Pink Carnation Cookery: June Ginger Biscuits

Here’s a little secret for you: the modern hero of That Summer, Nicholas Dorrington, enjoys ginger biscuits just as much as his Regency predecessor, Miles.

In honor of Dorringtons past and present, the amazing Christine has presented us with a recipe for… ginger biscuits. Let the Dorrington munching begin!

And now over to Christine….

In June, we welcome That Summer into the publishing world, and the return of the Dorringtons. What would be better than a recipe for ginger biscuits? I wanted to make this as authentic as possible (sorry, Food Network) so I looked for recipes on British sites or British blogs.

I ran into a problem, aside from having to convert all the measurements and trying to decipher oven settings I had never heard of, some of the recipes called for ingredients I wasn’t particularly familiar with. Many of them used self-rising flour, which I’ve never used. Most websites said this is just regular flour with baking powder, and that you should never, ever add another leavening agent to the mix. Some recipes called for both self-rising flour and baking powder or baking soda. Many, but not all, recipes also called for golden syrup. My Internet research revealed that this is an ingredient common in the UK, but not so common in the US, particularly if you don’t live in a big city. I’ve found that many times, in baking and cooking, I need to find several recipes for a dish then play around with them to find what works best for me, so that’s what I did here. The basic proportions for flour, butter, sugar and egg were consistent, so I just went with it. I suspect many of you won’t be able to find golden syrup so I did without, but if you do, I’d love to know how it turns out! (6-8 tablespoons is what a lot of the recipes called for)

The recipe below is a combination of those found on BBC Good Food, Larder Love, and Busy Butterfingers.

1. 4 tablespoons of butter
2. 1 egg
3. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4. 1 cup sugar
5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
6. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
7. Optional for topping: 3/4 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Melt the butter.
3. Add in the 1 cup of sugar then allow the mixture to cool.
4. Mix together the flour, baking powder and ground ginger.
5. Add in the butter/sugar mixture.
6. Add the egg.
7. Form into balls and line on baking tray.
8. Optional topping: mix 3/4 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp ground ginger and sprinkle on top.
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

I really wanted to top the cookies with some candied ginger, but I couldn’t find a container that was smaller than what I would call ginormous, so I went with the sugar/ginger mixture instead.

The cookies turned out pale, as I suspected they would without the golden syrup. They didn’t have that delightful brown color you would expect. Some websites claim there is no true substitute for golden syrup, while others offer “make your own” recipes. It’s a pure cane syrup that’s supposed to add a buttery flavor. I think the syrup definitely would have boosted the flavor, but the cookies still had a great ginger flavor, especially with the kick of sugar and ginger on top. If I’m ever in the UK, I will have to bring home a bottle of golden syrup and give this another shot.

What do you think? Have you cooked with golden syrup before? And what’s your favorite ginger cookie recipe?

I’ll post my favorite (American) ones here next week– for Eloise to cook for Colin, of course.


  1. Christine on June 26, 2014 at 8:08 am

    What did I accidentally find in the grocery store just last week? Lyle’s Golden Syrup. *face palm* Oh well. I still wanted to see how it turned out without the syrup, but now I know where to get it if I ever try again.

    • Lauren on June 26, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Murphy’s Law!

  2. Laurie Canady on June 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Lyles is also available at whole foods and world market. Molasses is dark treacle so it stands to reason that if you can find a light or golden molasses it could be used.

  3. Tricia on June 26, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I live in NW Washington and haven’t even able to find golden syrup here. But when I went north of the border, I found it there. So I bought some, having seen recipes that needed it. I’ll have to try this one!

  4. Shauna Griffis on June 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    We found golden syrup at World Market and made a batch tonight. So yummy! Like a golden brown ginger snap cookie.

    • Christine on June 26, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Yay! That makes me excited. I’ll definitely have to get some and try again. (also makes me happy that people are trying these recipes!)

  5. Lynne on June 26, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    This recipe sounds absolutely terrific but Christine hasn’t told us how many her recipe makes. I’d love to know….anyone try it yet?

