Photo of gingernut biscuits

Mrs Barnard’s Gingernuts Recipe (and updated version)

22 May 2014
Mrs Barnard’s original recipe made a LOT of biscuits for the troops. We halved the quantities and still produced between 60 and 100 biscuits!

Read the story about Mrs Barnard’s Anzac gingernuts here.

Gingernut dough, divided and ready for rolling and baking.

Mrs Barnard’s original recipe ingredients

Plain flour – 2 ¼ lb

Butter – ½ lb

Light brown sugar – 1 lb

Ground ginger – 1 oz

Golden syrup – 2 lb

Halved recipe (Metric)

Plain flour – 510g

Butter – 110g

Light brown sugar – 225g

Ground ginger – 15g

Golden syrup – 454g

Halved recipe (by volume)

Plain flour – 3 ½ cups

Butter – ½ cup

Light brown sugar – 1 ½ cups

Ground ginger – 2 ½ tablespoons

Golden syrup – 2 cups


  • If you want to avoid the need to measure out golden syrup (and getting your scales sticky) you can buy it in 500g bottles or small 454g (1lb) tins. The small tins are available in the British section of most supermarkets. However, the Chelsea Sugar website says their syrup in 1kg tins is darker and richer than both the bottled and British golden syrups.
  • If you want a hard, ‘dunking’ gingernut biscuit that could withstand a boat trip to Gallipoli or the Western Front, bake for 15 minutes.
  • For a chewier result, reduce baking time to about 10 minutes.
  • Mrs Barnard’s biscuits were ‘about the size of a shilling’. The New Zealand shilling was 2.3cms in diameter, similar to the current $1 coin. We made some this size and some the more standard biscuit dimensions. Both were delicious.
Gingernut biscuits in an old army kit bag


Mrs Barnard: Rub all the dry ingredients together with the butter. Mix with the golden syrup made warm (not hot) and mix into a firm dough. Cut the dough into slices, then strips, then small sections about 1 inch in size. The biscuits should be about the size of a shilling.

Camilla: Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine the flour, sugar and ginger in a big bowl. Soften the butter, then mix it with the dry ingredients (like making crumble topping). Warm the golden syrup in a pan, then mix this in with everything else. It’s easiest to use your hands for that part. Make the dough into little balls and place them on the baking tray. Press flat with the back of a spoon. Bake for 15 mins.

Sarah: Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease baking trays. Combine the flour, sugar and ginger in a big bowl. Melt the golden syrup and butter together over a low heat on the stove, then mix this in with dry ingredients to make a firm dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench. Divide the dough into six portions and roll each on the bench into a long, thin sausage. Keep your hands floured.

Cut small, marble-sized sections of dough off and roll briefly in your hands and place them on the baking tray. Press flat with your hand. (They hardly spread at all during baking, so can be placed fairly close together on the tray.) Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the tray with a spatula and cool on a rack.