Sticky ginger lemon drizzle cake

Sticky ginger lemon drizzle cake

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(33 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 50 mins - 1 hr Plus cooling


Cuts into 12 slices
Adapt one of our highest-rated cakes with tangy ginger, cream cheese frosting and citrus curd

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze un-iced sponge only

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal541
  • fat27g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs71g
  • sugars51g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt1g
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  • 140g 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…

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

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

  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 140g dark muscovado sugar
  • 140g black treacle
  • 140g golden syrup
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 1 large egg

For the lemon drizzle

  • zest and juice 1 lemon



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

  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 50g preserving sugar or crushed sugar cubes

For the lemon curd filling

  • about ½ jar good lemon curd
  • 2 balls stem ginger, diced

For the creamy icing

  • 4 tbsp syrup from the stem ginger jar
  • 100g soft cheese
  • 200ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar, sieved


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line a deep 20cm round cake tin with baking parchment. Put the flour, bicarb and all the spices in a food processor, add the butter and whizz until it has disappeared, then tip into a mixing bowl (or rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs).

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

  3. Pour the treacle mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go. Beat in the egg until the mixture resembles a thick pancake batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50 mins-1 hr, until a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

  4. Split the cake through the middle. For the drizzle, stir the lemon zest and juice into the sugars, then immediately spoon all over the top half of the cake.

  5. For the filling, mix the lemon curd with the diced ginger. For the icing, beat together the ginger syrup, soft cheese, cream and icing sugar until thick enough to hold its shape. Spread the lemon curd filling all over the cut side of the bottom cake, dollop the creamy icing on top, then sandwich with the other half of the cake. The unfilled ginger cake will mature well for up to 3-4 days if wrapped well in baking parchment then foil.

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Comments (42)

tc-lover's picture

I hate to say it but this is terrible!! The cake itself is beautifully moist and would have been delicious had it not been slathered in icing and then the sugary drizzle. By then it was so sweet it hurt your teeth (and I'm someone who licks the golden syrup spoon!!)

Hubby says there's no such thing as a bad cake so he's just having a mouthful every time he passes the fridge so it'll get eaten eventually!!

madeinheaven39's picture

Other reviewers appear to have amended the recipe in one way or anpther. I followed it exactly and the result was gorgeous! Perfect for the ginger loving recipient.

marcellabilsby's picture

One of the tastiest, delicious cakes I've ever made. Only downside is that there is SOOOO much sugar! Definitely one for when you deserve a treat!

cakeanyone's picture

Beautiful and even better the next day! I agree with Munchies41 and will definitely halve the creamy filling next time. It's also better to put whip up the icing until very thick and then pop in the fridge to firm up before icing the cake. I also didn't bother with the preserving sugar and just used 100g of granulated.

Munchies41's picture

This was delicious! Followed the recipe exactly and the only thing I found was that there was too much of the creamy icing filling. When I put the cake on top it slid off so I think half of what was in the recipe would have been enough.

kiwicatgirl's picture

Made this for a friend's birthday, it is definitely tasty and a great texture. I personally would amp up the ginger flavour by adding by grated stem ginger next time. I also changed the method because I don't have a food processor and had read previous comments about problems with split mixtures: I gently melted the butter with the sugar/syrups, and beat the milk with the egg instead. Cooked it one tin only, took about 10 mins longer than the time stated in the recipe in my oven, but rose beautifully. Didn't split it, just iced with a lime buttercream, delicious! Will be putting this one in the regular repertoire:)

cazzawatto's picture

Excellent cake, I made it in two separate 20cm tins and cooked for 35 minutes. Also added the milk with the eggs so the heated mixture didn't split. Only made half of the drizzle and used Demerara sugar instead of preserving sugar. It looked and tasted AMAZING!!

theByrdScale's picture

Made this cake this evening & it was delicious! One of the best cakes I've made in a long time. The treacly ginger cake un-iced would even make a great dessert on its own.
I followed all the previous advice and baked in two tins. Only had 2 tbsp of the ginger syrup so the cream filling was stiff enough for the cake to stay in place.
I'm delighted with the results...will definitely make again - a real treat!!

FlourCoveredGirl's picture

Awesome cake, but I simplified the method quite a bit: I melted the butter, treacle, syrup and sugar in the microwave just enough to disolve the sugar, and beat it all together. Let it cool for a few minutes, then added the milk, then the egg, and then folded in dry ingredients. I poured the batter in 2 x 20cm round silicone 'tins', and baked for about 35 mins. I made up 2/3rds of the lemon icing, and used half as a drizzle on the bottom layer, then thickened the remaining and used as icing on the top. I also only used 2/3rds of the lemon curd and cream/cheese mix (whisk it really well to get it thick enough to hold shape). It was a really good cake, if a little rich, but any more topping/filling would have been overkill.

