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Member recipe

Mary Berry's Gingerbread Cake

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(17 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 15

Rich, dark moist cake that keeps well. Great with a cuppa, or serve it hot with ice cream or custard for a lush sponge pudding!

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  • 250g/ 8oz softened butter (or margarine for lactose-free)
  • 250g/ 8oz dark muscovado sugar
  • Half of a 225g tin black treacle
  • 375g/ 12oz plain flour
  • 5 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 pieces stem ginger (crystallised/ from a jar) - optional
  • 300ml/ half pt milk (unsweetened soya milk if lactose-free)
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda


    1. This mix makes enough to fill 2 x standard 7inch Victoria sandwitch tins or 1 x 10inch diameter tin. Grease and base line your tin(s) with baking paper; preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
    2. Gently heat the margarine, sugar and treacle together in a pan, stirring until smooth. Allow to cool a little.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and ground spices. Pour in the treacle mix and stir thoroughly to combine. Mince the stem ginger finely and stir with the eggs into the mix.
    4. Warm the milk gently in a saucepan, stirring gently to avoid it burning at the base of the pan. Add the bicarb of soda and let it foam a little. Stir into the gingerbread mixture until well blended.
    5. Pour into the prepared tin(s). Baking time: for 2x 7 inch cakes is 25-30mins (bake both together). For 1x 10inch cake bake for approx 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
    6. This cake keeps really well in an airtight tin, and actually improves over the first 2-3 days. Enjoy!

Comments, questions and tips

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13th Feb, 2020
Lovely cake, needs more ginger. Once I started making it I realised I didn't have treacle so I substituted syrup, then realised I only had self raising flour but it turned out lovely. Definitely better on day 2. This recipe made two 8" cakes.
29th Mar, 2019
Have just made this for the first time for a coffee party. I'm rating it five star in hopes, as it smells delicious and looks firm, but not dry. What astonished me was how liquid the mixture appeared when all the ingredients had been added. Also the bicarb didn't foam in the milk, which I was afraid to make too hot because of the eggs, and the temperature to get it to wasn't specified. It would have been helpful if these two things had been highlighted: how liquid the mixture looks, and what heat to aim for with the milk. So fingers crossed!
Kaia Lonergan's picture
Kaia Lonergan
25th Feb, 2019
I have made this cake more than four times, today I mess up and put in over 225g of treacle! God knows what the cake is going to come out like, I am super nervous now! My stepdad adores this recipe and he is always asking me to make it for him, so he isn't overly delighted right now. To any looking to make this cake, it is a fab recipe! Many people have informed me it is the best ginger cake that they have ever had :-)
7th Mar, 2018
The secret to this cake is to make it a few days before you want to eat it. 3-4 days is perfect. It gets stickier and the ginger flavour really develops. If you want a more gingery taste, add some of the syrup from the stem ginger. This is my 'go to' cake for giving to bake sales as it makes LOADS (3 x loaf tins!) so I can give 2 away and keep one for the family. Everyone loves it.
17th May, 2017
I add a buttercream filling and top it with an icing made with lemon juice. Everyone who tastes it asks for the recipe. It is my absolute favourite.
26th Nov, 2016
I used this recipe and added cherries and a dark chocolate frosting. The recipe is perfect and on its own it would work so well with ice cream. With my additions I found the candied cherries a great addition (I chopped them into quarters) but I would probably not use a frosting with it. If I want the dark chocolate I will probably just glaze the top of the cake with dark chocolate. But I really do not think it needs it, the cake is very rich.
Just Sayin
7th Jan, 2016
Delicious cake and so easy. I agree with other comments about it being light and nicely spongy, and can see how some think it isn't that gingery. I think the ginger flavour is subtle on account of the light texture. I added three heaped t of stem ginger from a jar and might do a fourth next time. When eaten cold the ginger came through stronger. I also found the crumb was denser after the cake was frozen, making it exactly how I love it.
kimpearce's picture
5th Dec, 2015
I have just made this using gluten free flour mix and soya milk I made it in a square roasting pyrex dish and cooked it for 35 mins. I used 2 large tablespoons of treacle which is about 100g and only 6oz of the dark brown muscovado sugar as I don't like cakes too sweet. I also omitted the crystallised ginger as I don't like it. It smells delicious and looks great and tastes delicious.
28th Oct, 2015
Lovely moist, light cake which my kids love. I didn't have stem ginger from a jar, so used 50g crystalised ginger, which I'll increase to 100g next time I think as it wasn't quite gingery enough for my taste. I baked it in 2 loaf tins for 35 mins.
13th Jan, 2014
Disappointing. Nice light, spongy texture but not as sticky as I expected and not very ginger tasting. A pleasant cake but not what I expected.


21st Dec, 2018
I want to try this recipe in a loaf tin, any recommendations on what size loaf tin to use & how many I can get out of this recipe? Thanks
18th Feb, 2014
I really liked this cake but as I was making it I was unsure of how much treacle to use. The recipe states half a 225g tin but the tins of treacle are 450g. As someone had said it wasn't treacley enough I used 225g and the cake was nice and sticky.
14th Nov, 2018
I used 225grams of treacle as i was also a bit confused. Cake turned out nice.
14th Nov, 2018
Cannot stress enough you should make this cake 2-3 days before you paln to eat it , the cake gets stickier and spicier as the days go on. I made a few tweaks to this recipe , i would definitely suggest doubling the ground ginger to give the cake more of a spice and ommited the stem ginger as it is so hard to find. I made mine in a donut shapped tin and decorated like a Christmas wreath , baking in this tin only took about 40 minutes.
26th Nov, 2016
As mentioned, this cake is much better the next day or two.