Ginger Crunch

ground ginger

Origins of recipes are often funny and some of the stories are doozies. Many are found in more traditional places, like handed over from friends and relatives, some are found in cookbooks, and others are our own creations. Then there are those that come from who-knows-where, such as the one I found on a men’s room wall.

And then there’s this one, which got handed to me during a book event and meet-up that I had in Paris when a lovely woman from New Zealand gave me a tube of Vegemite, along with a photocopy of the recipe, saying it was amazing. (Interesting that she said the recipe was amazing, but when she gave me the Vegemite, she only followed that with a hearty chuckle.)

ginger slice recipe ingredients

At the time I thanked her and put it in my bag, then it was transferred to my kitchen counter where it rested amongst a pile of papers that is optimistically called “recipes to try.” It languished there for, oh, maybe eight months, until I picked it up and gathered all the ingredients to make it. Then I promptly put them in the pan and placed them in a corner, where they languished together for another few months. Until I finally decided it was time to try it.

ginger slice dough

When I was in Australia, I was delighted by all the “slices” on offer, which are available at coffee shops and bakeries, such as caramel crunch, and their distant relative, Lamingtons. This ginger crunch is pretty simple to put together, although reading through the recipe, I thought about dialing up the spices, which I’m sure folks in Australia and New Zealand would approve of because they seem to like their food highly seasoned – as do I. But then I tasted the slices and realized they were right on the mark.

To all the folks out there wondering what they can use in place of the golden syrup, I’m both happy and sorry to say, that there’s nothing else similar. The reason I’m sorry is that you have to hunt some down – many well-stocked grocers have it, or you can find it online. But I’m happy to say that you’ll be thrilled to have that little green-and-gold tin in your life because once you taste it, you’ll wonder how you lived without golden syrup in your life before.

pressing dough for ginger slice

The original recipe called for a 20 x 30 centimeter “Lamington” pan, which – as much as I like Lamingtons – I didn’t feel like ordering from New Zealand. (Which is probably the only time in my life that I couldn’t justify buying a new piece of bakeware.) So I used a rectangular French tart pan, because I live in France and I’m trying to support my local tart pan makers. You could use an 8-inch (20cm) square cake pan in its place.

When I first bit down on one, it was somewhat familiar, but it so different from any other kind of bar cookie I know of. The base is crumbly and crisp, with the characteristics of a good shortbread, but with a firmness and crunch that pairs beautifully with the buttery, spicy topping. The word “addictive” comes to mind. And if it wasn’t for the 30-hour plane ride, I’d be making plans to go to New Zealand to try more “slices.”

So to that lovely woman who brought the recipe all the way to me, a big thanks and I’m glad I finally got around to making it. You were right!


As for that tube of Vegemite? I’m getting around to that soon. Uh, I promise…

Ginger Crunch
Print Recipe
18 to 24 bar cookies
A little sleuthing revealed that the recipe I was given was perhaps from, or inspired by, the Ginger Crunch recipe from a cookbook produced Edmonds, a New Zealand company which produces baking powder. The Edmonds Cookery Book was first published in 1908. I used a 13- by 4-inch (34cm x 10cm) rectangular tart pan but one could use another pan of similar dimensions. Such as an 8-inch (20cm) square cake pan or a 20 x 30 centimeter rectangular pan, which the original recipe called for. If using a cake pan, one neat trick is to line the bottom with a wide piece of foil leaving an overhang over the sides of the pan, then smoothing the sides and buttering the inside. Once the bars are finished, you should be able to lift the foil (and the bars) from the pan easily. The dough may take a bit of coaxing to bring it together. If necessary, dampen your hands and knead the dough until it comes together. (It doesn’t need to be perfect.) Transfer the dough to the pan and use the heel of your hand to press it evenly into the bottom. Even if you think it looks goofy when patting it down, it will bake up nice and flaky.
2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons, 75g) butter, salted or unsalted
2 tablespoons golden syrup (see Note)
3/4 cup (90g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon ground dried ginger
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC.) Butter a 13-inch rectangular tart pan or another pan (see headnote.)
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand in a large bowl, make the cookie base by creaming the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger.
3. Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture until well-combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead it until the dough is relatively smooth.
(If necessary, dampen your hands to add a bit of moisture to the dough, if it’s dry.)
4. Press the dough into the prepared pan and flatted the surface, then bake the dough for 20 minutes, until it’s light golden brown.
5. Five minutes before the dough is done, making the icing by heating the 2 1/2 ounces of butter and golden syrup in a small pan, then mix in the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon ginger, stirring until smooth.
6. When you take the pan out of the oven, pour the warm icing over the cookie base. Let sit for about 20 to 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and slice while still slightly warm.

Note: The only substitutions I could imagine that might work for this recipe might be honey, since it has the same viscosity to golden syrup. Rice syrup is another possibility. If you do try it with another liquid sweetener, please share your results in the comments.

Related Recipes

Fruitcake Bars


Chocolate-Caramel Slice (Rhid-Baked)

Date Bars

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Slice (Chocolate Suze)

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  • January 3, 2013 9:23am

    David, so thrilled you have brought this classic piece of Kiwi baking to a global audience. We call it Ginger Crunch and it’s found in every cafe, whether hipster or homely, across Aotearoa. The Edmonds Cookbook version is all well and good, but these days you’re more likely to find it with an extra-thick layer of icing, like this one:

    Bonne annee,


    • January 3, 2013 9:34am
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Lucy: Yes, I saw it’s referred to in the recipe as Ginger Crunch, but have seen bar cookies and cake-like confections such as this referred to as “slices.” (I saw one labeled as “Ginger Crunch Slice”!) I waffled on the title of the post and recipe (…as sharp-eyed folks can see from the URL and I did go back and forth) then settled back on “crunch” as I yield to you and the folks of New Zealand, who apparently have been keeping this recipe hidden from the rest of the world for so long ; )

  • Ryan
    January 3, 2013 9:31am

    You can actually make golden syrup aka invert no 1. at home. Warning there is some slight swearing on this brewing site.

  • Phread
    January 3, 2013 9:43am

    So nice to see a Kiwi recipe on your site. I had a wee laugh about the Golden Syrup, really it is an everyday item here. Now your Northern readers will know how we feel when we see a recipe with Light Corn Syrup (and there are many of them) as that item is virtually unavailable in New Zealand. Cheers to one and all for a bright New Year



  • Megan
    January 3, 2013 10:37am

    David, Referring back to your teriaki chicken post a few weels ago. The recipe says to cover the chicken and cook 6 minutes. Did you use the panini press cover that comes with the LeCreuset square grill pan or use a regular lid? Thanks.

  • January 3, 2013 10:52am

    If it weren’t midnight here, I’d be in my kitchen making these right now. I have all the ingredients, and I have a long tart pan that I have never used. They sound wonderful. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making them tomorrow, if I can get any sleep now that I’ll be thinking about them all night.

  • Jane
    January 3, 2013 11:00am

    Hi David

    Vegemite will keep for years so no need to worry about it going off. The best way to use it is on toast with butter. You only need to spread it thinly though.

    I’m sure some of your other Aussie readers will let you know other uses for our wonderful national product!


  • January 3, 2013 11:03am

    You had me at vegemite…
    If you don’t fancy eating it on toast with lots of butter (Mmmm!) my bf made a roast lamb rub with sea salt, cracked pepper, garlic, rosemary, olive oil and vegemite for our Christmas dinner. It was delicious, but then again, I am from Australia.
    Golden syrup is available at the E.Leclerc supermarket we shop at in the new So Ouest commercial centre. Although, Marks & Spencer is out there, too, which stock it, also.

