Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

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(280 ratings)

Cook: 50 mins - 1 hr


Serves 12

Try this moist and gooey stem ginger cake

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

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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lottylouby's picture
6th Nov, 2015
Was very impressed with how this turned out. Didn't change anything really, however used semi-skimmed milk instead of full and finely chopped ginger instead of grated. Baked in two 1 lb loaf tins and was fine, baked for 45 mins. Skewer was clean the first timed I checked so thought maybe I'd overlooked but wasn't dry at all. Made two cakes as was planning on taking one to a party, and wanted to test the other as it's a new recipe to me. Didn't bother with the topping especially on the 'test'cake and because of how well it turned out I don't think it needs it. Will definitely make again...especially as I've now got half a jar of stem ginger to use up!!
14th Jul, 2015
Beautifully moist cake! Made the icing thicker and it looked better, and was easier to drizzle, I took on the hints and used less treacle and more syrup and i think it benefited from that as it was still treacly. Kids loved it, it didn't last two days :)
76trombones's picture
20th Feb, 2015
Fantastic cake. I made mine in a 20cm cake tin and baked it for 40 mins and it was perfectly cooked. I also chopped rather than grated the stem ginger. Next time, and there definitely will be a next time, I'll use a thicker lemon icing and more of it. I can't comment on how well it keeps as it was all eaten in about 4 days by 2 of us as it was so lovely!
11th Jan, 2015
Easy to make and utterly delicious ginger cake. Friends and family always ask me to make this for them and for special occasions - this is easily my favourite cake recipe!
4th Jan, 2015
I've only ever made cakes from a packet mix maybe twice but decided to give this one a go and it was absolutely scrummy. I'm going to make a second one to keep for a week or so to see how it matures, the first one didn't last very long! Thank you BBC :)
19th Dec, 2014
Absolutely love this recipe, will bake again for Xmas. I didn't have any treacle so I baked it without and it was still delicious, not too sweet which is what I like.
18th Oct, 2014
Mmmm .. made this yesterday for the first time in aaaages (too many other fabulous Good Food recipes!!) .. and I added slightly more stem ginger (finely chopped rather than grated), and a tiny touch more syrup and treacle. My cake sunk a little in the centre this time, but no matter. I then poked holes in it as it cooled and added several teaspoons of the gorgeous syrup from the stem ginger jar over the cake (it makes the cake glisten and so moist). We took it visiting today and it has made my elderly parents very happy indeed, and the leftovers have been brought home and it is utterly delicious (again). This is my very favourite cake. I might even make it instead of a Christmas cake this year. What a winner!!
12th Aug, 2014
This cake smells amazing and tastes even better! But, to allow the cake time to really develop the flavours, I had to hide it in a cupboard for a couple of days so that it wouldn't be eaten immediately - by the family, or by myself!
31st Jul, 2014
This is the best ginger cake I've ever tasted and has become a firm favourite in our house. It's never lasted two weeks though!
19th Jul, 2014
This ginger cake is gorgeous! And the longer you leave it the more gingery and sticky it becomes. I found the top of my cake cracked in the oven but it doesn't seem to have affected the taste. Although quick and easy to make, it is expensive, I therefore substituted the stem ginger from a jar with crystallised ginger which I chopped. I used gluten free flour and xanthan gum and replaced the milk with soya milk to make it dairy and gluten free which was a success. Nice with or without the icing, also good with custard! Will definitely make it again. It's seriously yummy!


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