    • Christine on June 27, 2014 at 8:45 am

      That’s an excellent question. I think it was something like 15-20. I don’t remember the exact number but the recipes I used said about 20 each and I remember it was in that neighborhood.

      • Lynne on June 27, 2014 at 11:31 pm

        Thanks, Christine…I’m going to give them a try! I’m a great lover of ginger snaps so these ought to be just as yummy!

  6. Celine on June 27, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I am not a fan of ginger as a rule, but I really could make an exception for ginger cookies, just because!!! 🙂

  7. Paige on June 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, Christine! I am looking forward to trying it. I love ginger cookies. I even love the little ones that you can buy at Trader Joe’s. It will be interesting to see if I can find golden syrup around here.

    • Christine on June 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      You’re welcome!

  8. Jenny on June 27, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    I often find golden syrup in the international aisle at Meijer, if that is helpful for anyone in their search. I was surprised to find it there the first time, as I assumed I would have to go to World Market or a specialty store.

    I’m looking forward to trying the recipe! I love everything ginger…

  9. Jessica C on June 28, 2014 at 1:50 am

    These look lovely! Honey would work ok as a substitute for the golden syrup as it is a similar consistency, though golden syrup has a different flavour. Treacle might work but I’m not sure as I’ve never really used treacle in cooking. Golden syrup is pretty common here in Australia – used in ANZAC biscuits and a stable in traditional bush cooking – few things beat golden syrup on top of hot damper fresh from the camp fire.

    • Suzanne on June 30, 2014 at 12:38 am

      I am in Australia too and I can’t imagine a life without golden syrup. Golden syrup and butter on pancakes is to die for. I am amazed that CSR, our big sugar producer here, hasn’t tried to tap into the US market.

      If you get really stuck and can’t find golden syrup maple syrup could be substituted at a pinch. It has a slightly different flavour but a similar consistency.

      Self-raising flour is basically plain flour with baking powder mixed in it. To make it add 2 level teaspoons of baking powder to each cup (150gms) of plain flour.

      The baking soda referred to in UK recipes is bicarbonate soda. I hope this helps.

      • Suzanne on June 30, 2014 at 12:47 am

        I forgot to add that sometimes in UK recipes you may see self-raising flour as well as baking powder. This is because some recipes, such as muffins, need a bit more whoosh than you will get from the amount of baking powder that is already in the self-raising flour.

        If a recipe says just flour then they mean plain flour. If they mean self-raising flour they will specifically say so.

        • Suzanne on June 30, 2014 at 1:06 am


          I keep thinking of things during the afternoon!! In the UK they use Celsius for their oven temperatures now, but in the past they used several measurements which must seem very strange to you in the US, such as moderate oven, hot oven etc., or gas mark 1-9.

          If you are able to get my email address from this website I have several British cookbooks with conversion charts that I can scan and send to you. Or otherwise, if you get stuck just put a with a British recipe just post a comment and I will look it up.

          • Christine on June 30, 2014 at 10:14 am

            Thanks! This was my first time trying a “foreign” recipe, so it was a little interesting, especially since I couldn’t find real clarification on why they said certain things, and why there were inconsistencies.

  10. Aleen Davis on June 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    For those who order online I found some on Amazon There aren’t any specialty stores where I live (just a Walmart) so sometimes I have to order items. I love ginger cookies 🙂

  11. jeffrey on June 29, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I’m going to try making these since I am a die-hard ‘foodie’ who loves to cook and bake. I wonder what substituting very finely minced fresh ginger root for ground ginger would taste like? I’m going to find out for sure…full speed ahead. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Suzanne on June 30, 2014 at 8:26 am


      In one of Nigella Lawson’s books she has a recipe for gingerbread using real ginger instead of dried. Gingerbread in Britain meaning a ginger cake rather than the more shortbread like gingerbread you have in the US. I made it and it was lovely. It had a very different flavour to dried ginger, not as Christmassy, fresher and more spritely.

  12. […] please do! I’ll do a biscuit recipe round-up on the website later this month, including the one contributed by Christine for her Pink Carnation Cookery series last […]

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