  • Jo
    January 3, 2013 11:03am

    As for that poor tube of Vegemite indeed ☺. Vogel’s (grainy) toast, (thin, very thin) slick of Vegemite topped with … ginger marmalade or mashed banana or honey or tomatoes … best lunch on a home day. Seriously though, I don’t think I’d try this at home with a baguette. So now you have another reason to visit us: Vogel’s bread. Only in New Zealand!

  • January 3, 2013 11:23am
    David Lebovitz

    Phred + Lauren: I buy (and stock up on) golden syrup when I go to England because it’s so cheap there. Still, even when I’ve bought it in the US (or France), it’s really worth it because it adds that certain flavor that’s hard to replicate.

    Ryan: Thanks. That’s a pretty technical site/recipe, so I think I’ll keep buying mine – but good to know for others that might want to take a try at it.

    Megan: I didn’t know there was a panini cover for that pan (which I think I need to investigate…) – I just used a regular lid from another pan. But pressing down would give them nice grill marks.

  • January 3, 2013 1:46pm

    Another way to get rid of, I mean use, vegemite is with spaghetti.
    The vegemite aroma and flavour is subtle. Italians won’t approve though.

  • moo-moo
    January 3, 2013 1:48pm

    There is nothing greater in all existence than Vegemite with butter on white toast.

  • Riva
    January 3, 2013 2:21pm

    A recipe with this much ginger has to be good. Can’t wait to try it.

  • January 3, 2013 2:51pm

    Looks (and certainly smells) delicious! :)

  • January 3, 2013 3:43pm

    Vegemite thinly spread on buttered toast (I find white is best, but a sourdough is also great) is one of the best breakfasts ever.
    My mum sometimes adds a teaspoon of Vegemite to gravy for a bit of an umami hit. Fabulous.

  • Chocolat
    January 3, 2013 3:56pm

    Bonne année “Daveed”. Je vous ai vu a la télé ce matin 3 janvier sur NBC discutant sur les frites, français ou belge? En tout cas, c’était cool. Bonne journée.

  • Mariam
    January 3, 2013 4:12pm

    Oh this looks lovely, i’m Australian but have never heard of it, with my new food love for ginger flavoured biscuits (thanks to your gingersnaps recipe) I just might try it! As for the Vegemite, I’m not too keen on it however it does taste pretty good if you smother a lot of butter on your bread and the tiniest smudge of Vegemite!

    With e golden syrup, it makes me chuckle just a little that it’s something you guys have to seek out! It’s so cheap and readily available here! Guess that’s what it’s like for us seeing recipes with corn syrup! I just can’t imagine some things without it, mainly caramel slice!

  • Mariam
    January 3, 2013 4:13pm

    There is no way this would work with honey or rice syrup, in my opinion!

  • January 3, 2013 4:40pm

    Ha, right until I got to the recipe proper, I assumed it included Vegemite in it! (Marmite is better, by the way, but as a Brit I would say that! ;-)
    Looks delicious!
    Happy New Year, David!

  • January 3, 2013 4:47pm

    Here in San Diego, you can find Lyle’s Golden Syrup at Whole Foods, World Imports, and the UK Cornershoppe among other locations. It comes in a tin, a glass jar, OR a plastic container.
    Indispensable for pecan pie in my opinion. I use this recipe:

  • Emily
    January 3, 2013 4:57pm

    Random comment, I just caught you on the Today show! Cool little segment on les frites, also your kitchen looks awesome!

  • Cynna
    January 3, 2013 5:29pm

    Wow! I can’t wait to make these–anything with ginger makes my heart sing. Thank you for the recipe.
    I don’t have golden syrup in the pantry, but I’ll check my local stores. Would agave syrup possibly be a good substitute? I recently used it in place of honey in a recipe.

  • January 3, 2013 5:29pm

    What an intriguing recipe. Can’t wait to try it! Though like you it will probably be months by the time I actually do. Good luck with the Vegemite. I was so excited to finally try it when I went to Australia. I was even more excited when we made a morning pit stop to McDonald (don’t judge!) and found them languishing with the other condiments! Then I tried it with buttered toast…yuck!! Never again..

  • January 3, 2013 5:30pm

    I made the same assumption Kavey did and thought the biscuits would have Vegemite in them. Glad they don’t. Am off to my grocer’s to pick up a can of Lyle’s Golden Syrup so I can bake up a batch of non-Vegemite Ginger Biscuits.

  • Kissyfur
    January 3, 2013 5:34pm

    Ginger crunch is a childhood favourite…..only surpassed by a cafe in Wellington NZ which puts a generous layer of caramel between the base and the icing. Yay Fidels!!!! And you can use treacle instead of golden syrup, although that may be equally elusive?

  • Patricia
    January 3, 2013 5:35pm

    A recipe like this was in Gourmet (which I still sorely miss) maybe ten Christmas seasons ago. It was identified as Skibo Castle Ginger Crunch and David is right – addictive is the only word for it. I made to include in cookie tins for friends, but they got very little of this particular one. I’ve made it every year since, except for this one since I was traveling. Time to get out the Lyle’s.

  • January 3, 2013 5:37pm

    frites – francaises ou belges? Where can I see I clip of that interview?

    Belgian-born, but US-raised, I have always bristled at the term “French fries” … where do you stand on that issue, David?

  • January 3, 2013 5:38pm

    Hi David – I am so glad to see you are as big fan of Golden Syrup as I am – I love how it tastes buttery! This recipe looks intriguingly delicious and it is now on my optimistic list of recipes to try – Happy New Year!

  • Joanna Barouch
    January 3, 2013 5:41pm

    Caught your segment on NBC ch.4 NYC this morning. Looks like your gorgeous new kitchen was worth the agita. Congratulations on your more or less new digs. As for Golden Syrup, it can be found at Whole Foods.

  • January 3, 2013 5:45pm

    I have been making these for years – especially at Christmas. I add some finely chopped crystallized ginger to perk them up a little.

  • January 3, 2013 5:46pm

    My pal Isobel Tanaka shared her recipe of Ginger Crunch years ago and it was a huge go-to favorite until I made it one too many times. I like that hers has a big salt component for balance and spark. These days I (and all of my friends) have been in love with Alice Medrich’s ginger snaps but this post has sent me back to my lost days. Ginger crunch is looking to be made again.

    Isobel’s recipe for shortbread: 125g unsalted butter, 125g granulated sugar, 200g flour, 1 tsp powdered ginger, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt (or maybe I am the one that boosted the salt!!).

    icing: 56g unsalted butter, 75g powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp Lyle’s Golden Syrup, 2 tsp powdered ginger, 1/4 tsp salt

  • Laura
    January 3, 2013 5:47pm

    David–I love this recipe. I am gluten intolerant and will give it a whirl using a GF flour blend. I’m pretty certain the cookie base will come together very well.
    Here in Texas there is a bakery that makes a similar bar, but uses a butterscotch type topping (it may be the golden syrup; I’ve never asked them specifically). The bakery then covers that topping with chocolate, refrigerates the concoction, and slices it into bars. They put the dark, bitter chocolate on top and call the bar a Galaxy because it is out of this world!

    I think your cookie could add that as an adaptation. While the cookie does not need to be refrigerated completely, it holds them best until serving. The flavors emerge better when served at room temperature.

    • January 3, 2013 5:50pm
      David Lebovitz

      I think you could make these gluten-free relatively easily. I might suggest some corn flour (or very fine cornmeal) to get that “crunch” that makes them so tasty. Good luck..and enjoy!

    • Alex
      January 4, 2013 11:29am

      Hi Laura, that “galaxy” bar is called caramel slice downunder :)

  • Jennie
    January 3, 2013 5:51pm

    Hi David,

    Happy New YEar.

    A big thanks for the free Pastry shops in Paris app. It’s sitting on my IPad ready to be put to use the next time I am in Paris.

