Sunday, 12 June 2016

Ginger and rum cake

I think I must be a contrarian baker.  Now that summer actually seems to have arrived, I know I should be thinking about strawberries, cream and other such light frippery….but what I really wanted this week was ginger cake.  And rum.  And dates.  And all things that make you think of colder weather (not that I even like colder weather).  As I said – contrarian.

This cake is always better the day after baking, and the day after that; it’s always the way with sticky spicy cakes – they need time to mellow and let their flavours mature.  I do have a penchant for rum and have a selection at home that would rival most cocktail bars; for this cake I chose a spiced rum as I thought the extra punch of flavour would work well.  Spiced rum always seems to have a vanilla note to it too and I never miss the opportunity to get a bit of vanilla into something.

You can taste each of the main flavours in the cake: ginger, dates and rum.  Putting the rum in the icing gives a raw hit – if you like your booze softer, and more baked, consider putting more in the cake and leaving it out of the icing.

Without checking through almost nine years of blogging, I don’t remember putting dates into a ginger cake before.  It was a good move – it turned a standard ginger cake into something more akin to a sticky toffee pudding.  You could leave the icing off this cake and serve it warm, as dessert, with custard or ice cream.  Personally, I am always partial to a white icing and a bit of the itchy teeth feel it can sometimes create.  Many older people I know have lost their taste for overly sweet things…I do sometimes wonder if it will ever happen to me.  I just can’t imagine being that person who winces when they eat something and say, ‘ooh, that’s a bit sweet for me’.  Does. Not.  Compute.


75g unsalted butter
100g dark muscovado sugar
125g black treacle
125g golden syrup
2 eggs
3 tablespoons rum – I used spiced rum
225g self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
50g stem ginger, finely chopped
75g medjool dates – pitted and finely chopped
For the icing:
100g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons spiced rum
1 tablespoon stem ginger syrup (from the jar of stem ginger)


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

Line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper.

Place the butter, sugar, treacle and golden syrup into a saucepan and melt together over a gentle heat.

Leave to cool for at least 5 minutes before beating in the eggs and rum – if the mix is too hot the eggs will scramble and leave lumps in the cake.  Not nice.

Stir in the flour and ground ginger.

Stir in the chopped ginger and dates.

Pour into the prepared baking tin.

Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes in the tin, before de-tinning and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

Now make the icing: mix the icing sugar with 1 tablepsoon each of rum and ginger syrup – add the extra spoonful of rum only if needed.  You’re aiming for a thick, glossy icing that has movement to it but isn’t so loose it will just run off the cake.

Spoon the icing over the cake and leave to set.

This cake gets better with age – it becomes stickier and more flavoursome.

Serve in generous slices with a cup of tea.

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



Angie Schneider said...

My husbands also loves winter time..snow makes him really happy. I always love to bake with ginger, fresh or powder, and anther favourite here is black treacle. This is one great moist cake with lots of great flavours.

Charlene Flash said...

Nom, nom, nom. I love ginger and rum so this would be a perfect cake for me.

Stuart Vettese said...

I think this sounds quite Jamaican with the rum, so I think it is perfect for summer.

Stephanie Jane said...

Ginger cake is one of my absolute favourites, but I've never actually baked it myself. This recipe looks perfect to start!

Stephanie Jane

Cakelaw said...

What a terrific flavour combination. It sounds really tasty.

Gloria Baker said...

Delicious !I love ginger's cakes !!♡♡♡

Janine said...

Those pictures of the icing running down the cake are drool-worthy! Sounds like a delicious cake; I'll be using one of your cakes when I eventually get around to making a ginger cake.

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

I think ginger works at any time of year..... especially a yummy moist ginger cake...... Bet this would taste amazing with a rum custard too!

sensibilia said...

A sticky toffee pudding you can eat with your fingers on the move! My husband would love it!

Choclette Blogger said...

Sounds fabulous. I love a good ginger cake and rum can only make it better. I'm one of those whose sweet tooth has got slightly less so, but icing on ginger cake is different ;)