Grantham Gingerbreads

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Watching a tv program, Great British Railway Journeys I saw Michael Portillo being introduced to a biscuit which he, and almost everyone else, had never known about. That was Grantham Gingerbread. I hadn’t heard of it either, so did some investigation. It seems that it was first produced in 1740 and was eaten locally in Grantham, Lincolnshire until the 1970s. Recently it has been making a bit of a resurgence in that town, apparently. I found several recipes, mostly the same one repeated. So I decided I would try to make them and see what was special about them.

The recipe can be seen on CookitSimply, as well as being reproduced below.

Having now made them I can tell you a bit about them. They are a sweet, and very crunchy biscuit that start out as a ball of dough and, during baking, become a domed biscuit that is hollow inside. There is a lot of sugar in the biscuit, making it sweet, with a hint of ginger. I think the next time I make them I will double the amount of ginger, just to give it an extra kick. But certainly this first attempt turned out great and they taste so good. Just a little extra ginger will, for me, improve them immensely.

If you want to try something that you are unlikely ever to have seen before then I recommend you to have a go at making these.

Grantham Gingerbreads

Grantham Gingerbreads – Video

  • 112g softened butter
  • 340g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg, beaten(in the USA this would be large)
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger(I think a little more would be better, up to 2 tsp)


  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/135c Fan/300F
  2. In a bowl cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. (a stand mixer or food processor is fine for all of this recipe)
  3. Gradually add the beaten egg until fully combined.
  4. In a bowl mix the self raising flour and ground ginger together.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and beat until fully combined. (it will pull together into clumps, you can stop at that stage).
  6. Divide the mixture into small round balls, weighing about 25g each and place on baking trays, leaving room for them to spread somewhat during baking.(you should get 30 balls)
  7. Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until they have spread, and domed, with some cracks on the top, and are a light golden colour.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  9. They will be firm of the outside and hollow and slightly honeycombed on the inside.
  10. Store in an airtight container.


  1. my mum always made these when i was young in the seventies she called them gingerbread hollows and they always dissappeared fast.
    going to try baking them myself.

  2. Grantham gingerbread is always sold at the Nottingham Goose Fair so it is well known in this area. A very nice treat. I'm surprised they are not that well known elsewhere.

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