  • Sue from New Braunfels, Texas
    January 3, 2013 5:57pm

    I ordered Lyle’s golden Syrup from King Arthur Flour company as part of my Christmas gift to myself along with their Flori di Sicilia, which I have been wanting to try for a long time. Didn’t know why I ordered the Golden Syrup except it was featured in the new BBC series, Upstairs Downstairs. The cook told the Butler to get some while he was out because she was going to make a cake with it. So now I will make your Ginger Crunch. Thanks for inspiring me and thanks for bringing Paris to my inbox each week.

  • Lynn
    January 3, 2013 5:57pm

    Vegemite is like English Marmite, and there is nothing better when recovering from the collywobbles to have a scrape of it on thin toast. I grew up with Tate & Lyle’s Golden Syrup, and it was a forbidden after school treat to take a spoon and wind it around in the syrup to get a sugar rush. It is easily available here in southern California, and a stock item in my pantry.

  • carol
    January 3, 2013 5:58pm

    Looks wonderful. So this is just ground spice ginger in a jar nothing fancier.
    Did you ever try putting some crystallized ginger in the dough. I will make this tonight. I have an oval ceramic baker that might work for size and give it some curvy edges.
    Thanks for all your great recipes. Did I miss a photo tour of your kitchen somewhere, I’d love to see how the reno turned out. Do you ever visit Cambridge (MA) when you come to the East Coast.?

  • January 3, 2013 6:09pm

    i can confirm that these are sublime! i’ve made them with regular light corn syrup, and they were still delicious (though they lack some of the depth of flavour that lyle’s gives). lyle’s is definitely worth seeking out, but its absence isn’t a deal-breaker for me.

  • January 3, 2013 6:09pm

    Hi David – Happy 2013. Can I use Maple syrup?

  • January 3, 2013 6:19pm

    These sound lovely and I’ve got all the ingredients so if I break my resolution today it will be all your fault. :)

    BTW, in the US, or at least in Denver, I can find golden syrup at World Market.

  • Kristina
    January 3, 2013 6:21pm

    I can’t wait to try this! I love all things ginger, and it’s exciting that it came from the Edmonds Cookery Book. I’m from the States, but my family is from NZ, and when I moved out of my parents’ house for my first apartment, they handed me the well-worn Edmonds book that they brought with them from NZ in the 60s. There are some really great classic baking recipes there that I still make today. Can’t say I’ve tried the ginger slice, so I’m going to give this a go.

  • Kayla
    January 3, 2013 6:22pm

    I’m down for ginger anything – can’t wait to give it a go. As for the spread… I haven’t had Vegemite in ages, but I do enjoy – thinly spread – Marmite with peanut butter (don’t knock it until you’ve had it!), maybe you could give it a go?

  • Jane N
    January 3, 2013 6:30pm

    I have an old hand written recipe from my mother which she called Ginger Shortbread. I have just checked and it’s the same as this apart from having no baking powder in it. She died in 1988, so the recipe pre-dates this and could even go back to the 70’s. She often used Good Housekeeping recipes ( from the British magazine ) which is where I think she found it originally. I will make some soon now I have been reminded of it. Thanks for that….

  • Amy
    January 3, 2013 6:32pm

    I haven’t made these yet, but in other recipes I’ve substituted half molasses and half corn syrup for the golden syrup, with decent results.

    • Jena
      January 3, 2013 7:46pm

      That’s what I was thinking, though here in BC I can get golden syrup easily enough.

  • Pam
    January 3, 2013 6:33pm

    Yum! Will try. Btw saw you on the Today show
    this morning. Didn’t know you were a French fry expert as well…

  • simone
    January 3, 2013 6:52pm

    Vegemite is fantastic used in stocks and soups, especially vegetarian ones as it adds a great depth of flavor and backbone. This is the only use my American husband has ever had for Vegemite, and that’s ok because the idea of a PBJ sandwich turns my stomach as much as the idea of a vegemite sandwich does for my husband.

  • Rick
    January 3, 2013 6:53pm

    As a ginger myself, I am up for anything ginger so am salivating already. And yes, thanks for the aps and notices of readings. I forward them to friends in Paris and wish I could be there with you all.

  • mags
    January 3, 2013 6:57pm

    Hi David!

    Happy New Year! Happy Cooking! I love your articles; so interesting – also the recipes! I was delighted to see your tin of Tate and Lyle syrup on display – I’m from the U.K. which is where it originates (am now living in the USA) and it’s delish in anything from oatmeal to cookies; anyone can order it at British shops online – I’m lucky enough to have a shop quite nearby which stocks it in the international isle but it’s easy to get:)
    Thank you for your lovely and informative blog! I’ve been to Paris several times and never get tired of it – or of reading about your comments; some of which are really funny and true!

    Cheers! Mags x

  • CHN
    January 3, 2013 6:57pm

    That looks great. I found a recipe for ginger crunch (from Scotland/Ireland) elsewhere quite a while ago, I remember printing it out but I never got around to making it. Now it’s on the front burner once again, thank you. Same ingredients (with the addition of salt in the crust), but different proportions and made in a larger (9×13″) pan, so it would be much thinner. I suppose the recipe evolved differently “down under” and “up above.” I think some finely minced candied ginger might be nice in the topping, no? Would it burn? Lyle’s Golden Syrup is unique, I’ve used it in pecan pie instead of corn syrup, it really is something “other.”

  • Renée
    January 3, 2013 6:58pm

    David, I’m so happy to see you covering a kiwi classic. If you would like to explore Kiwi baking without the 30 hour flight, I highly reccomend the book “Ladies, a Plate” by Alexa Johnston. It’s a wonderful book and I was sorry to have to leave mine in NZ when I moved to the UK.

    Also, Johnston’s ginger crunch recipe is by far the best I have ever come across.

  • paula brand
    January 3, 2013 7:10pm

    hi david
    just saw you on NBC this morning on the today show!!
    all about the ‘french fries’ yum
    you were great!! perfecto!
    happy new year!

  • Eva
    January 3, 2013 7:15pm

    Vegemite is at its best on thick, crusty sourdough toast underneath some creamy avocado, sprinkle of black pepper, a squirt of lemon juice and some roasted pepitas, breakfast of kings!

  • Barbara Rosen
    January 3, 2013 7:17pm

    I bought Steen’s cane syrup (made in the US) because Laurie Colwin wrote about it and I think it is pretty close to Golden Syrup.

  • Sarahb1313
    January 3, 2013 7:32pm

    First, thanks for the app- just had a friend buy it prior to his honeymoon over the holidays! Great timing as I am coming in Sept. for a visit!

    Second, as a yank married to a Brit, I was terrified the recipe included the Vegemite… Thank goodness not! Definitely an acquired taste for those not raised on it! I cant even bear the smell…

    Third, though, this recipe is a must do!

    And by the way, I am making the coconut cake for my friends birthday this week…. Hope you enjoy knowing someone is getting it for their birthday cake!!

  • JadedK
    January 3, 2013 7:46pm

    What a fun conversation! I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I love ginger in any form, so this sounds delicious. I like the idea of adding very finely chopped candied ginger to the mix, for an extra crunnnchy blast of ginger.

    I was curious about Golden Syrup, as I’d never heard of it. If you’re a cane syrup lover, here’s something you can still order, although we’re not sure how much longer Steen’s will stay in business, even if it does have a cult following!

    It has an unctuous buttery “something,” and a slight but distinctive bitter bite. It’s great on its own, but here are some interesting recipes:

  • January 3, 2013 7:52pm

    I like all things ginger so I’m marking this to try out. I don’t get Golden Syrup here, actually I do but its so expensive I can’t justify buying it to use a couple of times in a year!
    I have so far substitued honey for Golden Syrup, and it works so long as the recipe doesn’t ask for too much of it.

