Sunday, 6 March 2011

Traditional Ginger Cake

This cake is so amazing it's moved me to song; to paraphrase a song from a musical (bonus points for guessing the song!):

The most beautiful sound I ever heard
All the beautiful sounds of the world in two words – Ginger cake
Ginger cake - I just ate a cake named Ginger cake
And suddenly I bake - how wonderful a cake can be
Ginger cake - say it loud and there's music playing
Say it soft and it's almost like praying – Ginger cake
I'll never stop saying Ginger cake, Ginger cake, Ginger cake...

I do love ginger cake. I thought I’d seen it all but then this wonderful recipe came into my life. The difference with this recipe is that it doesn’t have that thick white icing that usually offsets the gingery heat; it has a glaze that part sinks into the cake and part sets as a thin crust on top. It’s divine! Just to point out so you can eat your cake accordingly, the glaze only stays crisp for a day after you make it, then it turns sticky and soft.

As soon as I found this recipe I knew I had to share – all the ginger cakes I post feature in my sites “most viewed” recipes list. What is it about that warm, mellow spice that has such a hold on our taste buds? As with most ginger cakes, the flavours develop over time so this cake offers continual rewards!

The cake is light and flavoursome – the ginger is strong but not overpowering. For a cake containing so many syrupy ingredients, the sponge is surprisingly soft and crumbly. What I’m going to say will sound contradictory to my previous sentence, but somehow it isn’t: the syrup and treacle are a dominant feature of this cake, making it more akin to a syrupy juicy cake with ginger highlights. It would be fab served warm as pudding with thick custard but I like it best at room temperature. How is manages to be crumbly and syrupy I can’t say – but try it for yourself and you’ll see exactly what I mean!

My tip? Make two – it’s the only way you’ll get a second slice!


For the cake:

225g self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger (this gives a mild ginger flavour, next time I will double it to 4 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g unsalted butter
100g golden syrup
100g black treacle
100g light brown sugar
50g stem ginger, finely chopped
2 eggs
200ml milk

For the glaze:

4 tablespoons ginger syrup from the jar of stem ginger
4 tablespoons boiling water
200g icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan oven 160˚C/350˚F/Gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.

Place the flour, ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and butter into a food processor and blitz until you have bread crumbs. Put to one side

Place the golden syrup, black treacle, sugar and diced stem ginger into a large saucepan – it needs to be large because all the other ingredients will eventually be added to it.

Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved; you can tell this by looking for sugar crystals on the back of the spoon – if you can see them, you need to cook further.

Raise the heat and cook for a further couple of minutes, then remove from the hob.

Beat the eggs and milk into the hot syrupy mixture.

Beat in the flour and butter crumbs.

Stir thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour into the prepared cake tin (the mix will be runny) and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out virtually clean. Check after 40 minutes as mine was done at that point.

When the cake has almost finished baking make the glaze: beat together all the ingredients until they are smooth and well combined. Don’t expect it to be like icing – it will be much thinner and runnier.

When the cake is cooked, place it – still in its tin – on a wire rack and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Pierce the cake all over using a skewer and then pour over the glaze. Some will seep into the cake while the rest will harden and create a fine glaze on the cake.

Leave to cool and set completely before removing from the tin or serving.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

Me too! The most viewed recipe on my site is the easy peasy gingercake!

Love it!

Anonymous said...

Even though i am not a fan of ginger, ( only diluted well in whatever Im eating) this looks lovely.
I think probably next on my list now I've seen it.

I have a feeling Im going to have to blame you for any weight gain incurred in the near future lol.

Thank you for sharing, keep up the good work and as you say, happy baking!!!


I Sing In The Kitchen said...

I love anyone who sings songs about food! Funny, my first blog post ever was about gingerbread cupcakes. I can't wait to try your recipe for the cake.

C said...

Oh yum! I love ginger cake in all its forms. This one looks wonderful and will be added to the list to try soon.

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Looks so moist, and perfect dear.

Helen said...

Darn what is that song??

I've just been wondering what to do with the jar of stem ginger in my fridge and I think this is the answer. I can almost smell it from here!

Rhyleysgranny said...

LOL I can hear you singing. Your cake looks amazing. Maybe it will top the charts x

Victoria Whal said...

I love the look of this cake and I am a huge fan of ginger cake, but I'm wondering: what should I do if I don't have a food processor?

Anonymous said...

That's the best rendition of Maria to date! There's something about ginger cake, isn't there?

A friend's birthday is coming up, so I might give this a go...but I think I'll put dates in as well! Thank you for sharing! :)

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Victoria Whal

No probs if you don't have a food processor - you can make the crumbs using the old fashioned rubbing in method, or, if you have a food mixer use that.

Hope this helps

Happy baking!

Cakelaw said...

I want me some of that ginger cake!

Katie said...

I love a good ginger cake but they must be dark and sticky - this looks perfect! I'll have to give it a go, I can almost smell it.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Your timing is perfect - I'm on the hunt for great ginger cake recipes! Will give this one a go this week.

Tried another at the weekend, and added Nigella's lemon icing to it - can recommend :) The flavours complement each other fabulously well.

Anonymous said...

A question for you CC....does 'pancake' count as something you would try and then write up for this blog?
( I do love them!)


Maggie said...

Ginger cake has to be one of my favourites and it does look very inviting.

Hazel said...

I love a good ginger cake and yours looks so moist and delicious.

ClareBears said...

It's not often that I make a cake straight away but this has just come out of the oven and smells heavenly!


Paul James said...


Paul here, I look after the Social Media activity for Baked and Delicious Magazine. I saw your comment on Jam and Clotted Cream and we'd love to send you Issue 2 to review on your blog. I actually tried emailing you before the launch but the email got bounced back to me.

If you email me at: I will get a copy out to you.



P.S The ginger cake looks amazing

Pauline said...

I would love this with custard, please :-)

Pudding Pie Lane said...

Ginger cake! I don't know the song I'm afriad, but I do know that I like ginger cake :) I love it when it goes sticky aswell, served with a bit of ice cream!

Kim said...

One of my most favourite desserts in the whole world! Can't wait to give this recipe a try!

Anonymous said...

I made this today and it was absolutely delicious, extremely moist and light. Don't go mad (I will put up with raised eyebrows) I didn't have any stem ginger do used about 20g grated fresh ginger and made the extra 30g up with syrup and treacle - not ideal but still a big hit in this house.

Erika said...

I replaced the black treacle with black molasses, used 4 tsps ginger, 2 tsps cinnamon and 1 tsp mixed spice and the cake for me is now perfect!

Magical Moon said...

Looks delicious! Any idea how long this cake would keep if wrapped in foil?


The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Ian

I would say in foil it will last a good week, maybe even longer. It will start to dry out eventually but you could revive it by warming it and serving as dessert

Happy baking