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Good Old Fashioned Ginger Cake & Sweet NZ


There is nothing better than a slice of good old fashioned ginger cake and how remiss of me to neglect it for the past ten years. A Jamaican Ginger Cake is what I had in mind with it’s heavy, sticky texture and dark molasses flavour. It’s an iconic British tea time cake but I have no idea where it got its name from. Did the recipe derive from Jamaica, was it the ginger that came from Jamaica or did a Jamaican in the UK invented the recipe. Or was it just an exotic name given to it by McVities (who produce the cake) and has no story behind it at all? If you do know drop me a line, I couldn’t find anything on the web.

Most recipe call for golden syrup but I prefer to use honey these days particularly since I have a constant supply from a bee keeper friend. If honey is too expensive in your neck of the woods you can substitute if back for golden syrup.

This is also my submission for Sweet New Zealand which is being hosted by the lovely Shirleen over at Sugar & Spice & all Things Nice. Pop over to her blog and see what other treats our fellow Kiwi bloggers are submitting this month.

250 g self-raising flour
3 tsp ground ginger
200 g honey or golden syrup
125 g butter
100g preserved stem ginger, chopped
100 g dark muscovado sugar
2 tbsp molasses or treacle
2 large eggs
200 ml milk

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease and line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper.
Melt the honey, sugar molasses, stem ginger and butter in a pan over a low heat.
Sift the flour and ground ginger into a separate bowl.
In another bowl whisk together the eggs and the milk.
Once the sugar mixture has melted pour it into the bowl with the flour and stir together to make a smooth paste.
Add the eggs to the flour mixture and beat together, the mixture will be quite runny.
Pour mixture into prepared cake tin.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
Allow to cool in cake tin before removing it.
Ginger cake is always better if you can leave it a day or two before eating it, the cake becomes a lot more sticky!


21 Comments Post a comment
  1. A delicious looking cake! I love old-fashioned and gingery sweet treats.



    February 8, 2012
  2. bernard mc donald #

    EEE By Gum Lass, thou has forgotten PARKIN. IT’s a Yorkshire Specialitate. If Jamaican ginger cake was a book parkin could sue for infringment of compywrite. Same recipe same instructions same results. Bada Boom Bada Bing or is it the other way round. Thank you for the wonderful recipes.

    February 8, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Funny you should say that, I’m always saying I have never made Parkin so Im off to check out the Parkin recipes, my Nan wouldn’t be impressed me only remembering Jamaican Ginger cake and not Parkin.

      February 9, 2012
  3. Gosh – haven´t eaten this for years (and then it was probably McVities). Don´t know why it was called Jamaican Ginger cake but now you´ve got me thinking. We too have plenty of lovely local honey and I really do want to give this a go soon.

    February 8, 2012
  4. Delicious, I can smell it (nearly). Being far too inquisitive, I found this:
    Jamaican Ginger Cake

    February 8, 2012
  5. This looks amazing! I love the photo too.

    February 8, 2012
  6. 🙂 great cake and great tea set too! Golly I remember eating those Jamaican cakes in the UK, I never thought of the name or origin, but I can tell you that my Jamaican British friend used to make it, but after all she made Madeira cake too, it was the style of baking of the days (when I was living there). I guess that the selection of cakes and biscuits is bigger today, but these cakes will never loose points (or buyers at the corner dairy, because they have a craving :-)).

    February 8, 2012
  7. Mmm love me some ginger cake, love all ginger baking truth be known!

    February 8, 2012
  8. Hmmm, inspiring cake! I love the fact at you are using honey instead of syrup. I didn’t realise ginger cake would get better with age, I feel like I’ve learnt something!

    February 9, 2012
  9. I bet that tastes heaps better than the McVites version. I remember that so well! I shall defintely be adding this recipe to my ginger recipe stash.

    February 9, 2012
  10. I love anything flavoured with ginger. Would love to try this made with honey like you have.

    February 10, 2012
  11. I definitely love a good ginger cake and yours looks so dense and sticky – just how I like them! Can you taste the honey at all, or is it overpowered by the ginger? I’d be interested in trying this with honey… yum 🙂

    February 10, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      I think that will depend on the honey, Manuka would probably come through in the flavour but a milder hen won’t.

      February 10, 2012
  12. This looks really tantalising. Dark and gingery… mmmmm!

    February 11, 2012
  13. mairi29 #

    Perfect with a cuppa, love the tea cup & plate 🙂

    February 11, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Yes, I can bring my own when you do your tea party ;0)

      February 13, 2012
  14. Yummy! Ginger is such a comforting flavour! I usually bake a ginger loaf but I will try your ginger cake next time – it looks delcious. Love the tea set!

    March 6, 2012
  15. Jenny #

    Can you make this without the stem ginger? I love the flavour of ginger but not stem ginger. I assume that is the same as the crstalised ginger that my mum used to try and make me eat as a child and i found it much too strong.

    May 7, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Hi Jenny,
      Yes you can make it without the stem/crystalised ginger and just use powdered, it won’t affect the quantities of any other ingredients, although you may want to add a little more powdered ginger. Thanks, Alli

      May 8, 2012
  16. Jenny #

    Thanks Alli, iI’ll try making it this weekend:-)

    May 9, 2012
  17. Looks awesome! I am going to use this recipe to bake some mini sticky ginger and date cakes!

    Thanks for sharing it 😀

    May 22, 2013

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