A timeless biscuit that can instantly brighten your day – classic ginger biscuits with orange zest. The blend of warming ginger and zesty orange creates a flavour that will be loved by the whole family. Whether enjoyed with a cup of tea, served as an after-school treat, packed in a lunchbox, or presented at an elegant afternoon tea party, these easy-to-make ginger biscuits are great for any occasion.
What Makes This Recipe Great!
- Great for morning sickness – Ginger is known to settle the stomach, especially in early pregnancy. A quick bite of these simple biscuits may help you through the nausea associated with pregnancy.
- Perfect on its own – Other than a cup of tea, ginger biscuits hold their own when eaten alone.
- The dough is freezer-Friendly – This recipe is great for making ahead and freezing the dough until you need it.
About This Recipe – In More Detail
Indulge in the perfect accompaniment to your favourite cuppa – these easy-to-make ginger biscuits with their crunchy texture. With a satisfying crunch on the outside and a soft, chewy centre, they offer a blissful experience, especially when dunked into a steaming hot drink.
You can also serve them as after-school snacks, in a lunchbox or as part of an afternoon tea party. Pair them with these delicious Apricot Almond Biscotti or try these chunky stuffed cookies flavoured with Biscoff and create a delightful cookie platter that will provide multiple delicious choices for your friends and family. You can even use them to make the base for these delicious caramel biscuit bars too.
While a traditional ginger biscuit is an age-old classic that never fails to please. Adding something a little extra, make these crunchy ginger biscuits extra special. The addition of orange zest into the biscuit dough, gives these biscuits a subtle citrusy note that compliments the ginger flavour so well.
Dunking a ginger biscuit into a cup of tea is a comforting treat with the spiciness of the ginger shining through.
Equipment Needed To Make Classic Ginger Biscuits
- Bowl: A large mixing bowl for combining dry ingredients.
- Saucepan: Used to melt butter and golden syrup.
- Wooden Spoon/Spatula: For mixing ingredients together.
- Grater or Zester: Fine grater for grating the orange zest.
- Clingfilm/Plastic Wrap: To wrap and chill the cookie dough.
- Baking Tray/Baking Sheet: For baking the biscuits.
- Parchment Paper/Baking Paper: To line the baking tray and prevent sticking.
- Cooling Rack: A wire rack to cool the biscuits completely.
- Plain Flour (All-purpose flour) – I use plain white flour for this recipe, I don’t recommend an alternative.
- Baking Powder – Instead of using self-raising flour, I control the amount of baking powder by adding it separately. Baking powder acts as a leavening agent in the biscuits.
- Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) – I use this to give our biscuits a little rise similar to the baking powder.
- Ground Ginger – I flavour our biscuits with ground ginger which is mixed in with the flour. Ground ginger has a concentrated and intense spicy ginger flavouring so stick to the amount suggested. If you wish, you can also add a tablespoon of chopped stem ginger to the dough for an extra ginger kick.
- Sea Salt – A little bit of salt in these biscuits intensifies the flavour and adding it separately instead of using salted butter, allows us to control the amount. You can, however, omit the salt if you’d prefer.
- Caster Sugar – You can use refined or golden caster sugar for this recipe.
- Unsalted Butter – I add in my own amount of salt separately, so stick with unsalted butter or an unsalted vegan alternative that is suitable for baking recipes.
- Golden Syrup – Ideally, golden syrup should not be substituted in this recipe as the flavour is quite particular and other ingredients may alter the flavour of the biscuits.
- Egg – The egg binds the dough together. You could try using an egg replacement if you follow an egg free diet, but the binding power can vary greatly from different egg substitutes, so use one that is recommended for making cookies and biscuits.
- Freshly Grated Orange Zest – The zest from the orange gives these biscuit a subtle flavour kick. Be sure to grate it finely and use an orange that has not been waxed.
Additions Variations and Substitutions
- Chocolate Ginger Biscuits:
- Add chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate to the dough.
- Lemon Ginger Biscuits:
- Replace the orange zest with lemon zest for a refreshing twist.
- Cranberry Ginger Biscuits:
- Add dried cranberries to the dough for a festive touch.
- Vegan Ginger Biscuits:
- Use vegan butter or margarine instead of regular butter.
- Use a vegan egg substitute like flaxseed meal or applesauce.
- Gluten-Free Ginger Biscuits:
- Replace plain flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
- Ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free.
Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Ginger Biscuits
Step 1: Preheat the oven
- Preheat the oven to 160C (320F).
Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients
- In a bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), salt, and ginger. Set these ingredients aside.
Step 3: Melt the butter and golden syrup
- In a saucepan, melt the butter with the golden syrup over a low heat until you create a runny liquid.
Step 4: Add the melted ingredients to the flour mixture
- Allow the melted ingredients to cool slightly, then add them to the flour mixture.
Step 5: Mix the ingredients
- Mix the ingredients together until they form a breadcrumb-like texture that is slightly wet to touch.
Step 6: Add orange zest
- Finely grate the orange zest and mix it into the dough.
