Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

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(208 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

    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
    Golden syrup

    Golden syrup

    goal-dun sir-rup

    Golden syrup is a clear, sparkling, golden-amber coloured, sweet

  • 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, questions and tips

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7th Jun, 2017
This cake has a lovely texture and tastes great. I made it exactly to the recipe. It did sink just a little in the centre but nothing to drastic (only my pride might have been bothered about it). I notice on the photo of the finished cake that there is an extra drizzle of icing in the middle of the cake, so maybe I'm not the only one who had that happen. It is still a lovely recipe and now I have made it as per the recipe I will try a little less bicarb and or not mix it quite so much and see what happens but only for my pride!
29th Jun, 2016
Have made this cake twice now, the first time cut it in half and froze half, the remaining half disappeared in no time at all - absolutely delicious and very moist. Have just made it again, but used lime instead of lemon and added a little more ginger (but that's personal preference) - just tried a slice now it's cool (well you have to don't you, just to check!) - outcome - equally as scrummy. I also used skimmed milk this time and it made no difference. Fantastically easy recipe, would definitely recommend it - so what are you waiting for, give it go :)
17th Jun, 2016
Fabulous cake! Followed the recipe exactly except with semi-skimmed milk, noting the tip below about not overdoing the bicarb. 50 mins in a loaf tin - perfect!
17th Jun, 2016
To anybody thinking of making this cake .. DON'T THINK JUST DO!!! It is absolutely delicious. However, after making various errors with it I'd like to point out that 1. you need to be accurate with the syrup and treacle amounts or it might make your cake sink. 2. only add a precise tsp of the bicarb as too much will make the cake (or cakes if you use 2 x 1lb loaf tins) too reactive and they'll bubble up too quickly and then sink before the middle has cooked (has happened to me twice and researching why has found my mistake!). 3. expect the mixture that you heat in the saucepan to "curdle" and look split - it doesn't make the faintest difference to the mix once its in with the flour etc. 4 and finally, if you like a stronger ginger flavour the cake will happily take more of the ground ginger and even a little more of the grated stem ginger. It's an amazingly tasty cake and next time I'll be making it and listening to my own advice!!
10th Jun, 2016
Super easy cake to make! Followed the recipe to the letter and it came out like a dream. I put a buttercream icing on top swirled with grated orange zest. A real hit and will be making again.
11th May, 2016
I baked this cake on a whim......I wanted to enter our local CWA (country women's association, Victoria, Australia) ( equivilant to WI) exhibition, the Ginger Cake category. Once I started mixing, it bought back memories of my mother baking the same recipe when I was a child. Anyway, I diced glacé ginger, a generous amount, a good handful, love ginger. I poured into 2 tins, a small loaf tin......and today, upon judging....WON FIRST PRIZE !!!! So...... Can most certainly recommend this recipe. Moist, dark, flavoursome ! Enjoy!
3rd Apr, 2016
Loved this cake, i made it for my mum who loves ginger cake, im not a fan of ginger but will definitely be making this again!
tarzan's girlfriend
13th Mar, 2016
The cake comes out so moist !!! I added a few sultanas to the recipe that I soaked in ginger wine overnight . Really lovely with custard too !!!
28th Feb, 2016
I have just made a massive boo boo. I have added the wet ingredients to the flour without heating and melting sugar!!!!! doh, was to late to do anything about so have just had to mix and put in the oven,hope it comes out ok Recommend 0
23rd Jan, 2016
This cake is absolutely delicious! I would like to rate this 5* but the widget isn't loading for me.


24th Mar, 2014
I have been making this absolutely mouthwatering ginger cake for a few years now and it is always a favourite with family and friends. I make my cake in a 2lb loaf tin but this means that there is a little too much mixture so I use the surplus to make 4/5 buns. My cakes have always been perfect but recently they have started to sink a little in the centre. The quality of the cake is not affected. My husband still loves it! Could it be that I am now using a gas oven instead of electric? I put my cake on the third rack from the bottom which means that the cake is sitting just above centre. Each cake always has a dip in it now. I follow the recipe instructions to the letter and am always careful to sieve the dry ingredients. When the last stage of the mixing is reached where the egg is combined the mixture looks fine with little bubbles popping on the surface. At this stage I pour the mix into the loaf tin and leave about 1 inch for the cake to rise. My oven has been warming from the time I start to weigh out my ingredients. Any suggestions would be most welcome.
16th Mar, 2014
Ok, just made this cake and it rose very quickly over the tin and has now sunk in the middle. What did I do wrong?
goodfoodteam's picture
24th Mar, 2014
Hi there. Did you bake the cake in a deep tin? If so it sounds like your oven may not have been at the correct temperature, you can check this with an oven thermometer.


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