Sarazzz's picture

This is so fantastic! I'm really grateful to everyone's comments and tips below as I followed the advice to bake in 2 sandwich tins, add the milk with the eggs and not the to melted mix and to add the cream gradually to the filling not in 1 go. Finished cake was a bit unstable and started to slide apart once sliced so next time I might put less of the creamy filling inside the cake and serve the rest alongside. But will be baking this again definitely!

triciachatt's picture

Definitely one of the best cakes ever. Delicious!

rozwhite's picture

This is one of the best cake recipes I've made! I have made it three times so far and it's turned out perfect every time. Yum.

the-cats-mother's picture

I made this cake for my daughter's birthday and chose it for its keeping qualities, as I had to make it on Monday for my son-in-law to collect early on Tuesday. The birthday was on Thursday but half the cake was gone by Tuesday evening. She said it was 'possibly the most delicious birthday cake ever' and my son-in-law has just asked if I can make one for his birthday next week.
I simplified the recipe slightly by gently melting the butter with the treacle, syrup and sugar but NOT the milk. I beat the egg into the milk and added it at the end. No problems with separating or curdling this way. In two tins it took 35 mins. Oh, and I sandwiched them with a layer of lemon curd and a layer of cream cheese frosting. I had to use 2 lemons to get enough juice for the drizzle so I used the zest of both as well. I'm looking forward to trying a piece of the next one!

mindymoo62's picture

Further to my comment 31st March.. The flavour of the cake was lovely, and the texture really moist. It did dip in the oven , so next time I would make it in 2 sandwich tins. My fiancé loved it, so I will make it again BUT DO NOT WARM THE MILK AND SUGAR MIX TOO MUCH! Enjoy!

esmejay's picture

Amazing cake! Had trouble with the milk, treacle, etc too but now I just put it through a sieve every time just in case :) tastes beauuuutiful

mindymoo62's picture

I too had terrible trouble with the treacle/milk/sugar mix. The first one split leaving huge lumps of protein from the milk in the mix. Binned that and redid it, but that split too!! I bake a lot and do not normally struggle with a recipe. The cake is in the oven at the moment. Lets hope it's worth all the drama!!

cawellman's picture

The ratio of double cream to soft cheese seems to be off. If you use the amount of cream called for, you get soup. It works better to add the cream by the tablespoon until you get a mixture of the right consistency to "dollop." A lovely cake, though.

libs16's picture

Just finished making this cake and it is perfection! It's so tasty and moist. I used two baking tins instead of splitting a large cake. I baked them at the temperature stated but for only 30 minutes. I also left out the cream filling and just used the lemon curd filling, still lovely! Will be making a heart shaped version for my other half for valentines day!

lcraymond's picture

This cake is wonderful. I have now made it twice.
I too used two tins to avoid any cutting dramas.
I only used half the cream in the middle on the second one as the first one kept having land-slides and was difficult to transport to work without support!
Lemon cake and ginger cake are two of my favourites - to have them both together is bliss!

lucy99's picture

OMG!! wonderful cake. Easy to make, moist and really tasty. I made mine in one tin and didn't split it after, just put some lemon icing on top and it was fine. (I had no cream cheese) I think as it is so moist it can get away without the filling anyway. It would be lovely for Christmas as the spices give it that lovely Christmassy taste.
I would certainly recommend you try this one.


Questions (2)

Heppy1972's picture

Help, just make the cake, in two tins as suggested, left to cool then when turned out the tin they have just broken up, they were not firm at all just light and moist . What have I done wrong? Tastes lovely though so cake & custard for tea!

goodfoodteam's picture

Sorry to hear that you have had a problem. The only thing we can think is that the cake wasn’t completely cold when you turned it out of the tins. Looking at the recipe it was cooked in a deep cake tin and then left until completely cold which would have given it a couple of hours to sit and slowly cool and set.

Tips (2)

SwissBaker's picture

I made this to take into the office following my return from leave and it went down a storm!
I couldn't find ginger in syrup, so I chopped up some crystalized ginger which I added to the cake mix; and some ginger jam which I mixed with the lemon curd.
My tip would be to make sure you beat the cream/cheese mixture until it's really stiff before adding the curd as I found the weight of the top made the filling squish out of the sides; and next time I would boil the lemon/sugar syrup until thickened slightly and allow to cool before adding the zest and pouring over the top so that it doesn't run off. Also, pour it over the entire cake as shown in the photo, not just over the top half as indicated in the recipe.
A very good moist, rich and tasty tea-time treat!

the-cats-mother's picture

Save time and effort and avoid curdling problems by melting the butter with the treacle etc and leaving out the milk at this stage. Simply beat the egg into the unheated milk and add last.