Monday, September 16, 2013

Old-fashioned Ginger Cake

Sometimes the old recipes are the best. No tweaking, no ‘making it my own’ was needed for this lovely moist, aromatic  ginger cake.  It’s one I used to make many years ago and that my mother made quite often, but I’ve no idea where the recipe originally came from.

I haven’t baked it since long before the kids arrived, so it was totally new to them. I wasn’t sure if they’d like it, even though I loved it as a child. “Strong” was Youngest’s comment, as she first tasted it, but she ate it happily and the next day followed her older sister in drenching a slice with cream and eating it as a pudding. The only person who wasn’t that keen was my husband... but I’ve forgiven him.

It’s an easy recipe and quick to throw together, but slow to bake, which is lovely on a chilly wintry weekend, when the house fills with muted spicy scents as the cake slowly bakes to deep bronze perfection, and the oven makes a wonderful warm leaning post as you inhale the aromas. The cake remains moist and stickily chewy for days, so if you can resist eating it all up on the weekend it makes a perfect cake to eat slice by slice through the week. And there’s no need to ice it either, in fact icing it would cover up that lovely caramelly crust which is all part of the allure.

To be entirely truthful, I did make a small tweak – not having any treacle sugar (molasses sugar), I substituted a tablespoon of molasses for that amount of golden syrup and used regular brown sugar. I’m not sure how much extra treacly richness that added, so I’m going to have to bake it all over again with treacle sugar to check which I prefer, but in the mean time here is the recipe.

Ginger cake recipe
115g / 4oz butter
230g / 8oz golden syrup
½ cup milk
2 eggs
115g / 4oz treacle sugar (molasses sugar)
230g / 8oz self-raising flour (or plain flour + 2 tsp baking powder)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 120°C / 250°F
Grease and line the base of a 20cm/7inch round cake tin.

Melt the butter and syrup together. Stir the milk into it.
Sift together the dry ingredients.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
Pour the melted mixture over the eggs.
Mix in the dry ingredients.
Pour into the tin.
Bake for about 1 ½ hours until the top is firm and springy and a skewer comes out clean.
Cool on rack.

Devour when craving richness and spice in your life.


  1. It gets even better with keeping, Tandy... only trouble is it only lasted till Monday!

  2. This looks glorious, Kit. I just love this blogpost. It ticks every box for me, not least in the traditional recipes box. I'm going to make this for my husband, who loves ginger cake. x

    1. Glad you like the sound of it, Jane-Anne. Let me know how it turns out - I'm sure he'll enjoy it.

  3. Now all I need is a huge dollop of freshly whipped cream and a diving board!

    1. Guess I need to bake it again - the empty plate is going to make a rather hard landing place for that dive!

  4. Oh how perfect this seems for the chilly weather we are having now! Ginger makes everything better...


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