  • January 3, 2013 7:58pm

    I’ve made the Gourmet version of this – Skibo Castle ginger crunch – and it is amazing. I cut it into smaller squares and add some finely minced crystallized ginger to the icing to just up the punch.

  • Elisabeth Lipsman
    January 3, 2013 8:43pm

    The cookies look delicious, but what really cracked me up, David, is how you got the ingredients together and set them aside for months. I do that all the time! My family ask me, “what’s this for?”, and “how long does this have to sit on the counter?”, and “is this still good?”. I’m glad I’m not alone!

  • narf7
    January 3, 2013 9:24pm

    Another Aussie here…vegemite gets a bad rap! As a vegan I tend to use it to make stews and casseroles richer and to add a depth of flavour that can be lacking with using vegetable stock. Think of it as the antipodean marmite and you are most of the way there except vegemite is like Aussies…bronzed, hard hitting, exciting and unable to be forgotten ;). You might not like it on toast (remember a TINY SMEAR for you novices accompanied by an enormous hunk of toast laden with butter ONLY butter…) but it really does enhance a stock base :)

  • Colette
    January 3, 2013 9:25pm

    I can’t wait to make the Ginger crunch cookies for my KIWI grandaughters.

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • statgirl
    January 3, 2013 9:26pm

    Being raised by a Canadian mother, I grew up on Roger’s Golden Syrup. Every summer we would go up to Victoria BC to visit my grandmother and we always brought back a large bottle of Roger’s to enjoy throughout the year. You’re right that it’s worth tracking down, since it has a flavor like nothing else. Nowadays Lyle’s Golden Syrup is easily available in Seattle, and even though I know it tastes exactly the same, I still feel like Roger’s is the *only* acceptable brand. :-)

    One of my favorite recipes ever is a ginger sponge cake, steamed in a bowl rather than baked, and served with warm golden syrup drizzled over the top. Mmmm, maybe I need to make one this weekend…

  • Peter Watson
    January 3, 2013 9:38pm

    these old fashioned styles are still much moved in Australia and New Zealand.

    Re the vegemite… pleaseeee, having an American living in Paris make any comment or even taste this national Australian icon, is more than I can stand. Vegemite is a secret weapon in my kitchen and shall remain a secret.

    Throw it away, you will hate it.

  • Jan Newby
    January 3, 2013 9:39pm

    Bon Jour David, the NZ woman is moi!. It was lovely to meet you (and Heather) at the book signing and I’m absolutely thrilled you finally got to make the recipe. As mentioned above it is from the Edmonds Cookery Book – which is full of other slices such as Louise Cake etc. Your copy of the recipe is straight from the Edmonds Cookery Book (Edmonds was a brand of baking powder – rising agent).

    the Ginger CRUNCH recipe is brilliant the way it is in that all the ingredients are perfectly calibrated. There is another addictive slice called ‘Chinese Chew’. Will locate a recipe and send it to you.

    PS J’adore vegemite AND crunchy peanut butter and fresh tomatoes on toast for breakfast.

    • January 4, 2013 12:05am
      David Lebovitz

      Jan! Thanks so much for passing this on. It was great to meet you and I hope some day to get the energy for the 30 hour plane trip!

      : )

      xx david

  • Su
    January 3, 2013 9:58pm

    Hi David, am down under as we speak, if you want a lamington tray I can try and get you one and post it on my return to France? When you try the vegemite, promise me not to try it out of the tube. Get a lovely baguette, lashings of your best butter and a thin smear of vegemite and I promise you will be in heaven!

  • Jan Newby
    January 3, 2013 10:26pm

    Also, David you should make time to go to New Zealand. The food there is incredible. Superb fish (snapper, blue cod, whitebait), fruit and vegetables – feijoas, tamarillos, kiwi fruit, NZ kumera (sweet potato), meat (lamb, venison), slices and icecream. And the wine….. especially the pinot noir.

    I, like lots of New Zealanders, live in Australia for work but just LOVE going home. The food is not as tricky and fusion orientated as in Australia (huge, sweeping generalisation) and the flavours are better IMHO. (Though, hey, I do like vegemite). The scenery is just awe inspiring and uplifting.

  • Poornima
    January 3, 2013 11:22pm


  • Kylee
    January 3, 2013 11:27pm

    Vegemite gravy is awesome on hot chips, great for adding colour to a regular gravy, a nice addition to soups and out-of-this world on french and lebanese breads! And if you haven’t tried Vegemite caramel then I pity your soul ;)

    I have a very clear memory from when I was backpacking in 2009, and the hostel served baguettes instead of toast, sitting on the hostel steps eating baguettes and vegemite and thinking that my life was complete.

    • simone
      January 3, 2013 11:55pm

      Holy Moly, Vegemite Caramel!!!! I am googling it right now.

  • Gavrielle
    January 3, 2013 11:39pm

    Ha, you’ve discovered our well-guarded secret! When a friend of mine immigrated to NZ from the the UK, she couldn’t believe she’d wasted half her life not eating ginger crunch. How funny to see such a homely item in your elegant tart pan! I’ve never heard of a lamington pan, though – slices are normally made in a swiss roll pan (same size different name) – not that that’s likely to help your search as it seems to be an Australasian-only item too. (How on earth does the rest of the world get by without slices?) There is also a delicious variant of ginger slice with an oat/coconut base – here’s a recipe:

    As for the Vegemite, she probably chuckled because it was Australian:). Proper Kiwi-version Marmite is currently unavailable here because the only factory for it was damaged in the terrible Christcurch earthquake. This is a national crisis and has been dubbed Marmageddon.

  • Tina
    January 4, 2013 12:39am

    Thanks for suggesting the alternate pan sizes – will try this in my 8 x 8″ cake pan. Would you still suggest 20 minutes baking time? (I understand the operative phrase here is “until it’s light golden brown”, but had to ask . . .)

    Many thanks!

  • January 4, 2013 12:57am

    I’m a beekeeper, so I can never resist a honey cooking challenge! (I can also never resist the words “ginger” and “crunch” used in tandem). My icing cooked up just fine with honey. I have no doubt it changes the flavor, but still, this did not stop me from eating several pieces. I used a light clover honey. I think the only issue is that the honey based icing does not firm up quite as much as with the golden syrup (at least judging from David’s photo). I chilled my slices slightly after cutting just to be sure the icing would stay firm. And since I was experimenting, I also decided to toss in 2 tablespoons of chopped candied ginger into the cookie base. I quite enjoy the random little turbo-blast of ginger it provides. Photo here:

    Phread – I substitute a light honey in virtually every recipe that calls for light corn syrup. It does change the flavor (though in most cases for the better) and slightly affects texture, but I’ve never had any issue. Though I can’t say I’d sub in Manuka honey!

    • January 4, 2013 10:02am
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for your thoughts and your picture (and ‘crunch bars’) look great! Honey is sometimes a good substitute, but as a beekeeper, you know that honey can crystallize so I don’t often recommend it as a swap out for things. (I wrote a post a while back, Why and When to Use (or Not use) Corn Syrup.) But there are many cases when it can be used in place of corn syrup and other sweeteners.

      In this case, golden syrup has a particular flavor that is inherent in many desserts from Australia and New Zealand, and while other liquid sweeteners may be susbstituted, it’s like swapping out olive oil for butter – both are good, but different flavors.

  • Cheryl de Valliere
    January 4, 2013 1:01am

    I love the sound of this slice, thanks for sharing it. I’m Australian, and have been living in Switzerland for years and years…..
    I substitute Golden Syrup for a product called Tafel Melasse. It’s stocked by most supermarkets in Switzerland (Co-Op, Migros, Denner, etc). I’ve also seen it in Germany. I’ve never looked for it in France, but perhaps it worth taking a look in the jam and honey section in a one of your large supermarkets.

