Gingerbread Loaf

When I was in high school I had a friend Mattie who never showed any signs of wanting to cook.  Since leaving school we haven’t seen a lot of each other as he moved away from Sydney however, we do keep in touch through facebook.



A few weeks ago he posted a photo of a gingerbread loaf he’d made.  This was the second photo he’d posted of something he’d cooked in as many days and so I told him if he posted a third image he’d be at risk of being labelled a food blogger.  Mattie assured me he has no ambition of wearing that title and actually no real desire to cook, but I’m sure I haven’t seen the last of his kitchen creations.

What I did like about his gingerbread loaf is that the recipe comes from the Edmonds Cookery Book and my mother, who had the Edmonds cookbook in her collection while I was growing up, also used to make this gingerbread.

Gingerbread Loaf

Gingerbread Loaf

Now…for those who are regular readers you will know this is not the first recipe I have posted from the Edmunds Cookery Book.  It’s a book I love because I love the history behind the cookbook.  The cookbook has been part of almost every New Zealand home for the past four generations.  The first edition was published in 1908 by Thomas Edmonds in thanks for the support given to his product, Edmonds Baking Powder.  It was a 50 page booklet of economical, everyday recipes and cooking hints.

At one time the cookery book was sent to every newly engaged couple in New Zealand which is such a lovely idea.  Today the cookbook has sold over three million copies which is astounding given the population of New Zealand is only a little more than that.  My grandmother gave me my copy of the cookbook many years ago.



I’d forgotten all about the gingerbread loaf until Mattie posted a photo of it.  For several years Mattie lived in New Zealand and that was where he added the cookbook to his collection.  (Actually, it could be possible the Edmunds Cookery Book stands alone in his collection).

When I saw the loaf on facebook, I told Mattie I would make it and share the recipe with you.  It’s very easy to make, it’s egg-free for those who don’t eat eggs, it could easily be made vegan by substituting the milk and butter for non-dairy versions, and as it cooks it puts a wonderful aroma through the home that’s quite Christmasy – how timely!

Serve warm with butter

Serve warm with butter

This is a bit like banana bread in that it doesn’t need to be iced and a slice warm from the oven with a slab of butter is all that’s needed.

Thanks Mattie for reminding me of another fabulous recipe from the Edmunds Cookery Book and keep up with the cooking!

5.0 from 6 reviews
Gingerbread Loaf
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: New Zealand
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 slices
A gingerbread loaf.
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 175g (6 oz) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup treacle
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1½ tsp bicarb soda
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (375F)
  2. Sift together the flour, ground ginger and mixed spice and place in a large bowl.
  3. Put butter, sugar, treacle, milk and bicarb soda in a basin and stand basin in a saucepan of hot water until mixture is melted and bubbly. Pour into flour mixture.
  4. Mix and bake in a grease shallow tin for between 45 minutes and an hour.

Gingerbread served with butter

Gingerbread served with butter


  1. Looks and sounds yummy, Charlie xx

  2. Yum. Sounds a bit like a bran loaf recipe my mum gave me years ago. It is very simple with lots of all bran in it. Sooo good for you:))

  3. I hope I can find some treacle and give this historical recipe a try. It sounds lovely. 🙂

    I am curious what ‘mixed spice’ is?

    • Hi Marie, mixed spice is a blend of spices. It’s made from a combination of allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s readily available in the spice rack section of the supermarket in Oz. Not sure if it’s available in Canada!

  4. I’m going to make this for Thanksgiving this year. 🙂 It sounds so good, moist and dense and wonderful. 🙂

  5. I feel quite honoured to share in the tradition of Edmond’s through this recipe. I love gingerbread and love that this is egg free – I think I’ll have to try it!

  6. Oh yum – that last photo with the butter melting took me right back to my childhood. I love a recipe that connects you with memories and people.

  7. Bookmarked! Looks delicious – I love gingerbread – my mum has a fondness for it that I think perhaps I inherited or maybe it it just that it is the sort of thing that was popular in her day! Hope Mattie continues to inspire your cooking and baking (as well as eating well himself)

  8. I can only imagine the ginger scent wafting through the house when this is baking.

  9. I love the Edmonds cookbook. My kiwi friend gave it to me a few years ago and I’ve never had a failed recipe. My Dad’s mum was from NZ so I do wonder if she ever had a copy. I haven’t tried the gingerbread but I will now!

