Moist sweet ginger cake is right up there with coffee cake as one of my all time favourites. We didn’t have a lot of cookery books growing up – there was great excitement when we saved all the Stork Margarine coupons and sent off for their books, I believe there were three. We obviously hadn’t discovered the joy of cooking with butter – everything was made with stork. There was a runaway train birthday cake that I always dreamed about – the decadence, the liquorice wheels and that chocolate icing! Now that I think about it I think my aunt Helen actually made it for one of her golden boys birthdays at one stage – David or Billy. Or maybe that was a 1970s Ireland deluded dream fantasy and it never really happened?! One other cookery book we did have was the book that came with our cooker – a spiral bound offering with very few photos but the most amazing Gingerbread recipe amongst many others. Mam would bake it in an old black square tin – we seemed to spend hours ‘lining the tin’ with bits of – yes, you’ve guessed it – Stork wrappers – this was well before the age of Baking parchment, even before greaseproof paper! But the dark treacly ginger cake that emerged, it seemed like hours later ,scented the house much better than any Yankee Candle and this cake lasted for weeks. If it was allowed to. As it usually only lasted about a day. She didn’t put icing / frosting / anything on top – it seemed to just have a sticky top. Maybe its a case of when Christmas trees were tall and Ginger Cake was dark, sticky and absolute delicious. This is the closest thing to it – yes I have tried a lot of ginger cake recipes to find this, all in the name of research of course. It comes from my favourite little book of cakes – a tiny tome from BBC Food entitled “101 Cakes & Bakes, Tried and Tested Recipes”. They collected all their best cakes (and bakes) from their very popular BBC Food magazine a few years ago and this brilliant, very inexpensive book has become one of my favourite gifts to give. I have adapted it to include the lemon icing and have removed the suggested preserved Ginger in Ginger syrup – firstly because I have difficulty finding it and secondly, the kids think its overpowering and definitely falls into the “ewwww – its got BITS” category. So this is the version that tastes as close as I can get it to Mams 1970s Stork filled sticky Gingercake, with butter! Ingredients For Cake 200g unsalted butter 175g molasses / dark brown sugar 3 tblsp black treacle 150ml milk 2 large eggs 300g Self Raising Flour 1 tbsp ground ginger For icing 300g golden icing sugar 140g unsalted butter softened Juice scant half lemon juice Rind of one Lemon Preparation Preheat oven to 160C/gas 3/fan oven 140C Butter and line 23cm round tin Gently melt butter, sugar, treacle Cool briefly then stir in milk Beat in eggs Stir in flour, ground ginger and pinch of salt Combine thoroughly Spoon mixture into tin and level surface Bake for 30-35 mins or until firm and risen, it will crack but that’s what icing was invented for. Cool in tin for 1 hour then transfer to wire rack Beat together icing sugar, butter, lemon juice, and rind until very light and fluffy. Spread on top. (I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of the full cake – turned my back to get my camera, turned back to see this. Its a popular cake!
Sticky Ginger Cake with Lemon