    Véron Melasse 450g
    Glukosesirup, Zucker, Melasse (20%), Aquarell (E150d)
    Beschreibung: 450 g net
    Trés bon, SFr: 3.10

    The Gourmet section of Jelmoli and Globus in Zurich stock Golden Syrup, but it so outrageously expensive that I rarely buy it.

    Lucky you, enjoy the Vegimite….though it is rather an acquired taste..

  • Judi Suttles
    January 4, 2013 1:30am

    Happy New Year and thanks so much for the free Pastry app.
    Love it!

  • Audrey
    January 4, 2013 1:43am

    I like Bovril rather than Marmite. Was surprised to find it with the stocks instead of the spreads in England.

  • January 4, 2013 1:47am

    I’ve never heard of a recipe for ginger crunch and it sounds like just the sort of thing that would go well at a book club meeting! I tend to like more plain “desserts”, but I have a hubby that loves the rich, chocolate ones. Perhaps I can hype the icing on this bar and see if he’ll bite. ;)

  • Cynthia Short
    January 4, 2013 2:00am

    I have already ordered my golden syrup from Amazon and can’t wait to try these cookies. In this post you also mention “caramel slice”. You wouldn’t happen to have a recipe for those, also?

  • January 4, 2013 2:14am

    The golden syrup I can buy in Queensland comes in a bottle like honey but it’s the same thing. I still want to call them bars when I go into a bakery and the lady behind the counter says, “bars?”

    This needs to go into the “need to bake” pile.

  • Gavrielle
    January 4, 2013 2:43am

    Cynthia: there are lots of recipes for caramel slice online (here’s one:, although you’ll have trouble finding one with US measurements. It’s delicious, but be warned, it’s wicked rich.

  • Hanah
    January 4, 2013 3:33am

    As a non-Aussie, I was gently introduced to Vegemite with grilled cheese. It was excellent. Haven’t sought it out since though, I admit!

  • January 4, 2013 3:51am

    yum – one of my favs. Nothing quite like it with a cuppa! Also really good with chopped crystallised ginger on the top of the icing.

  • Carolyn Z
    January 4, 2013 4:21am

    Hello David,

    On a totally different topic, I have a question.

    I bought this chocolate bar from the Chocolate Garage in Palo Alto. Do you know this brand? Chocolat Bonnat Voiron (Isere), Ceylan, 75 percent cacao

    It is made in France and I thought you might be familiar with it.

    Thanks and take care in the new year, Carolyn Z

    • January 4, 2013 9:57am
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, they are located in Voiron, the French alps, near where Chartreuse is made (I wrote about a trip there in one of my books.) If you ever find them, their chocolates filled with liquid Chartreuse are amazing.

  • Mariam
    January 4, 2013 5:31am

    Btw I am currently licking the freezer bowl of your salted butter caramel ice-cream, it’s fantastic! I’ve made it before (woot an ice-cream maker) and it was really good but I found it to be a little overly sweet, this time it has a slightly burnt caramel taste but it’s not unpleasant at all, it’s lovely, sophisticated and not at all overly sweet, I also reduced one egg yolk but I probably wouldn’t do that again, oh anne this time rind. Have an ice-cream maker! Thank you David, every recipe of yours I try is a delicious success!

  • Deitra
    January 4, 2013 6:35am

    I saw you on the Today Show this morning discussing the origin of French fries. It was fun to see your kitchen. It looks great.

  • Lena
    January 4, 2013 6:41am

    in new zealand often we like to have a slightly thicker icing, which is a little firm, sometimes a little sticky, and as gingery as possible! perfect with a cup of tea!

    the best way to eat vegemite is on buttered vogels toast. coincidentally another kiwi staple!

    come for a visit!!

  • Steven Heisler
    January 4, 2013 6:48am

    Hi David
    Was that you on NBC this morning talking about the origin of “French” fries?
    Your kitchen looked fantastic (and huge, especially by French standards)
    You don’t know me but I’m coming to Paris this April and if you need any Supplies I can bring things and drop them off for you. I live in Los Angeles and have access to a lot of resources. It may seem like an odd offer from a stranger but its the least I can do after the hours of reading pleasure you’ve provided.
    Steven in L.A.

  • January 4, 2013 6:51am

    Ha! When I saw that jar of ginger, I thought – that would be delicious in a batch of Skibo Castle Ginger Crunch, which is essentially this, without the tart pan! Addictive is a great word for it. We’ve made multiple batches for the past few Christmases!
    Happy new year!

  • Geoff
    January 4, 2013 8:26am

    Vegemite might be very Australian but we are more than happy to share. There is never likely to be a shortage given it is a by-product of beer brewing yeasts. I remember getting Vegemite soup when I was sick sometimes growing up. Just stir in a teaspoon or two into hot water until you are happy with the taste, less is often more as the old saying goes, then add chunks of crusty bread. Vegemite makes a superb stock for cooking as well.

    The Ginger Crunch must be great so I’m looking forward to giving it a try soon. Thanks for sharing Jan, I hope you continue to enjoy your time split between OZ and NZ.

  • Cath
    January 4, 2013 10:30am

    Thanks David for the blast from the past! I grew up in NZ and my friend and i used to make these as young girls. Her mother could never understand why once it was baked there wasn’t the quantity that the recipe stipulated! That was because we used to eat half of it raw when her mother wasn’t looking! YUM. Thanks for your brilliant blog. xo

  • Alex
    January 4, 2013 11:23am

    Hey David,
    If you are a fan of rich hearty gravy, then vegemite is your best friend. Experiment with a bit of leftover beef roast juices, flour if you like that kind of thing, and vehite to taste. It’s wonderful. Like nutritional yeast and vege stock on steroids. Salty, salty steroids. :)

    Alex, from Australia.

  • ranchodeluxe
    January 4, 2013 1:20pm

    Oh, the vegemite had nothing to do with the recipe , eh? Love the countertop tub ‘mise’ though!

  • Jessica
    January 4, 2013 1:54pm

    Golden Syrup is available at our local Intermarche. It has been recently available with celebratory labels “Happy and Glorious” and “Proudly British”.
    I use for making gingerbread (one third GS 1/3 black treacle 1/3 honey) and on my breakfast porridge.
    The oven is hot from a batch of soda bread , so am going to make some of these ginger crisps right now.

  • Deb
    January 4, 2013 2:23pm

    Have you seen the video of you on the Today show?

  • January 4, 2013 2:23pm

    Mousetraps. Thin toast, buttered, spread with a thin layer of Vegemite and covered with grated cheese before going under the grill for five minutes.

  • Ann
    January 4, 2013 3:30pm

    Hi David, I believe (as an Aussie) that if you haven’t been fed vegemite by your parents as a child, then it’s very improbable that anyone could grow to like it. I love it and have it almost every day for breakfast on toast. I don’t do anything else with it, except maybe add to a beef stew if I want a beef-ier flavour.
    Nice slice ;)

    • January 4, 2013 3:37pm
      David Lebovitz

      After trying (with little success) to get European friends to like peanut butter, and potato skins, I’ve given up because I think there are some foods that are just culturally specific. And no amount of convincing is going to change what people like, or don’t like.

      However if they’d make peanut butter-flavored Vegemite, and it was smeared on baked potato skins, I might give it another try
      ; )

  • Asuka
    January 4, 2013 4:27pm

    Thanks David for sharing the Ginger Crunch recipe!

    I made it and it tastes delicious. I don’t like icing biscuits because it’s too fiddly for me but this was really easy and it looks great. I will share some with the neighbours tomorrow.