  10. Hi Charlie, I have been looking at different gingerbread recipes. Such a perfect loaf for this time of year, looks fabulous!

  11. —I smell that Gingerbread all the way in Minnesota!!))) xx

  12. My friend Queen Viv bought me a copy of it! Such a great cookbook 🙂 I haven’t made this-the only thing is that there are no pics so I don’t know what to make first!

  13. I so love gingerbread Charlie it is one of my vary favourites. I too have the Edmunds book and every so often I pop it out for a study. x looks great , I wonder if Matties was as good as yours.

  14. It’s real gingerbread… I LOVE it! 🙂
    Sooooo making a batch of this over the weekend, the scent will be perfect for setting the Christmas tree, listening to carols and getting into the spirit of the end of the year. 🙂

  15. Nothing nicer than the smell of Christmas baking.
    Have a wonderful weekend Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  16. Looks delicious, Charlie … I’m a huge gingerbread fan so I suspect I’ll be trying this recipe x

  17. Such a perfect holiday loaf! The aroma in your kitchen must have been heavenly when this was baking!

  18. Next time I go to the library must look to see if the Edmunds cookbook is among the cookbooks collection, sounds like a great cookbook.

  19. I do recall when you first shared the story of the Edmunds Cookery Book, and I love that recipes continue to be highlighted from it even today. My husband loves gingerbread and there are so many different ways it can be enjoyed. I love the simplicity of this loaf and expect I’ll have made it before my weekend is over! 🙂

  20. Where would we be without that cookbook, I got first own copy from my mum when I moved out of home, and I did the same with my twins when they left home. They brought out a microwave one, which was not that great, and I think they brought out a children’s one…hmmmm must go and have a google. Have a great weekend 🙂

  21. I make a recipe very similar to this from the NZ Radio and TV Cookbook edited by Alison Holst (back in the70’s) – it is a book where viewers and listeners sent in their favourite recipes and the one I make is so similar to this that I am guessing that the reader used this one as their base – long live the Edmonds Cookbook:-)

  22. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Mmmm, I’ve never thought of buttering gingerbread, but now I can’t wait to try it!

  23. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Mmmm, I’ve never thought of buttering gingerbread, but now I can’t wait to try it!

  24. I am baking this loaf as I type – the smell is delicious!!
    Love ‘old’ recipes – thanks Charlie xx

  25. Ooh I love a good gingerbread loaf. And how good is the Edmunds Cookery Book? Such a classic!

  26. OK. My hiatus from the internet and how lovely to return to you to find what to me is a vintage-type recipe for one of my favorite dishes. I’ve missed you and your family and am ready to get to the archived posts I have been storing up!

  27. Old school goodness! I think my grandma used to make one like this.

  28. I really enjoy gingerbread around the holidays and this loaf looks wonderful!

  29. Edmonds would be hard to find in America — just a few on Interesting how those old books stay in the hearts of their original audience and descendants of the first users, but have little traction outside their native place.

    I think that’s a fairly classic gingerbread.

    best… mae at

  30. This looks delicious and I can imagine how amazing your kitchen smelled! I should definitely make this. My dad will be so excited. Gingerbread is one of his favorites. 🙂

  31. Okay now I have to make some gingerbread! Just saw my grandmothers recipe for it recently, too. Warm with butter is the best for a good looking loaf like this one.

  32. Charlie this loaf sounds delicious! Sounds like your friend Mattie might be a FBID (Food blogger in denial)!

  33. Oh Charlie this looks heavenly, I adore anything sweet with ginger, thanks for the recipe 🙂
    Jan x

  34. This must be one of the easiest recipes I have ever seen for gingerbread. And I should know as I love, love gingerbread and seem to have amassed a folder of recipe variations. This looks great!

  35. I love gingerbread. While I was reading I could almost smell it! Looks wonderful. 🙂

  36. I have been on the look out for ginger dessert recipes, love the sound of this!

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