Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

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(283 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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31st Dec, 2017
Absolutely delicious, particularly when sandwiched with a lemon curd filling. Doubled up recipe to make two cakes and split mixture between a 2lb loaf tin and a 20cm round tin. Loaf cake worked perfectly, round one ended up with a sinkhole in the middle big enough to lose a bus in. Next time I’ll use the loaf tin and make cupcakes with any left over mixture. Like many others I recommend using more icing sugar to make a thicker glacé icing rather than the thin glaze which just vanishes into the cake.
12th Nov, 2017
This cake was a massive success!! I made it for a family and friends Sunday gathering and it was very well received. Made the recipe exactly as is apart from half muscovado and half light brown sugar, and semi-skimmed milk. Having looked at the picture I thought it would raise more, but despite this the texture was great. The ginger and lemon combo was perfect. Great for this time of year.
4th Nov, 2017
Great recipe, i made it for my granddads birthday and everyone loved it! Will definatly be making it again:)
VanillaSpice81's picture
10th Oct, 2017
This cake is fairly easy to make, just allow extra time to prep so you can follow the steps slowly. It had a lovely sweet spiced gingery scent and is in my opinion the perfect texture and taste. I followed the recipe exactly. I used semi skimmed milk which was fine. Both times I've made the cake it rises nicely but does crack on top but I don't mind this as it looks rustic. You wouldn't miss the icing as the cake is delicious as it is, but I made a mix of normal icing sugar mixed with a little water and lemon curd and iced this on as shown in the picture. Cake didn't last long enough to see how it goes sticky and even those not keen on ginger loved it. Try it, it's perfect with tea!
VetBakes's picture
4th Jun, 2017
Absolutely delicious, followed the recipe exactly but without the icing. Went down a treat. Goes lovely and sticky on the second day of making but ours was mostly gone by that point!
22nd May, 2017
Made this yesterday and was delicious today. I used a 20cm tin and baked for 45 mins, came out perfectly. Slightly cracked on top but not much. I did reduce the bicarb slightly to 3/4tsp on reading comments about sinking. Had to use semi-skimmed milk which was fine. Added a bit extra ginger too and put finely chopped crystallised ginger on the top as well which looked pretty. Will definitely be making this again!
18th May, 2017
My way ... I often only use about 205g golden syrup rather than the syrup and the treacle because I don't use treacle for anything else ... it is 'grown up' and delicious though! I beat the egg in a cup before adding it to the mixture (avoids possibly getting shell in the mixture too) I chop the stem ginger ... too wasteful to grate and I like the chunky bits. The sugar ingredients look like they curdle in the pan when it is hot ... it does this every single time for me so don't worry, it just looks odd. I also use semi skimmed milk not whole. Enjoy :)
16th Apr, 2017
Marvellous! I used peanut butter and reduced the amount of sugar and syrup by 1/3, and it was still gorgeous. The taste and texture were perfect. Moist but not wet, spongy but rich.
22nd Jan, 2017
5th Jan, 2017
Made this for Christmas tea, so made in a fir tree bunte tin ( ala Nigella's Vanilla cake) came out well and tasted great, finished with icing sugar and glitter. Cooked for less time as hole in middle of tin. Real old fashioned ginger cake, cut up ginger then finished in Thermomix with flour, so finely chopped and mixed in well with batter. No sinking of ginger or the cake in my case. Would reccomend, still good days after cooking.


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