    I agree with Ann – I think you need to grow up with Vegemite to like it.
    I have lived in Australia for over 30 years and tried it many different ways …

    Vegemite and Cricket … it’s still a mystery to me.

  • January 4, 2013 7:36pm

    David – thanks for directing me to you very informative corn syrup post (and for helping to overcome my fear of it!) I am ordering some golden syrup for the pantry too. I’m so intrigued by the slices concept. Can’t wait to experiment a little. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Handy Andy
    January 4, 2013 9:59pm

    David, did you get to try Hokey Pokey ice cream? A New Zealand flavored ice cream which is delicious. I’ll bet ginger crunch would work well in ice cream, too.

  • Billie
    January 5, 2013 1:39am

    David – a good way to try Vegemite is a thin layer on toast with fresh avocado on top. It has a really lovely savory unami taste and is a bit less full on then Vegemite by itself. I love the stuff (am an Aussie thru and thru) but my less enthused fiance will only have it this way. It is also good added to stews and gravies.

  • Barbara
    January 5, 2013 1:57am

    Looking for language school walking distance in 7th May 2013. Any suggestions.

    Check out my post, French Classes in Paris. -dl

  • January 5, 2013 2:43am

    I’m sorry, but I made these and I had to rename them. They will forever be Ginger Crack in my house!

  • January 5, 2013 3:30am

    Hi David – by coincidence I read this post the evening I landed back in Boston after a long journey home from a 2-week vacation in New Zealand. A wonderful country (my 5th time there) and the Ginger Crunch was definitely a highlight. I sampled three different versions there so I will now have to try this Edmonds recipe – though I don’t think it fits into my healthy eating resolutions! Happy New Year!

  • January 5, 2013 5:07am

    oh, so making these….

    (and yes, no, no substitute for Lyle’s. which, if there are leftovers, are pretty damn tasty poured straight from the tin.)



  • Micky
    January 5, 2013 9:23am

    Will definitely be making these. The hands down best way to eat vegemite is on a hot well buttered crumpet. Yum!

  • Kamal
    January 5, 2013 12:39pm

    Turned out just right. Perfect!
    Thanks David.

  • January 5, 2013 4:49pm

    Ahhhh, ginger crunch! YUM! It brings back memories of growing up on a farm in New Zealand…..there was always slices of ginger crunch in the cake tins at home. The recipe comes exactly from the Edmonds Cookbook, the bible of cooking given to most young adults in NZ who are leaving home! You’re also ringht about the spices: dried ginger you find in NZ is MUCH more potent that the sad specimen you can find in Europe. I think I must rush and make some now that I see the mouth-watering photos of it!

  • Greg
    January 5, 2013 8:25pm

    I’ll be making these for dessert tonight. Can’t wait, I love ginger! Thanks for posting this.

  • January 5, 2013 10:12pm

    I tried these out and since I’m also an american expat living in france without access to golden syrup, I subbed acacia honey and might I say they turned out addictingly delicious! I don’t know what the original version is supposed to taste like so I can’t say if honey is an adequate substitute for golden syrup in this recipe. The ginger wasn’t as explosive as I thought it would be so next time I might add some crystallized or even fresh ginger into the dough as some people already advised to give it a nice kick. My friends and neighbors were very enthusiastic to the OG recipe though. Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Jan Newby
      January 5, 2013 10:17pm

      I don’t think honey quite does it – it has got to be golden syrup!! But then I’m a purist

  • ClaireD
    January 5, 2013 11:59pm

    I made these in an 8X8 cake pan and they’re wonderful! The cookie part is so yummy but the icing is too thick/sweet. Great ginger flavor but I think if I make them in this pan again, I’ll cut down the icing by half or maybe make it as a glaze, like on top of cinnamon rolls. Such an easy recipe and so good!

  • James
    January 6, 2013 2:34am

    I’ve made these twice, they are excellent. I especially love the potent ginger flavor! I used honey in place of golden syrup, and the substitution worked well…although I do need to get my hands on some of the sticky stuff. And I need to make that fresh ginger cake of yours, David.

  • Michael Connor
    January 6, 2013 5:44am

    These are fabulous! I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9″ x 13″ quarter-sheet pan. Yield is 24 1″ x 4″ bars. I punched up the ginger, just cuz that’s what I do – probably by another 50%. Interestingly, I had bought some high-quality Icelandic butter in anticipation of a shortbread attack, so this post from you was perfectly timed, David.

    The cookie dough was a bit dry, and did not bake up as crunchy as I’d have liked – which argues, I think, for a little less flour next time. The dough held together very nicely, though, and has a tender crumb. I was afraid the icing would be gooey, but it dried to a lovely dull sheen.

    I’m already thinking about other flavors – like maybe lemon, orange-ginger, chocolate. Herbal flavors, like lemon & thyme might work nicely as well. Hazelnut would be lovely too, I think – maybe with a coating of chocolate ganache.

    Thanks, David, for another winner.


  • January 6, 2013 8:20am

    P.S add some chopped crystallized ginger to the base for a bit more indulgence.

    Below is a wonderful Ginger Crunch recipe that uses crystallized ginger and wholemeal flour – from Jo Seagar’s book The Cook School Recipes

    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20cm X 30cm slice tin with baking paper

    150 g butter
    2 tablespoons golden syrup
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    3/4 cup long thread coconut
    1 1/2 cups rolled oats
    3/4 cup wholemeal flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    3 teaspoons ground ginger
    1 cup chopped crystallised ginger

    Melt butter, golden syrup and brown sugar over a low heat. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and pour in melted ingredients. Mix all together and press the mixture into the prepared tin.

    Bake for 20 minutes.

    100 g butter
    6 tablespoons golden syrup
    2 1/2 cups icing sugar
    3 teaspoons ground ginger

    Melt butter and golden syrup, beat in ginger and icing sugar. Pour over still-warm base.
    Chill before cutting into 24 pieces (I got 32 healthy size pieces!!)

  • Lin M
    January 6, 2013 9:40am

    I’m going to try making these GF – because I have to, if I want to try them, and I do. I really do. Living in Australia, I already have golden syrup on the shelf. A good substitute might be a little warmed treacle or molasses mixed into glucose (corn?) syrup. It won’t have the same taste, but it’ll be closer than honey, I imagine.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog! It’s always inspirational and entertaining, although it sounds as if it’s been at some cost to you lately. I hope 2013 is a happy year for you, with simple mobile access and plenty of USB ports.

  • Vidya
    January 6, 2013 12:52pm

    David. You just made a slice in a tart pan. It’s beautiful, and hilarious. Wow you are so French.

    It’s so amusing to see people hunting for substitutes for golden syrup, after spending years trying to find corn syrup and masa harina and chipotle peppers in the Antipodeans. You’re right, there’s nothing quite like it. I use it as a substitute for pretty much every syrupy substance which I don’t have. I’ve used it in place of molasses many times – definitely not the same, but it works fine.

    • Ann
      January 6, 2013 1:00pm

      @Vidya, can I add dulce de leche and graham crackers to your list of ingredients rarely seen in these parts?

      I made ginger crunch yesterday. It’s perfect.

  • Michael Connor
    January 6, 2013 5:00pm

    On the subject of Golden Syrup, it used to be available here in every supermarket you walked into, but now I can only find it on Amazon. I use it in my pecan pie, because I think corn syrup is an abomination – too cloying and mouth-drying.

    My pecan pie starts with a cup of sugar, caramelized, to which I add butter and heavy cream, then 2/3 cup of Lyle”s Golden Syrup. When that cools down, I add vanilla and eggs, and maybe a bit o’ rum or bourbon, then mix in toasted pecans, pour into a blind-baked pie shell, and bake until it’s puffed a bit, but still jiggly in the center. When folks taste it, they may not know exactly what’s different, but they know my pecan pie is a rare and wonderful thing. It was inspired by the chapter on pecan pie in John Thorne’s “Outlaw Cook”, in which he suggests that his readers not adopt his recipe, but that they look for their own perfect pecan pie.

