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How to Make Simple Ginger Crunch Slices – Oat Free

Indulge in the irresistible taste of ginger crunch, a sweet ginger slice that combines the flavours of spicy ginger, buttery shortbread, and a fudgy ginger icing. This slice-style dessert is a great recipe for enjoying alongside your morning coffee, packing for picnics, or adding a delightful touch to afternoon tea. With its ginger-infused crunchy biscuit base and lusciously rich ginger icing, ginger crunch offers a harmonious balance of sweetness and spice. Whether you’re a huge fan of ginger or a dessert enthusiast, these ginger crunch slices are sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more.

A stack 5 slices of ginger crunch.

What Makes This Recipe Great!

  • Pantry Staples: These ginger bars require simple, everyday ingredients that are commonly found in your pantry. No need for special trips to the store!
  • Quick and Effortless: Whip up these ginger bars in no time with this quick and easy recipe. It’s perfect for both novice and experienced bakers, delivering delicious results with minimal effort.
  • Freezer-Friendly Delights: Enjoy the convenience of freezing these sweet treats. Prepare a larger batch and store them in the freezer for future use. They’ll be ready whenever you crave a sweet and gingery delight.

About This Recipe – In More Detail

Originating from New Zealand, these delightful treats are bursting with flavour and offer a perfect accompaniment for any picnic adventure.

This easy-to-make traybake is a crowd-pleaser, complimenting other sweet treats such as the moist Carrot Cake Traybake or the zesty Lemon Loaf Cake. So why not pack a selection of these treats and give your next family outing a touch of indulgence?

The star of these ginger crunch slices lies in the enchanting blend of warm ginger notes that infuse every bite. A luscious ginger shortbread base provides a buttery and crumbly texture, while the heavenly fudgy ginger icing drizzled on top adds an extra layer of sweetness and decadence. To take these slices to the next level, I’ve decorated them with generous chunks of crystallised ginger, ensuring an intensified ginger experience for all those ginger fans out there.

These ginger crunch slices are not only a delight on their own but also make a wonderful addition to any dessert platter or afternoon tea treat. Their versatility and warming flavour make them an excellent choice for various occasions, from parties to bake sales.

A piece of ginger crunch sits on a white plate with several sliced bars in the background.

Equipment Needed

  • Baking Tin: A 20x20cm (8x8inch) square tin or baking dish is required to bake the ginger crunch slice.
  • Mixing Bowl: A large mixing bowl is used for combining the ingredients and forming the ginger shortbread base. Choose a sturdy bowl that is deep enough to accommodate the mixture without causing spills.
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula: A wooden spoon or spatula is used for mixing the ingredients in the bowl. It helps to evenly distribute the ingredients and ensure a smooth consistency.
  • Offset Spatula: An offset spatula or palette knife comes in handy for spreading and smoothing the fudgy ginger icing over the ginger shortbread base. Its angled design allows for precise application.
  • Cooling Rack: A cooling rack is essential for transferring the baked ginger crunch slice from the baking tray. It allows for proper airflow, preventing the base from becoming soggy and ensuring even cooling.
  • Large Sharp Knife or Bench Scraper: A sharp knife or bench scraper is used to slice the ginger crunch into individual portions once it has cooled. Ensure the knife is long and sharp for clean and neat cuts.
  • Chopping Board: A chopping board provides a stable surface for cutting the ginger crunch into slices. Choose a large, sturdy board that can accommodate the size of the ginger crunch slice.
  • Storage Container: Airtight storage containers are essential for preserving the freshness and flavour of the ginger crunch. Select containers that are of an appropriate size to accommodate the slices and keep them protected.


  • Plain White All Purpose Flour – This is the base of the shortbread biscuit, stick with plain flour as we add a small amount of rising agent in the form of baking powder.
  • Golden Caster Sugar – I like to use this unrefined version of caster sugar for its caramel flavour. However, you can also use normal refined caster sugar as a substitute without affecting the flavour too much. Brown sugar has a stronger flavour so be aware of this if you wanted to substitute it. 
  • Baking Powder – This gives the biscuit base a little more fluffiness as it enables it to rise slightly.
  • Ground Ginger – An essential ingredient in New Zealand ginger crunch bars. This spicy, warm ingredient is what gives the biscuit their flavour and the name.
  • Unsalted Butter – Use unsalted butter as we aren’t adding salt to this recipe.
  • Golden Syrup – Sometimes called light treacle, this sweet syrup makes up part of the iced topping. I wouldn’t recommend a substitution for this but luckily, it can be found in most supermarkets and it stores well, so it can be used for other recipes. You can also make your own golden syrup too!
  • Icing Sugar (Powdered Sugar) – Also known as confectioners sugar, this fine, powder-like sugar is a main ingredient in the ginger frosting that is poured and set on top of the shortbread biscuit.

