usually spoon the mixture into a measuring jug first then pour it into the cases – it makes it much less messy!).
  • Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a few pieces of crystallised ginger (I leave this until just before I put the muffins in the oven to prevent the pieces from all sinking to the bottom of the muffin. You can also try coating the pieces in icing sugar to help stop this happening).

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  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
  • Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.
  • You are all done! 🙂

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As I expected these muffins were a real winner with everyone who tried one! The addition of the golden syrup gives them a delicious moist and sticky texture, while the use of both ground and crystallised ginger gives an interesting mixture of different ginger tastes. The recipe is really simple to follow and it only takes around 30-40 minutes until your muffins are ready to enjoy. If you like you can top these muffins with an icing of your choice (I really like lime as the tartness adds a nice contrast to the sweet muffin), sifted icing sugar or just keep them plain 🙂

A Bake in the Life…