  • Pompon
    January 6, 2013 6:44pm

    Great recipes, as usual. You can find Golden Syrup at most Monoprix in Paris.

  • January 6, 2013 9:16pm

    Great to see a classic kiwi recipe on your blog!! I used to make this all the time while growing up in New Zealand. I now live in The Netherlands and I use Maple Syrup in place of golden syrup. Its not as thick, but it has a delicious rich flavour. I blogger a couple of days ago about another Ginger kiwi classic – Ginger Gems. Monique xx

  • Valerie
    January 6, 2013 10:24pm

    Off topic, but I wanted to thank you for sharing your vanilla ice cream recipe. I have guests coming over for ice cream this evening and I just realized that I loaned my copy of The Perfect Scoop to my sister-in-law. Thanks for saving the evening. : )

  • ScottGN
    January 6, 2013 10:50pm

    Ginger Crunch is my favourite of the many slices baked by NZers, followed a pretty close second by Louise Cake which has a similar cookie base (though no ginger) spread with a layer of jam (usually a tart one like raspberry or plum) and baked with a coconut meringue topping.

    • Jan Newby
      January 6, 2013 11:22pm

      Louise Cake
      Kia ora, Here is the Edmond’s Cookery Book version of Louise Cake

      Louise Cake (From that old faithful and NZ cultural icon – the NZ Edmonds Cookery Book)

      50 (2 oz) grams butter
      25 grams (1 oz) of sugar
      2 eggs
      150 grams (5 oz) of flour
      1 tsp baking powder

      Heat oven to 180 c (350 F)
      Cream butter and sugar, add egg yolks and then sifted flour and baking powder. Roll out thinly, place on a greased tray and spread with raspberry or similar tart jam.

      Beat egg whites until stiff, add 125 gr sugar and 50 grams of dessicated coconut. Mix gently and spread on top of jam.

      Bake 30 minutes at 180 C


  • ScottGN
    January 6, 2013 11:14pm

    Incidently the Jo Seagar recipe posted above seems like a cross between Ginger Crunch and ANZAC biscuits and I’m not sure that’s all together a good thing.

    • Jan Newby
      January 6, 2013 11:24pm

      I agree, don’t muck around with perfection!!

  • karen victoria
    January 6, 2013 11:28pm

    these look divine! i have Lyle’s syrup around for making caramels. If you are in the U.S. you can get it from Amazon for a much better price than anywhere, probably. I buy 6 at a time from them and it is delivered to your house, of course, (or office). a good ingredient to have around. In Manhattan you can buy Lyle;s at Whole Foods. Loving your blog, David. Happy New Year.

  • JenR
    January 7, 2013 12:22am

    I’ve made Ginger Crunch with freshly grated ginger and it was just as fabulous as using the dry ground ginger. Just use 2 tbsp in the base and 1 tbsp in the icing.

    My favourite recipe from the Edmonds Cookbook has to be Neenish Tarts YUM!!!

  • January 7, 2013 4:12am

    This recipe sounds delicious! I personally love ginger, so a ginger cookie sounds amazing. I’ll try to bake it at home with my mom. We also have “A Perfect Scoop” and I have to say that the ice cream is REALLY good and extremely addicting. I only just found this blog, but I will definitely be back for more recipes.

  • January 7, 2013 4:54am

    A kiwi friend baked ginger crunch for me in London 20 years ago (while watching an All Blacks game), I knew then I was destined to move to the home of these delights, which I did shortly after. I don’t make them often as I will consume the whole tray in one sitting – but know the cafés that sell the best ones when I want a treat.

    I see my sister has already commented – we shared one (very large) before she boarded her plane home to Boston – about the time you were writing your post!

  • Caren
    January 7, 2013 4:57am

    Will surely give these a try! Made some Anzac biscuits last week and have managed to get ahold of golden syrup here in NY to make my old South African favorites.
    My question to you is: How do you keep the tin from getting sticky and stuck shut?
    Love your blog and downloaded the free app – thanks!

  • January 7, 2013 9:58am

    Oh Jan and Scott – I wasn’t in any way offering Jo Seagar’s take on Ginger Crunch as the original – just a variation that some readers may have liked to try. was only trying to helpful and contribute.

  • January 7, 2013 10:10am
    David Lebovitz

    Heather, Jan, and Scott: I love Anzac biscuits (oatmeal, coconut and golden syrup? yes!) – so that does sound interesting. So many New Zealand desserts – and slices – to try… : )

    Caren: They actually make golden syrup in a squeeze bottle, and in other formats. But the tins are kinda pretty to have in your kitchen. You could swipe a bit of oil around the rim to help keep it from sticking, but I would just leave it alone because if the lid is too easy to get off, you might be putting a spoon it in a little too often…

    karen: Yes, the prices can vary and I don’t really know what it costs in the states (except on Amazon.) Since it keeps a very, very long time, it’s probably economical to stock up and perhaps find a friend to share the order with. I know it’s expensive here in France, but when I got to the UK, and when I was in Australia, I was surprised at how inexpensive it was – and yes, I stocked up.

    Valerie: Glad you liked the recipe…and are enjoying my ice cream book!

  • Mira
    January 7, 2013 1:28pm

    Fresh hot toast, lavishly buttered, a smear of Vegemite, then topped with thinly sliced tomato….. bliss! Or topped with avocado, or a fried or poached egg. All great for breakfast or a little mid-day snack :)

  • Tessa
    January 7, 2013 10:55pm

    I tried this recipe and used honey instead of golden syrup. That worked just fine; though golden syrup will definitely add something extra. I was only wondering why there is so much ground ginger in the recipe, in stead of freshly grated ginger. I found that the dried ginger gives the slice a rather funky taste. It maybe relies on the brand I used, but I won’t try this recipe again as it is, with the same ginger. The cookie base is delicious though.

    • January 7, 2013 11:01pm
      David Lebovitz

      I love fresh ginger, but I don’t think you can get the powerful ‘zing’ of fresh ginger in sufficient quantities like you can with dried ground ginger. It is a different taste; I did use a bag of dried ginger that was recently purchased so perhaps your ground dried ginger is different somehow.

  • January 7, 2013 11:50pm

    How does one measure a tablespoon of golden syrup? By weight?

  • Bryan
    January 8, 2013 4:23am

    Happy New Year!

    Once again, a winner!
    After serving half of this, I drizzled the remaining half with a little on-the-fly chocolate glaze, which was pretty darned delicious with the ginger.
    Thank you for another good one!

  • January 8, 2013 5:19am

    Mmmm, ginger crunch!! I’ve just bought Billy Law’s new cook book. You might like to try his vegemite cheesecake, David: Sounds intriguing and it’s on my list next time I’m called upon for a dessert!

  • Kay
    January 8, 2013 10:16am

    Peanut butter flavored Vegemite is easily achieved by spreading a thick layer of the former and a thin film of Vegemite on top. :>

  • Di
    January 8, 2013 10:39am

    One of the nicest variations of ginger crunch I have tried has chopped brazil and hazelnuts in the base and preserved ginger (unsugared on outside if poss. You can soak it in warm water to dissove some of it) in with the icing. Mix in before pouring the icing on the base.
    If I want thicker icing, I use another 1/2 quantity (double is a bit rich)
    And yes, up the ginger for a more intense hit. Try xtra 1/2 quantities.
    There are recipes online for making golden syrup, but pure maple syrup is 40% less sweet than sugar. Organic icing sugar has a lovely caramelly flavour.