What is Ginger Crunch?

Classic Ginger crunch is an indulgent treat that combines the irresistible flavours of ginger, buttery shortbread, and a sweet and fudgy ginger icing. It is a popular slice or bar-style dessert that is beloved for its spicy and aromatic flavour.

Ginger crunch originates in New Zealand and dates back to the 1950’s if not, before. It’s a traditional recipe that many New Zealanders will remember their Grandmas baking.

In ginger crunch, the base is typically made with a ginger-infused shortbread biscuit that provides a buttery and crumbly texture. The icing, often made with ginger, sugar, and butter, adds a luscious and sweet layer on top, perfectly complimenting the warmth and spice of the ginger.

This delicious treat can be enjoyed in various settings, whether it’s served alongside a cup of coffee for breakfast, packed in picnic baskets and lunchboxes for a sweet snack, or savoured as a scrumptious addition to an afternoon tea spread.

While different versions of ginger crunch exist, some have an oat base for example. My recipe focuses on simplicity, allowing the bold and distinctive flavour of ginger to take centre stage. Each bite offers a harmonious blend of sweet, spicy, and buttery notes, making ginger crunch a firm favourite among ginger lovers and dessert enthusiasts alike.

You may hear Ginger Crunch being called an Edmonds Ginger Crunch recipe. Edmonds cook book is a classic New Zealand Cookery book where the original version of this recipe first appeared.

Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Ginger Crunch Slices

Step 1: Preheat the oven

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (356F).

Step 2: Beat butter and sugar

  • Combine butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until creamy.

Step 3: Sift flour and ginger

  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and ground ginger.
A hand is tipping butter into a white bowl that contains golden caster sugar.
A hand is adding ground ginger to a flour mixture in a white bowl that has a wooden spoon sat in it.

Step 4: Add flour mixture to the butter

  • Add the mixed flour to the butter and mix in to form a dough.
A hand is adding the flour mixture in with the creamed butter and sugar mixture.
Two hands are mixing the ingredients together to create a shortbread dough.

Step 5: Line and grease the baking tin

  • Line and grease a 20cm (8x8inch) square baking tin. Press the biscuit mixture down firmly in the prepared tin to spread it evenly to about 1cm thick.

Step 6: Bake in the oven

  • Place the tin in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until it turns golden.

Step 7: Remove and cool

  • Remove the tin from the oven and set it aside to cool.

Step 8: Prepare the topping

  • In a pan, melt the butter and syrup gently over a low heat.
A hand is pressing the shortbread dough down into a lined baking tin.
A hand is pouring golden syrup into a saucepan that contains butter.

Step 9: Sift icing sugar with ginger

  • In a separate bowl, sift the icing sugar with the ginger.

Step 10: Combine melted ingredients with sugar

  • Place the melted butter and syrup in the bowl with the sifted icing sugar and beat until a thick, smooth icing is formed.
A hand is pouring the melted butter mixture into the icing sugar in a white bowl.
A hand is using a wooden spoon to mix the icing mixture in a white bowl.

Step 11: Pour topping over the cooled base

  • Pour the topping over the cooled biscuit base and sprinkle crystallised ginger pieces on top.
A wooden spoon is smoothing the icing topping onto the baked shortbread base in a baking tin.
A hand is placing crystalised ginger pieces onto the top of the Ginger crunch.

Step 12: Allow to set

  • Allow the ginger crunch to set completely before slicing it into bars and storing it in a sealed container. 

Note: Ensure the biscuit base is pressed firmly and evenly into the baking tin for consistent thickness. Take care not to overbake the base, as it should be golden but not too dark. Allow sufficient cooling time before adding the topping to avoid melting it.