Step 7: Add the beaten egg
- Beat the egg and then add it to the rest of the ingredients. Mix together with a spoon until it starts to come together, then use your hands to form a big ball of cookie dough.
Step 8: Chill the dough
- Wrap the cookie dough ball in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will stiffen the dough so it bakes better and doesn’t spread too much in the oven. You can also freeze the dough at this stage if desired.
Step 9: Shape the dough
- Once chilled, remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap it. Use your hands to roll small golf ball-sized balls of dough.
Step 10: Prepare the baking tray
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and grease it. Place the cookie dough balls on the tray, leaving space in between to allow the biscuits to spread as they bake.
Step 11: Bake the biscuits
- Place the tray in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the biscuits turn golden.
Step 12: Cool the biscuits
- Remove the ginger biscuits from the oven and allow them to sit on the hot tray to cool and harden slightly before attempting to move them.
Step 13: Transfer to a cooling rack
- Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before storing or serving.
Note: Be cautious when handling hot trays and cookies from the oven. Allow the biscuits to cool adequately to avoid burns.
Why Are They Called Gingernut Biscuits?
The reason that these biscuits are sometimes referred to as gingernuts is owing to the harder, crunchier texture, similar to that of a nut. You can also find them being called old fashioned ginger snap cookies (the difference in the recipe is the omission of molasses here in this recipe) or simply Ginger Biscuits like I have used here. The only real difference that separates these from a more traditional gingernut biscuit recipe is that extra depth of flavour from the pairing of ginger and orange.
This is usually due to over baking them. Check the oven temperature is correct and try baking them for a little less time.
Yes, you can freeze both the dough and the baked biscuits. To freeze the dough, shape it into a ball or form it into individual portions and wrap tightly with plastic wrap or place in a freezer bag. Frozen dough can be stored for up to 2-3 months. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
Pro Tips and Guidance
- Be sure to chill the dough- Don’t dismiss the importance of chilling the dough before you bake it. The 30 minute chilling time allows the dough to keep it’s shape a lot better and not become too flat when it’s placed in the hot oven.
- Bake for longer if you want them crunchier – Bake these biscuits for 15 minutes and they will come out chewy and soft in the centre. If you want them to have more of a crunch, bake for a little bit longer. However, be careful not to burn them and ruin the taste. Luckily, this recipe makes plenty of cookie dough, so you can perfect your cooking time just how you like it.
- The dough is freezer-friendly – This recipe makes approximately 30 biscuits but the dough can be frozen. Just defrost it in the fridge when you want to use it.
- They will be soft immediately from the oven – Don’t confuse this with the biscuits needing more baking time. They will harden as they cool. Leave them on the baking tray for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- Add Stem Ginger for an extra ginger boost – If you like really gingery biscuits, try adding in 1 tablespoon of chopped stem ginger when adding the orange zest and mix it into the dough.
Storing Classic Ginger Biscuits
- After baking, allow the biscuits to cool completely.
- Store the biscuits at room temperature in an airtight container.
- The biscuits will stay fresh for up to a week when stored properly.
Freezing the Dough –
If you want to freeze the ginger biscuit dough before baking:
- Shape the dough into a log or form it into individual portions.
- Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap or place it in a freezer bag.
- Label the container with the date for reference.
- Store the frozen dough in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrosting and Baking:
When you’re ready to bake the frozen dough:
- Remove the dough from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to defrost.
- Allow the dough to thaw in the fridge overnight or until it’s fully defrosted.
- Once thawed, you can either keep the dough together or pre-roll it into little balls for quicker defrosting.
- Proceed with baking the defrosted dough as per the original recipe instructions.
- Enjoy freshly baked ginger biscuits!
Check Out These Other Biscuit Recipes
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Easy Ginger Biscuits with Orange Zest
- 350 grams Plain Flour
- 15 g Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 200 grams Caster Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Ground Ginger
- 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
- 125 grams Unsalted Butter
- 75 grams Golden Syrup
- 1 large Egg
- 1 whole Orange, zest only, finely grated.
- Preheat the oven to 160C.
- Mix the flour, salt, ginger, baking powder, and bicarbonate together.
- Add the caster sugar and mix in.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and golden syrup over a gentle heat and allow it cool slightly.
- Add the melted butter and syrup to the flour and mix until it becomes like wet breadrcumbs.
- Add the orange zest and mix.
- Beat the egg and add to the dough. Mix it thoroughly until everything is combined and you have a firm but slightly pliable dough.
- Wrap the dough tightly in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and uncover. Create golf ball sized amounts of dough and roll into a ball.
- Place each ball on a lined, greased baking tray with space between each one to allow them to spread.
- Place in the hot oven for 15 minutes until they turn golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow the biscuits to sit on the tray for a few minutes to harden before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- Serve or store them once they have cooled completely.
- The dough can be frozen before baking, you can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Chilling the dough before baking is an important step.
- The biscuits will be soft when you remove them from the oven. This does not mean that they need more cooking time. Just allow them to rest on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. They will harden as they cool.
- Bake them for a few more minutes if you prefer them to be crunchier.
- You can add 1 tablespoon of chopped stem ginger to the dough for an extra ginger boost.