  • Hilary van Uden
    January 8, 2013 11:20pm

    oh David, if you like Anzac biscuits and ginger crunch, you should try ginger Anzac biscuits! I use the standard Edmonds Cookbook recipe with around 1-2 tablespoons of ground ginger added (I do love ginger though) – they are very popular at my place!
    As for that vegemite – try it thinly spread on toast with avocado mashed on top, or on a baguette with heaps of butter (nothing better!).

  • January 8, 2013 11:52pm

    My dear neighbor Phoebe, makes some crackerjack ginger crisps for teatime. I’ll have to make these for our next gathering, as a surprise. She’s never met a ginger treat she didn’t like. Thank you David.

  • Bronwyn
    January 9, 2013 12:52am

    Ginger crunch is supposed to be cut quite small. The people who are commenting that there is too much icing, or it is too sweet, and even those who plan on having it for dessert – it is a cookie substitute, not a large-wedge-of-cake substitute. Should be cut into maybe 2 inch squares, and eaten with a cup of tea or coffee.
    Also, the texture should not be like shortbread. Shortbread should give very little resistance to your teeth, and should melt in your mouth; ginger crunch crunches. Rolled oats are a nice addition to the base too.

  • Melissa P
    January 9, 2013 10:23am

    You’re right. We Australians love our slices! I grew up eating lemon slice, chocolate slice, caramel slice, raspberry & coconut slice… but this ginger slice was & still is our favourite. As for the vegemite. Don’t be shy! Spread some on your lovely morning toast with thick butter & you’ll be in heaven. Promise!

  • January 9, 2013 11:00am

    Golden syrup is available at some of the Marche Franprix in Paris where they usually have a small selection of English products.

  • Rexy
    January 11, 2013 10:29pm

    I made my first batch of ginger crunch last night for my boyfriend, who’s a ginger-phile. He loved them! He wants more ginger, but I think the recipe is perfect as is. I think less is more in this case. It’s definitely going into my repertoire. Thank you for posting this recipe!

  • kerry
    January 12, 2013 4:59am

    Well David I just made your Ginger Crunch. OMG it is delicious and I’m Australian and I’m fairly sure I’ve never had a piece of this slice. Yes you say Australia is well known for our slices and I am also well known for my slices. I’ve just got a new recipe to add to my slices folder. I might just go and have another piece nobody is watching me! :-)

    • Jan Newby
      January 12, 2013 5:14am

      Kerry, the reason why you, as an Australia, have never tasted this is it is a New Zealand recipe. Yes, good things come from New Zealand, they really do

      • kerry
        January 12, 2013 5:48am

        Hi Jan I have been to NZ for a holiday about 4 years ago and there was a lot to like about NZ. I don’t know why NZ always gets a bad rap we had only good things to say and now I can add Ginger Crunch to more good things. cheers

  • heather
    January 12, 2013 1:47pm

    ginger crunch in a tart pan. perfect, i’m going to do it today. i’m a new zealander living in belgium and this post and all the comments have been a great trip down memory lane. the edmonds cook book, baking, golden syrup…… my little sister and i woud make ginger crunch and double the icing recipe just to eat it right away. baking used to be very important when i grew up in small town NZ in the 60’s when ‘full cake tins’ were a sign of a well managed household. and handy for the casual drop in socialising we kiwis like to do.

  • January 14, 2013 12:18am

    … above I mentioned that I also posted recently about something related – traditional New Zealand Ginger Gems, a quick and easy but delicious baking treat. The link I posted has been updated (I changed my blog website) but you can check out the Ginger Gems here …

  • settledown
    January 14, 2013 11:00pm

    Being from the UK, I often use golden syrup in American recipes that call for corn syrup, as I actually have no real idea of what corn syrup is, I suppose. I’d be interested to know how interchangeable you consider them?

  • isobel
    January 15, 2013 2:58am

    Wow it is amazing that you are featuring ginger crunch, what is often seen as a humble little nz slice. Its definitely not australian- although it is common in NZ and i reckon nearly every kiwi will have heard of it/tasted it. There is a lovely nz book on traditional home baking by alexa johnson, called ladies, a plate, if you ever wanted more NZ baking recipes.

  • Rebecca
    January 15, 2013 5:11am

    Potentially try a mixture of half maple
    syrup half treacle instead of golden syrup? That should get the viscosity about right!

  • Tanya
    January 15, 2013 11:38am

    As an earlier poster said, ginger crunch is usually cut in small squares (like most slices here in NZ) not bars. But I double the icing quantity so it is really nice and thick.

    re measuring the tablespoon of golden syrup – dipping the spoon in boiling water first will help the golden syrup drop off the spoon easily.

    Thanks David for your wonderful posts. NZ is worth a visit – I’ve done the 30 hours straight through from Paris and it is horrendous – but a warm welcome for you when you get here!!

  • January 16, 2013 8:35pm

    For a thrilling moment I wondered if it was going to be a vegemite and ginger cookie recipe! But great stuff anyway

  • January 17, 2013 6:52am

    Hey David, just wanted to let you know that I made this (twice, now) and it turned out fantastic. You were spot on when you described it as so familiar yet somehow so exotic. I used honey instead of golden syrup, and although I wouldn’t know the difference seeing as I’ve never tried anything else, I thought it tasted wonderful. However, I didn’t find it very crunchy…not sure if that top caramel-like icing is supposed to be crunchy in the original version or not, just thought I’d throw that out there.

    • Jan Newby
      January 17, 2013 10:05pm

      Hullo,Jan (the original donor of the recipe from New Zealan here).
      The ‘crunch’ part of the name comes from the shortbread. The icing can harden if you use golden syrup and if the weather is right (dry, not humid). Hope this helps

      also; Vegemite is mentioned in a famous Australian song by Men at Work – Downunder
      Lyrics below:
      Down Under Lyrics – Men at Work

      Review The Song (11)

      Traveling in a fried-out combie
      On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
      I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
      She took me in and gave me breakfast
      And she said,

      “Do you come from a land down under?
      Where women glow and men plunder?
      Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
      You better run, you better take cover.”

      Buying bread from a man in Brussels
      He was six-foot-four and full of muscles
      I said, “Do you speak-a my language?”
      He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
      And he said,

      “I come from a land down under
      Where beer does flow and men chunder
      Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
      You better run, you better take cover.”

      Lyin’ in a den in Bombay
      With a slack jaw, and not much to say
      I said to the man, “Are you trying to tempt me
      Because I come from the land of plenty?”
      And he said,

      “Do you come from a land down under?
      Where women glow and men plunder?
      Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
      You better run, you better take cover.”

      Living in a land down under
      Where women glow and men plunder
      Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
      You better run, you better take cover!

      Living in a land down under
      Where women glow and men plunder
      Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
      You better run, you better take cover!

  • Eli Christy-Munro
    January 19, 2013 7:11am

    This is so great! I’ve been eating these since I can remember and I always wondered when I’d finally see them being made outside our country. It’s my mothers all time favorite baked good so I find myself making a batch every other week! I hope you get to come to NZ one day soon and see everything else we make down here :-)

  • Sara
    January 26, 2013 11:06pm

    David, I am so excited! I’ve been wanting to make this since you posted. I’ve been looking all over for Golden Syrup and finally found it this am at Cost Plus! It’s in a squeeze bottle!

  • Kim Adie
    January 27, 2013 12:40pm

    David, I am such a fan of your blogs and recipes. Your recipes always turn out exactly as I expect. I made these ginger crunch’s last night and they are seriously good! Thanks a ton.

  • Michelle
    January 27, 2013 4:05pm

    Made them gluten free, added some chopped candied ginger to the batter and used maple syrup for the golden syrup .Holy cow they’re good.