It automatically rings a bell and makes us all happy when we hear the word “brownies”. We start imagining and craving for its oh-so-yummy and chocolaty taste. A brownie as we all know, is a sweet flattened square chocolate baked treat that is a favourite with so many people. But who knows what a Broonie is?  There is indeed also a baked goody called a “broonie”. Yes it sounds like brownie but it’s different in many ways, including its color, texture and also taste. Let’s find out more and see what you think about a Broonie or a Brownie as you choice of food gift or treat.

A Broonie is ginger bread made with oatmeal. Commonly called a “Broonie Orkney”, this treat originated in Orkney Islands, an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, United Kingdom where the staples for bread are corn, barley and oats.

According to, a Broonie is derived from the Old Norse word which refers to a thick bannock. Broonie is a lovely light gingerbread, gorgeous with a cup of hot milky tea on a dark Scottish winter’s night. Its’ home style, great taste and rustic appeal makes for a wonderful food gift. Whether it be personal or a handmade food for a business gift, the Broonie is a very much appreciated sentiment.

Rolled Oats

Unlike Brownies, the Broonies’ primary ingredient is Oatmeal. Of course, Brownie recipes, well, at least shall we say we know for sure, Dello Mano brownies, call for chocolate as one of the key ingredients.  The Broonie recipe however relies strongly on the use of oatmeal.

Brownies and Broonies are further separated by another factor. The Broonie is usually baked in a form of a loaf bread whereas the Brownie in a tray or flat pan.

The Broonie has as a distinct flavour with the addition of ginger. While Ginger Brownies are definitely available ( we do one here at Dello Mano), the Broonie with its’ absence of chocolate, allows for a very distinct ginger flavour profile.

The  wholesome whole grains used to craft the Broonie makes it a fantastic health food gift or treat. Of course if it is a chocolate gift you’re looking for, then we say you can’t go past  a Brownie :)- but having said that, all handmade food gifts are such a treat even we can live without the chocolate… at least once or twice.

To better understand the Broonie, here’s the recipe we found on the internet that you might like to try at home. Let us know what you think.

Photo  and recipe courtesy of


Yields: 1 loaf


  1. Preheat oven 170°C.
  2. Combine oatmeal,salt and flour.
  3. Rub in butter,stir in sugar and ginger.
  4. In a small saucepan heat treacle gently,stir in egg. Pour into dry ingredients add buttermilk and stir thoroughly until all are well combined.
  5. Pour batter into a buttered 900g/2lb loaf tin.
  6. Bake 60-70 minutes until knife inserted in centre comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack and cool COMPLETELY before turning out.

Something that both Brownie and Broonie have in common is that both are best left to “mature” for a few days. Allowing both baked treats time to settle and for the flavours to develop, really does result in a better final product. Not sure about Broonies, but I know for sure, it’s awfully hard to protect a new batch of brownies as they  “mature”-  since generally they’re eaten up in the first few minutes they come out of the oven!

So what do you say? – Broonie or Brownie as your choice of food gift or would that choice be different if it’s just a treat at home to enjoy with the family? Our vote here, is of course a Brownie as our Chocolate gift – but then again we’re fairly biased.

Broonie or Brownie, handmade food is the best treat every time!

4 thoughts on “BROONIE or BROWNIE?

  1. Thanks so much for the insight into the broonie! I am curious and will try to make it. I do know though I would much prefer a brownie. Chocolate will always be the winner and brownies are my favourite!

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