Ginger Shortbread

This recipe is from volume 3 of the Good Housekeeping Cooking Compendium (Waverly, 1955), Picture Cake Making from the Small Fancy Cakes section, which also, completely unpredictably, includes macaroons, several variations of  profiteroles and these.

Ginger Shortbread

6oz flour
2 oz castor sugar
½ – 1tsp ground ginger
4oz butter
1oz chopped crystallised ginger

Put dry ingredients into a bowl and rub in fat until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add chopped ginger, knead mixture until smooth and then pack into a sandwich tin. Crimp edges, mark top into triangles and prick with a fork. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) until golden and firm  – about 1 hour. Do not remove from tin till cool.


  • This recipe uses a very large amount of butter, which started melting as the dough was coming together and made it seem almost pastry-like.
  • 1oz didn’t seem to be very much ginger – I chopped it into pieces the size of long rice grains
  • After baking, the triangles I had marked had almost vanished, so while it was still warm, I re-scored them with a knife.


ginger shortbread

Although the worst sin of shortbread is that it is  dry and hard, I can’t help think there might be a little too much butter in this recipe. The shortbread are very creamy-tasting which doesn’t quite blend with the citrus notes in the ginger. Really, however, I’m quibbling. This had an amazing texture and perhaps if I had added a little less ground ginger (I went for the maximum teaspoon), the flavour might have been more mellow. I would make again but add some warmer notes to the flavour – like vanilla extract or dark chocolate chips.

Shorted by Elly


Comments are closed.