Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

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(196 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


  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 (270)

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! =)

kfurber's picture

This cake is amazing. I think this is possibly the best cake I have made from this website. Beautiful, sticky, moist, it was devoured in an afternoon!

jellybaby25's picture

Very soft and yummy!

laugh_producer's picture

Genuinely the best cake I've ever made, I added a bit of syrup from the stem ginger jar to the mix too. I left off the icing and served warm with homemade custard. It was gorgeous. So good in fact we are having it instead of Christmas pudding this year.

maxbax's picture

Absolutely delicious loved by the whole family and everyone at work

vipsta83's picture

Amazing, realy moist and keeps well. Had it without the icing and it was great as it was. Will def make this again.

njamurphy's picture

When making a cake similar to this I had trouble with the treacle, syrup, sugar and milk mix. For some reason the mix appeared to almost curdle with lumps forming on the top. Very odd. Tried again with the heat lower but same happened again to a lesser extent. Does anyone have any advice?

JIngarfield's picture

Ooh this happened to me too, but i just ran with it. Cake currently in the oven so fingers crossed it comes out ok (I wondered if it was the fat from the whole milk?)...

davidjames86's picture

I have this cake a number of timea and it has always been delicious! it is so moist and the whole family enjoys it. It also freezes well too. Yum Yum!!!

startoria's picture

Beautiful tasty cake and super easy to make.

darth_tigger's picture


This is also a very forgiving recipe. I've made it with light brown sugar, different proportions of treacle/syrup, with or without crystallised ginger, and each time it's been excellent. Next time I'm chucking in a lot more ginger, to see what that does.

dejoycer74's picture

Fabulous recipe. Only problem I found was that I couldn't stop eating the cake once I'd made it.

beverlyba's picture

Wonderful - easy, sticky & tasty. just add a little more stem ginger roughly chopped for extra texture & surprise bit.

paaching's picture

Great cake. I made it for a dinner with the family, they all asked for the recipe. Quite easy to make I put chocolate on the top instead of the lemon icing.

caroline0406's picture

A wonderful flavoursome cake and I've made it three times now. Fogot the egg one one occasion - no problem. Also used lime juice and zest for the icing as I ran out of lemons. Very grown-up and received great comments.


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