Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

Sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing

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(315 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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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.
10th Jan, 2016
I made this cake for Christmas and it was a massive hit. Absolutely gorgeous... It was moist, rich, gingery and very moreish. I love the taste of the treacle in there, it really adds depth. Will definitely be making again. Served mine with a dollop of double cream or custard.
20th Dec, 2015
I love this cake ... delicious every time. People have commented that the mixture curdles in the pan ... this has happened to mine every single time regardless of how slow I heat it and the cake is fine. Once you mix the wet and dry ingredients together it looks different again (rather sloppy and not very attractive!) I tried making the icing with lime and later with orange instead of lemon ... not nice at all ... lemon is the best :) Also if you dont like or dont have treacle just use all golden syrup. The result will be a lighter (in texture and colour) cake but just as tasty. 200g instead of 230g is still plenty. Also I have never grated the stem ginger ..just chop it up and you'll get lovely little bursts of ginger through the cake. Yummy :)
3rd Dec, 2015
Forgot to rate - would give it more stars if I could - and to say don't worry if the liquid mix separates and appears to curdle - I thought I'd done something wrong but just carried on and mixed it vigorously into the dry ingredients and when it was cooked, all was well.
3rd Dec, 2015
As a teenager in the sixties I was addicted to Jamaica Ginger cake and have tried with many different recipes to recreate it without success - until now! This recipe is wonderful. I used semi-skimmed milk, as didn't have full cream, ran out of golden syrup, so substituted 20ml of the ginger syrup instead, chopped the ginger finely rather than grated and baked in a lined, large loaf tin, which the mixture filled almost to the brim. Cooked in fan assisted oven at 160 degrees for 50 minutes and it turned out perfectly. Just pierced the top of the warm cake all over and drizzled an ample amount of the ginger syrup instead of icing. Fabulous. Can't wait for my daughter and husband to come home from work to try it - they'll love it!
15th Nov, 2015
Best ginger cake recipe ever! I split the mix between 2 loaf tins, came out perfectly soft and sticky after about 45 mins at 150 degrees fan (my oven is very hot!). I didn't bother with the icing but brushed the still warm cakes with some syrup from the stem ginger. Absolutely delicious!!
10th Nov, 2015
10 STARS! OMG this cake is to die for. I made it at the weekend and need to bake another TODAY. I didn't have any whole milk, just a 100mls of semi left, so I added 150mls of Elmlea double cream. I couldn't grate the stem ginger, so I chopped it using two sharp knives, as small as I could. I split the mix into two 1lb loaf tins and cooked them for 45 mins, then used the syrup out of the stem ginger jar to drizzle over them. What can I say, the nicest ginger cake EVER.
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 :)


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