Is shortbread supposed to be crumbly?

Yes, the signature texture of shortbread is crumbly with a rich butter taste. If you find your shortbread biscuit base to be crumbly, fear not! This is quite normal.

Where does Ginger Crunch originate from?

The recipe for ginger crunch originates from New Zealand. It was originally published in the Edmonds Cookbook which is full of classic New Zealand recipes and dates back to 1908.

Can I freeze ginger crunch?

Yes you can, individually wrap the ginger crunch slices in clingfilm and store them in an airtight container. They will last in the freezer for 2-3 months.

A photo illustrating the set ginger crunch being sliced into bars.

Pro Tips and Guidance

  • Softened Butter: Ensure that the butter is softened before creaming it with the sugar. Softened butter mixes more easily, resulting in a smooth and creamy texture.
  • Sifting Dry Ingredients: Sift the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger before adding them to the mixture. Sifting helps to remove any lumps and ensures even distribution of the ingredients for a consistent texture.
  • Pressing the Biscuit Base: When pressing the biscuit mixture into the baking tin, use the back of a spoon or a spatula to press it down firmly and evenly. This will help the base hold together and provide a stable foundation for the topping.
  • Cooling the Biscuit Base: Allow the biscuit base to cool completely before adding the topping. This will prevent the topping from melting and ensure a clean and neat finish.
  • Line and grease the tin well – I recommend using baking/parchment paper to line the tin and leave the sides long. This will help to lift the traybake out of the tin with ease when it comes to slicing them up.
  • Complete Setting Time: Allow the ginger crunch to set completely before slicing it into bars. This may take some time, so be patient. It helps to refrigerate the slices for a few hours or overnight for the best results.
  • If the weather is hot, keep them in the fridge – If you live somewhere where the temperature outside is hot, or you make these at the height of summer, you can store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge. This will keep the iced topping set and prevent it from melting.
A hand holds a slice of ginger crunch above many other bars that are sat on a brown-coloured baking paper.



  • Once the Ginger Crunch Slices have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container.
  • They can be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • For longer storage, refrigerate the slices in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


  • You can freeze the Ginger Crunch Slices in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag for up to 2 months.
  • Thaw frozen slices in the refrigerator before serving.

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Three Ginger Crunch Bars stacked on top of one another. They are sat on top of a printed brown baking paper and surrounded by loose pieces of crystalised ginger.

How to Make Simple Ginger Crunch Slices – Oat Free

5 from 33 votes
Originating in New Zealand these delicious ginger crunch slices are an easy-to-make treat that everyone will love.
Print Recipe Rate Save
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Australian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Servings: 20 Slices
Calories: 294kcal


For the Biscuit Base

  • 280 g Plain Flour
  • 125 g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 180 g Unsalted Butter

For The Biscuit Topping

  • 180 g Unsalted Butter
  • 100 g Golden Syrup
  • 375 g Icing Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • Crystalised Ginger, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger.
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix together until a dough consistency forms.
  • Line and grease a 20cm square baking tin. Press the biscuit mixture firmly into the tin, spreading it evenly to about 1cm thickness.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
  • Remove the tin from the oven and set it aside to cool.
  • In a pan, gently melt the butter and golden syrup together over low heat.
  • In a separate bowl, sift the icing sugar and ground ginger.
  • Add the melted butter and syrup mixture to the sifted icing sugar and ginger. Beat well until a thick and smooth topping is formed.
  • Pour the topping over the cooled biscuit base, ensuring it covers the entire surface. Sprinkle with crystallised ginger pieces, if desired.
  • Allow the ginger crunch to set completely before slicing it into bars.


Recipe Notes

  • Softened Butter: Use softened butter for a smooth and creamy texture.
  • Sift Dry Ingredients: Sift flour, baking powder, and ground ginger for an even texture.
  • Press Biscuit Base: Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the baking tin.
  • Cool Biscuit Base: Allow the base to cool completely before adding the topping.
  • Line and Grease Tin: Use baking/parchment paper to line and grease the tin for easy removal.
  • Complete Setting Time: Let the ginger crunch set fully before slicing.
  • Refrigerate in Hot Weather: Store the bars in the fridge in hot weather to keep the topping set.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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