Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sticky Jamaican Ginger Cake

There are some things in life that need to be eaten in a very particular fashion. 

Take the Jaffa Cake. Nibble around the edges, carefully lever off and eat the remaining biscuit before munching on the gooey orangey bit*

Or the Bourbon Biscuit, which is eaten by delicately taking apart the two biscuits and enjoying the chocolate cream filling as an entire separate entity.

And there are ways of not eating things. Kit Kats are designed for eating as individual fingers. NEVER EVER munch across all four Kit Kat fingers as though a bloomin' cheese sandwich. 

Meanwhile, the way to eat this Jamaican Ginger Cake? Preferably with a lovely hot cup of tea, curled up on an armchair with a ridiculous number of soft squidgy cushions, a blanket draped over your knees and infront of a roaring fire while the snow silently falls outside. Daydreaming about the origins of the Jamaican Cake is optional (that'd be long sandy beaches and azure blue skies in the Caribbean ocean rather than the McVities factory, please). 

*Unless you are Peter Czerwinski from Canada, current holder of the Guinness Book of Records Number of Jaffa Cakes Eaten in One Minute record. At 17 in a minute he probably didn't have time to carefully nibble around the edges, carefully lever off and eat the remaining biscuit before munching on the gooey orangey bit.

Sticky Jamaican Ginger Cake

175g plain flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp milk
0.5 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g dark treacle
75g golden syrup
75g light muscovado sugar
75g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten

To decorate
50g icing sugar
Chopped crystallised ginger

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin. In a large bowl sift the flour and spices. 
2. Mix the bicarbonate of soda and milk together and set aside
3. In a small saucepan, melt the treacle, golden syrup, sugar, butter, extract and 75mls water until combined, stirring throughout and removing from the heat before the mixture boils
4. Add the syrup mixture to the flour and spices, beat together until combined. Add in the egg and milk mixture and thoroughly beat together
5. Pour into the prepared tin and bake on a lower shelf for 1¼–1½ hours until it’s well-risen and firm to the touch.
6. Once cooled, mix the icing sugar with enough water to form a smooth mixture. Drizzle over the cake and decorate with the crystallised ginger

Baker's notes

  • This recipe is based on Delia's Dark Jamaican Gingerbread- I've made a few tweaks including using a different sugar, adding the vanilla and upping the quantity of dark treacle to add a little extra stickiness to the cake
  • I've decorated with some simple water icing and crystallised ginger. For an extra ginger hit, finely chop a little stem ginger and add to the mixture


  1. I love anything ginger with a cup of tea - for some reason (I don't do science so am unlikely to every find out) the hot tea really fires up the ginger taste!

  2. Ha, love this! That is exactly how I eat my jaffas and heaven forbid somebody should eat across the whole row of a Kit Kat. Total sacrilege! This looks like a lovely sticky cake too.

  3. I love how it looks like a giant sweet in the second picture! I'm not a fan of ginger but everyone else I know is and I'm sure they'd devour this in an instant.

  4. mmm This cake always reminds me of wintry sundays as a child. My parents used to buy it.

  5. Yum, you just can't beat Jamaican Ginger Cake for a warming treat! Looks perfectly baked as well.

  6. Lovely ginger cake and I say that as a big fan of ginger cake. I quite like a slice at breakfast time - I've picked up some strange habits over the years. I used to eat jaffa cakes your way but these days I just bite into them. I think I may have become too jaded for my own good.

  7. I used to eat my Jaffa cakes by licking the chocolate layer off first, then the orange, then eating the sponge. Horrid childhood habit.......!!
    I love Jamaican ginger cake but a homemade one is so much nicer and this one looks stunningly sticky and gorgeous.

  8. Ginger cake is calling, this is the 2nd post I've read in as many minutes AND I haven't made one in a very long time. Sticky is a must and your drizzle sounds rather fab too.

  9. Love ginger cake, such a great tea time treat.


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