Although there are a multitude of outstanding Scottish Gingerbread recipes, I just love this one – it is dark and rich and works wonderfully well with a good dollop of butter. I actually used this recipe on an episode of MasterChef – it was part of the starter dish I doled out in the Chefs Table episode. It’s not sweet or sickly but heavily spicy and moist, with almost half a bottle of beer in it. It is very simple to make. The village of Fochabers sits on the banks of the River Spey, in the northeast of Scotland. The town is world-famous for its soups, as well as its jams and jellies.


225g / 8oz plain or all-purpose flour
110g / 3 ½ oz butter, unsalted
110g / 3 ½ oz sugar
110g / 3 ½ oz treacle
1 egg
110g / 3 ½ oz mixed dried fruit
40g / 1 ½ oz  ground almonds
40g / 1 ½ oz  flaked almonds
40g / 1 ½ oz  candied peel, finely chopped
1tsp / mixed spice
2tsp ginger, ground
1tsp cinnamon, ground
½tsp cloves, ground
½tsp bicarbonate of soda/ Baking soda
150 ml / 5floz dark beer


Grease and line a 20cm x 10cm / 8-inch x 4-inch loaf tin with greaseproof paper. I find it easier if you brush the sides of the tin with a little oil first as this helps the paper to stick to the tin. Preheat the oven to 160˚C / 325˚F. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the treacle and fold in. Beat the egg in a small bowl and then gradually add it to the butter and sugar mix, beating well in-between additions. Sieve the flour and spices into a clean bowl. Next add the fruit, ground almonds and flaked almonds. Add all of this to the butter mixture. Next, dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the beer, add to the mixture and mix together. Pour the mixture into your lined loaf tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Press the top of the cake and if it bounces back, it is ready. Once out of the oven let it rest for 10 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. This recipe works just as well with Gluten free flour and non-dairy butter.

Biadh math!