Sticky ginger lemon drizzle cake

Sticky ginger lemon drizzle cake

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(37 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
    Golden syrup

    Golden syrup

    goal-dun sir-rup

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

  • 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, questions and tips

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30th Sep, 2018
I used light muscovado sugar as that's what I had in the cupboard, and I don't think it had any negative consequences! I found it quite difficult to tell when it was cooked because it's such a sticky cake and the skewer didn't come out clean even after 10 minutes extra baking. But I took it out anyway, hoping it was just hitting a lump of syrup and thankfully it was cooked through! I left out the lemon drizzle, and if I make this again, I will try it without the curd too. Overall, a yummy cake, and I received compliments from those lucky to receive a piece!
27th Oct, 2016
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!!
23rd Apr, 2016
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.
13th Apr, 2015
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!
10th Mar, 2015
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.
2nd Feb, 2015
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.
21st Jan, 2014
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:)
1st Jan, 2014
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!!
8th Nov, 2013
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!!
28th Oct, 2013
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.


21st Feb, 2016
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
28th Apr, 2016
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.
4th Dec, 2013
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!
2nd Jul, 2013
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.