Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

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(192 ratings)

Cook: 50 mins - 1 hr


Serves 12
Try this moist and gooey stem ginger cake

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal285
  • fat10g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs50g
  • sugars31g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.81g
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  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 1 tbsp ground ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 115g butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 115g dark muscovado sugar
  • 115g black treacle
  • 115g golden syrup
  • 250ml whole milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 85g drained stem ginger, finely grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

For the icing

  • 50g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

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  1. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Butter and line an 18cm round, 7cm deep cake tin with greaseproof or parchment paper.

  2. Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda and all the spices into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  3. Put the sugar, treacle, syrup and milk in a medium saucepan and heat, gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to just below boiling point.

  4. Add the stem ginger to the flour mixture, then pour in the treacle mixture, stirring as you go with a wooden spoon. Break in the egg and beat until all the mixture is combined and it resembles a thick pancake batter. Pour this into prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out fairly clean. Leave to cool completely in tin before turning cake out. (To freeze: wrap in greaseproof paper, then in cling film. Freeze for up to 1 month.)

  5. To make the icing, mix together icing sugar and lemon zest, then gradually add lemon juice until you have a smooth, slightly runny icing, adding more juice, if needed. Drizzle icing in a zig-zag pattern over surface of cake, turn cake around and drizzle again to create the cross-hatched finish (see below). Cake keeps for up to 2 weeks stored in an airtight container.

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Comments (265)

kitchendemon's picture


I have made this cake for the top two tiers of a wedding cake before and it was so amazing it has been requested again many times.

However, I am about to make is for the large bottom tier of a wedding cake and would like to increase the size to about 30cm. Can anyone advise me on the alteration of baking times and temperature? I don't want to have to experiment too much because of the cost of the ingredients!

mint_choc_chip's picture

'squidgy' even! *there's definitely no squid in it!*

mint_choc_chip's picture

Awesome birthday cake for anyone who isn't a die hard chocolate lover - so squidy and moreish! Yum yum!

lawmary's picture

This was lovely. Really straight forward to good. Excellent taste. I had very good feedback from group of friends. Lovely and moist - didn't last long so can't comment on whether it remains moist for long. I shall certainly cook this again.

rebekahmca's picture

best ginger cake ever, husband absolutely loved it, will definitely be making this again!

joan8415's picture

This is a really lovely moist cake, just about the best ginger cake that we have eaten. Brought one to work and did not have a crumb left!
If you can keep is in airtight tin for 2 or 3 days is gets even better

moira-j's picture

This really is the best ginger cake. I've made it loads of times, especially good for a birthday. Stays moist in a cake tin for several days - if it's well hidden. Freezes perfectly, so a great one to stash away.

megs4790's picture

have made this cake lots of times, it turns out perfect everytime and is very popular! moist and delicious, very moreish!

familyhistoryaddict's picture

I found making the cake a bit fiddly with the weighing out of the treacle but otherwise easy. Tasted wonderful and had many good comments. Several friends wanted the recipe. Will certainly add this to my repertoire.

JIngarfield's picture

Hey, just read your review as my first attempt sits nicely in the oven making the house smell lovely and gingery! :) I noticed you mentioned the weighing out of the syrup especially was a bit tricky...what I found was easier is that if you have digital scales, stick the medium saucepan on top, set the scales back to zero then add the syrups directly into the pan...that way, no sticky transfers needed as that's the pan you'll use to heat it through with the milk and sugar! :)

lozzarain's picture

Excellent cake, best to leave it 24 hours to eat as I could definitely taste and feel the quality was better after this time of resting. Also I uses semi skimmed milk.

lozzarain's picture

Excellent cake, best to leave it 24 hours to eat as I could definitely taste and feel the quality was better after this time of resting. Also I uses semi skimmed milk.

sarah1004's picture

Made this cake for my husband's birthday who adores ginger and he said 'best ginger cake ever' so praise indeed! The lemon icing goes so well. Will be making this over and over again!

twin4664's picture

cake was beautiful,i used root ginger as i didn't have stem.

jaimiekinks's picture

I love Ginger so thought I would try this. It didn't need as long in my oven as 50mins so I will know next time as I thought at first the mixture was quite hard. It did however soften day by day and tasted even better. My neighbours tried some and have already asked when I'm going to make another!

sarahguinane's picture

Forgot to mention - can't get stem ginger where I live, so I used 85g of ginger preserve instead. I would recommend this substitute to anyone else who cannot find stem ginger; it is much closer to the original ingredient than root ginger or crystallized ginger and tastes fabulous.

sarahguinane's picture

Made this cake, but had no treacle so used 300g of golden syrup instead. Worked fine, great cake. I accidentally left it in too long, so the top got a slightly burnt, but once that was removed it was delicious. Going to serve with custard - nobody will know :)

cathywillatt's picture

Made this for the first time (first cake in 7 years in fact!) and it won me a bottle of wine for tasting fabulous. Easy and delicious... and popular!

susieone's picture

This is the best ginger cake recipe ever!!

thefoodnatic's picture

Can anyone tell me what the U.S. measurements are for this cake? Cheers! =)


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