Squidgy lemon-ginger cake

Squidgy lemon-ginger cake

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(36 ratings)

Ready in 2 hours, plus cooling


Cuts into 12 slices
This dense, sticky ginger cake is easy to make and a great Sunday teatime treat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable when undecorated

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal376
  • fat16g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs57g
  • sugars30g
  • fibre2g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.53g
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  • 200g date, stoned



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

  • 200g butter, cut in pieces



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

  • 300g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs



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

  • 50g fresh or frozen root ginger, grated
  • 1 lemon, grated zest



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 Bramley apple (about 250g/9oz) peeled and chopped into pea-sized pieces
    Bramley apples

    Bramley apple

    bram-lee app-el

    A large, flattish cooking apple, green in appearance but sometimes with specks of red. The flesh…

  • 50g white chocolate
  • 1 tbsp chopped candied lemon peel, to decorate



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1 tbsp sugar ‘coffee crystals’, to decorate



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm round cake tin (about 8cm deep) with baking parchment. Put dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Heat the butter in a small pan until melted, and stir in the sugar. Allow to cool slightly.

  2. Beat in the eggs, ginger and lemon zest. Drain the dates and chop them finely. Scrape them into the pan too, and mix well. Stir in the flour, then apple. Spoon into the cake tin, put the tin on a baking sheet (this stops the base browning too much) then bake for about 1¼ hrs, until well risen. A skewer stuck into the cake should come out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Leave it to cool in the tin.

  3. Break the white chocolate into a non-metallic bowl. Heat in the microwave, on medium setting, in one minute bursts until melted (or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water). Remove the cake from the tin and peel off the paper. Trickle the chocolate over the cake, scatter with the crystallised lemon peel and coffee crystals and leave to set before serving. If well wrapped, the cake keeps for at least a week – it just gets better and better. Or, wrap the cooled cake in several layers of cling film before decorating, and freeze for up to two months.

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Comments (44)

izziestopford's picture

Wow this is great! Made this recipe for my mums birthday but after reading the comments didn't bother with the topping or apples and also used less sugar (200g) - it is definitely sweet enough, great consistency and DELICIOUS!!

kaaygirl's picture

Made this today, without the apples and topping. It was delicious; very rich and sweet but that's how I like it! Very easy to make, and baked perfectly in the time given in the recipe.

kristyquill's picture

One of the nicest cakes I have ever eaten. I didn't do the topping but I looked up the recipe for a butterscotch sauce that is normally put with Sticky Date Puddings and used that instead. I had the cake warm with the warm sauce and it was absolutely beautiful. Will definitely be making it again.

magsbruce's picture

The recipe says use a small pan to melt butter in, but a larger one is needed if all the ingredients are mixed in the same pan. My cake is still cooking so can't comment on flavour, but was very easy to make.

sparrowfield's picture

Afraid this cake wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. More like a pudding. Had it with custard as it was so dense, and it took so long to prepare and a lot longer to cook than stated. Don't think I'll bother again.

latack's picture

I've baked loads of recipes from BBC Good Food, but never felt the need to comment. THIS CAKE IS AMAZING! I have a huge sweet tooth, so would probably cover in white chocolate next time as the crunch of the topping works really well. I also laced with lemon drizzle and put crushed almonds on the top as I couldn't find the coffee sugar. Highly recommend this recipe!

bridalzone's picture

Be sure to have fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty of drinking water on hand for that is all you will able to consume for the next 24 hours after eating a slice of this cake. You feel the density of this cake as the evening progresses. O rating from me

mighty_south's picture

Baked this yesterday, it took a lot longer than it stated and after 1 hour 40 minutes it was well risen but still seemed quite moist. I left it for a few minutes more and it appeared to just about ready. The cake did shrink after removing from the oven and I was worried that it still wasn't cooked through. I decorated the cake and when cooled down cut my self a slice. I was very disappointed! The cake was moist, very doughy in texture, possibly under cooked. However the under lying flavour was not ginger but mostly sugar and butter, almost toffee like, then you get the dates and the candied lemon. I used 52g of fresh ginger but you would hardly know it was there. I would say this was more sticky toffee pudding than a ginger cake. I won't be making it again!

susanwilsongaunt's picture

have made this cake several times now and it is just fabulous, have never bothered with the topping and never missed it, great cold or warmed up,- serve with cream or custard -much nicer and lighter than christmas pud.....i make mine in a square tin and slice into squares, freezes great too..... suggest you use good quality dates, i have found the cheaper pressed block type have had tough pieces in which spoil it

alinabake's picture

Made this cake again but deliberately hid it until the following evening. Had warm with custard. The family said it was the best pudding I ever made. Definitely one that improves with age and a definite keeper. I sprinkled flaked almonds on top and used normal eating apples. A big thumbs up.

tracy1rivera's picture

I don't know what all the fuss is about, this is quick and easy to make, and voted by one of my friends as 'the best cake he's ever eaten". There's a minimum of washing up and equipment, and it keeps for ages, getting stickier as it ages. Delicious!

alinabake's picture

Was really looking forward to making this cake. Finally got all the ingredients and have to say it was a massive faff to prepare the mixture and by the time it came to adding the apple I was losing the will to live. The finished cake was nice but I'm not convinced it was the best ever. Maybe it will be better a day or two later. We'll see.

rachaelcoar's picture

amazingly moist and great flavour. got loads of compliments from the bake sale, and repeat orders!

emmasallyd's picture

This cake is the best I've ever made. Made it twice now, both times using a tube of ginger paste rather than grating ginger, and a variety of sugars found in my cupboard. I didn't bother with the topping but some lemon icing (lemon juice plus icing sugar) dribbled over the top is amazing!

botleybabe's picture

I use 15 frozen ginger cubes and melt them with the butter and sugar instead of the fresh (a cheat idea from Delia)
Don't bother with the toppping as it is so yummy anyway

frozenpixie's picture

It seems like the decision is unanimous; this cake is amazing! Moist and full of delicious flavours, and it keeps really well! I fed this to a lot of friends, some of whom professed to dislike ginger or dates, but everyone loved this! I topped it with flaked almonds, as a much simpler decoration, but just as pretty. This one is definitely going in my list of fallbacks!

adgethebadge's picture

very easy and absoloutely delicious! so moist and scrummy :)

unknownsock's picture

Super cake, well worth making.

ritchiethebear's picture

Didn't find this to be all that great really. Didn't bother with the topping but it took loads longer to cook than stated in the recipe. Found this far too rich, don't think i would bother to make again.

esansby's picture

Absolutely sublime. Used a topping of icing sugar and lemon juice instead of what the recipe said and it was lovely.


Questions (5)

Jage's picture

Do you have to line the whole tin or just the bottom?

goodfoodteam's picture

Lining the whole tin is best for this type of cake.

Jage's picture

Do you have to line the entire tin or just the bottom?

rparnell's picture

I've made this a few times but it always sinks in the middle. Does anyone find this? How can I stop this happening? I even tried adding a small amount of bicarb with no success

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question. There are three main reasons for this: a/ the oven door has been opened before the cake has set, b/ the cake didn't go in the oven as soon as the mixture was ready or c/ there's too much raising agent.


Tips (1)

izziestopford's picture

You can definitely use less sugar in this recipe - I used about 200g and it was plenty sweet enough (also didn't bother with topping or apples!!)