November 12, 2016


ginger traybake

It was Nick’s birthday the other day and I was just dying to bake a cake.  Any excuse.  Unfortunately he’s a bit fussy when it comes to cake and has definite likes and dislikes, which can narrow my choice somewhat.  Ginger cake is one of his few favourites.

So I spent ages leafing through my embarrassingly huge collection of recipe books to find the perfect ginger cake but most recipes were either too fussy and complicated for a man that just likes a simple ginger cake, or they were of the gingerbread variety that should have been made days before to enable the stickiness and flavours to develop.

ginger traybake2

With an enormous pile of books on the bedside table as I sipped my morning tea (retirement, I can recommend it heartily), I settled on a recipe in the gorgeous book, “Simply baking” by Sybil Kapoor.  This book is stuffed full of well tried and tested recipes from various kitchens of the National Trust and I really can’t understand why I hadn’t noticed this one before.

ginger traybake3

It’s described as a fusion of gingerbread, parkin and flapjack and I would say that’s very accurate.  It had the treacly gingeryness of gingerbread, the oatyness of parkin and the chewyness of flapjack.  Truly a match made in heaven and an absolute hit with Nick who thought he’d died and gone to heaven. Highly praised and very highly recommended.

In fact, it beat the Bonfire Night Parkin that I made for a large gathering last weekend well into second place.  The recipe I used for that was traditional but the end result was nowhere near as nice as this.

You can see this recipe and photo as it is in the book on a website here.


150 ml milk (I used semi-skimmed as that’s what we have)

40g black treacle

80g salted butter

55g plain flour

1½ tsp ground ginger (Nick reports that this is plenty)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp bicarb

115g light muscovado sugar

40g dark muscovado sugar

100g porridge oats


In a small saucepan, put the treacle, butter and milk and heat gently until the butter is melted, stirring every so often.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Grease and line a traybake tin that measures roughly 18 x 28 cm.  Preheat the oven to 150°fan / gas mk 2½.

Sift the flour, bicarb and spices into a large bowl.  Add the oats and sugar and mix well.  Add the treacle mixture and mix again to combine thoroughly.

Pour into the tin and bake for 45 minutes.  Cool in the tin.

Cuts into 8-12 slices, depending on how small or large you like your slices.


  1. I've got this book and never made anything from it! I know I should look through it again. I think it is a case of so many cookbooks but so little time!

    1. Ness, a rather delicious position to be in, n'est-ce pas?

  2. That's my kind of ginger cake. Lovely. I've a number of SK's books and they always seem reliable but I don't have that one. I'll look out for it (if I can find some shelf space).

    1. Phil, I got mine in one of those remainder book shops, where it was reduced to only £5. I have also seen one in a charity shop, although this is one of those books that I can't imagine why anyone throw it out.

  3. This sounds like my kinda cake. I'll bookmark this to make later.

    1. Susan, this is definitely your kind of cake I think.
      Let me know if you need extra supplies of black treacle.