Ben makes one of his favourite desserts - developed from a recipe by fellow journalist Annabel Crabb.






Skill level

Average: 2.6 (20 votes)


  • 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125 g salted butter
  • 100 g (½ cup) soft brown sugar
  • 175 g (½ cup) golden syrup
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • vanilla ice cream, to serve

Caramel sauce

  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) thick (double) cream
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 tbsp orange juice (or bourbon if catering for adults)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. For the gingernuts, sift the flour, ground ginger, allspice and cinnamon together into a mixing bowl.
  2. In a small heavy - based saucepan over low – medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup and grated ginger together. When it begins to bubble, remove from the heat and sprinkle in the bicarbonate of soda: excitingly, the mixture will fizz up. Pour the foamy liquid into the dry ingredients and stir, adding the egg to bring everything together. When you have a smooth and glossy dough, leave it to cool to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  4. Take teaspoonfuls of the soft dough and roll into balls with your hands, spacing them out evenly on the trays and allowing plenty of room for the biscuits to spread – six to a standard-sized baking tray is prudent. Bake each batch of gingernuts for 8–10 minutes or until dark golden - brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack, then seal in a container until you’re ready for the sandwiching.
  5. For the caramel sauce, put the sugar into a dry heavy - based saucepan over medium heat. Heat the sugar until it melts, swirling all you like. When the caramel is a deep golden colour, carefully pour in the cream: it will make an awful fuss, but keep stirring, at arm’s length, and it will settle down. When you have a smooth sauce, stir in the butter and juice. Leave to cool, then pour into a jar – it will keep in the fridge for a week, so you can disgrace yourself with leftovers.
  6. To serve; squish a good scoop of ice cream onto a gingernut and drizzle with the caramel sauce before applying its gingernut lid.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.