Bake: English Gingerbread Cake

So it would seem summer is sort of here, or at least it seems to be here whenever we are all stuck at work, and reverts to torrential downpours of rain just in time for the weekend. The knock on effect of this is two fold, firstly it means that all my exciting man-crafts are temporarily on hold (I have a couple of woodwork projects in the pipeline that are just going to have to wait another week until I can crack out the power tools without getting drenched) but secondly it means lots more time to bake.

A little known fact about Phil  is that he loooves ginger (I think I can get away with talking about myself in the 3rd person, it works for Lavon Hayes – lil Hart of Dixie reference for you all – I think I may be the only male fan of the show). In all its forms I figure ginger can only improve things, root ginger, powdered ginger, crystallized ginger mmm, ginger ale, ginger beer, I could go on but this is probably more fun for me than you :P. So it was only a matter of time before I set to and baked something good and gingery.

For today’s recipe, I have to give near full credit to the wonderful Rose Levy Beranbaum who writes just about the best baking books I’ve ever found. They are full of pictures but also crazy amounts of detail about exactly what everything should look like at each step along the way. This recipe comes from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes with a couple of minor tweaks I’ve made after trying this recipe a couple of times.

I have to admit that by the time I got around to taking a picture of a finished slice of the cake (the one at the top of this post) it was all but eaten and this is sadly the last slice left, so trust me this recipe a good-en!

English Gingerbread Cake Recipe


For the batter:

8 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cups golden syrup (or light corn syrup)

1/4 dark brown sugar firmly packed

1 heaped tablespoon of marmalade

2 large eggs

2/3 cup milk

2 cups plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 generous teaspoon ginger

Pinch of salt

For the syrup glaze:

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon marmalade

2 tablespoons butter

To serve (optional):

1/4 cup diced Chinese stem ginger in syrup

1) Wet mix – In a small heavy bottomed saucepan melt together the butter, golden syrup, brown sugar and marmalade slowly over a medium-low heat. Once the sugar has completely dissolved and the mix is an even dark brown colour, remove from the heat and set aside to cool for ten minutes. Next add the eggs and milk to the wet sugar mix and whisk to combine.

2) Dry mix – In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger and salt, so that the raising agents and spices are mixed evenly.

3) Mix the batter – Slowly pour the wet mix into your dry mix and slowly mix just until the mix forms a smooth batter. The batter more closely resembles a pancake batter than a cake batter in thickness, so don’t worry about the mix being too thin, it’s going to bake for a long time.

4) Bake – Pour the batter into a 9 inch round baking tin, greased and lined with baking parchment (just to make sure it comes out in one piece) for 50-60 minutes at 160ºC (325 F). When the cake is ready it should be an even deep golden colour on top and a skewer placed into the middle of the cake will come out clean.

If you have an oven which is a little scorch-y you can always cover the cake with an extra circle of baking parchment after 45 minutes to stop it getting too dark on top!

5) Make and apply your syrup – Whilst your cake is baking, heat together the remaining sugar, marmalade and butter in a small saucepan very slowly until they form a smooth syrup.

Whilst your cake is still hot from the oven, brush about half the syrup onto the top of the cake. Next carefully remove the cake from its tin, flip it upside down and coat the remainder of the syrup on the bottom and sides. Finally flip the cake back the right way up and place it on a serving dish to cool.

6) Enjoy – The cake is actually super delicious warm, maybe with a tiny bit of vanilla ice cream, perfect just as it is with a cup of coffee, or my favourite, just because I can’t get enough of ginger, topped with diced up stem ginger in syrup!

Finally I’m trying out something new today, a very smart person I know suggested we made our recipes available as a text only download, so it was easier to print and go bake, without killing off an ink cartridge and half a rain forest on the images, or risking leaving a laptop balancing by the kitchen sink.

So if you want to grab the recipe to go, you can download it from here: English Gingerbread Cake Recipe – cookquiltmakeandbake

Happy baking!

About Cook Quilt Make and Bake

Hi, I'm Sam, he's Phil. Welcome to our blog where we share our fun down time projects. We're just a young couple, happily cooking, making, quilting and baking our way through life and love. You're welcome to stop by and share the good times!
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14 Responses to Bake: English Gingerbread Cake

  1. Catherine says:

    Looks like a great recipe. Just one comment. This ignorant American has never heard of Golden Syrup. I found a few substitutes on, but not sure they will work. I’ll keep you posted.
    BTW–love that I can print just the recipe!

    • Good call! The original recipe suggested you could use the same quantity of light corn syrup if you can’t find golden syrup? I might check out that site for all the random American ingredients this ignorant Brit can’t find either 😛 😀 Phil

      • kristina says:

        Sounds sooo good. I love ginger too, in all its forms. I’ve heard great things about Rose Levy Berenbaum’s books and recipes, I think this one shall be the inaugural one to bake!

      • Rose really knows her stuff! I’m a big fan of good cake, rather than average cake that becomes really good once it makes friends with heaps of frosting (if that makes any sense at all :P), and this cake definitely fits into that category -well worth a bake…

  2. Ann says:

    Yummm, another ginger fan here. Thanks for taking the time to put this post together!

  3. Wonderful. I love gingerbread and the fact that you’ve used so much different ginger. It must be SO gingery. Though I’m not the biggest fan of crystallised ginger, I think it’s a great idea to use it on the top!

  4. grams says:

    from an older Brit this sound really yummy in fact the type of yummy an older Brit gentleman would enjoy. Tablespoons is this a flat tablespoon full or a scooped table spoon?

  5. Peggy says:

    What would be the best American substitute for golden syrup in the English Gingerbread Cake? Also ~ please add me to your email “list”. Thank you!!! Peggy

    • Hi Peggy, I think the best substitute if you can’t find golden syrup is light corn syrup, I’ve updated the recipe above to make things easy.

      If you wan’t to receive our email updates just click on the “Follow” button on the right hand side of the page and you’ll never miss an update 😀 Phil

  6. Ally says:

    wow what a fantastic recipe you’ve shared with us! it’s nice to see gingerbread flavors in the summer. this cake looks delightfully flavored & perfectly moist!

  7. mydearbakes says:

    Great post! your bakes look sooo delicious! =)

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