The beauty of a tray bake is that it’s easily transported in the tin you bake it in and cut into portions to share out. 






Skill level

Average: 2.7 (37 votes)

This is one of the various tray bakes members of our congregation would bring to church on Sundays to tuck into when we gathered together after the service. Ginger is a simple way of flavouring a sponge – but oh so good.


  • 220 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 220 g dark soft brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 220 g self-raising flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 knobs stem ginger, chopped into small pieces
  • 1½ tbsp stem ginger syrup

Ginger syrup

  • 60 g dark soft brown sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • ½ tsp ground ginger

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. Heat your oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Grease a shallow 30 x 20cm baking tin and line it with baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well to incorporate each addition. Sift the flour and ground ginger together over the mixture and gently fold in. Finally, fold in the chopped stem ginger and syrup.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the surface. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly.
  4. For the syrup, gently heat the sugar, ginger and water together in a small pan until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and let the syrup bubble away until it thickens a little.
  5. While the tray bake is still warm, make small holes all over the surface then pour on the syrup, so it seeps into the holes. Leave to cool completely. Cut into pieces to serve.



Extract from A Baker's Life by Paul Hollywood (Bloomsbury, $39.99).