Jamaican ginger cake

Jamaican ginger cake

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

Who doesn’t remember opening a silver-lined packet of dark, sticky Jamaican ginger cake? When I was a kid, one of my favourite treats was scraping the leftover cake off the packaging and scoffing it from the knife… happy days. Now I’ve amplified that experience by making my whole house smell of molasses and ginger while my version of the cake is baking. This is great, easy, but requires self-control, as it tastes a lot better if it has a day to mature after being cooked. The smell may be torture, but you’ll be well rewarded for your patience.


Quantity Ingredient
160g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
100g black treacle
160g dark soft brown sugar
250g plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200ml whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
50g crystallised ginger, finely chopped

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
900 g loaf tin
or 23 cm round, deep-sided cake tin
electric whisk
wire cooling rack


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a 900 g loaf tin or a 23 cm round, deep cake tin by rubbing butter on to the tin, then sticking baking parchment to the inside.
  2. Measure the black treacle into a mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and softened butter and beat with an electric whisk until light(ish) and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, spices and bicarb.
  4. Add half the milk to the treacle mixture and beat together. Now this will split a bit, so add about one-quarter of the dry ingredients to counteract the splitting, and beat together. Beat in the remaining milk, the egg, then the remaining dry ingredients and the crystallised ginger, making sure to incorporate all the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread out until smooth and even.
  5. Bake for 55–65 minutes or until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before taking the cake out of the tin and allowing to cool on a wire rack.
  6. Once fully cooled, wrap up in foil and allow the cake to mature for a day or so. This will make it sticky and rich: it’s well worth it!


  • This recipe has a level 1 (beginner) difficulty.


  • My mum always tells me to add more ginger. Not just to this, but to everything I make with ginger in it, so feel free to double or even triple the crystallised ginger in this recipe. You can even add 1–2 tablespoons grated root ginger if you like the zing it gives.

    I can’t stress enough the importance of letting this cake sit for a day or so. You can even do a taste test if you’re really impatient, so you can see for yourself. The spices I have put in are a combination I like, but the Jamaican ginger police won’t arrest you if you want to muck about with different ingredients, so go for it. Just remember: there is a lot of strong flavour in this cake, so putting weedy flavours in will probably have little effect.

    Have fun messing around with it… or rigidly stick to my recipe. Either way you can’t beat it as an accompaniment to a sit down and a cuppa.
Great British Bake Off
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again