Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

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(284 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 translucent, golden-amber coloured, sweet syrup

  • 250ml whole milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 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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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.
26th Dec, 2016
5 star
26th Dec, 2016
Beautiful moist sticky. Memories of childhood and very easy to make. Did sink in the middle but not a problem for me.
18th Sep, 2016
In agreement with other reviews - if you're thinking about making this cake, stop thinking and start making. Great flavour and moist, dense, rich texture. I will note my cake cracked on the top, but I just flipped it over and no one was the wiser!
20th Aug, 2016
Made this cake 3 days ago - in a larger tin (didn't have the correct size)and a cooker that does not have an accurate temperature. It sank a little bit in the middle - however I entered it into the local village show and it got best in show - I've won a cup!!!!!!!!!!!!! So although I haven't tasted it yet - it must be good!
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!!


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