Sticky ginger & lime cake, and my YouTube debut!

This is an incredibly simple (dare I say “fool-proof”?) ginger cake with a mixture that is made up in seconds: it is very moist, with a nice gingery kick from both ground ginger and stem ginger. A simple lime drizzle finishes off this cake beautifully.

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The cake really does take moments to “throw together” before getting baked: it actually takes longer to weigh out the ingredients than to get the cake into the oven!

My YouTube debut!

Probably more daunting than cooking on Britain’s Best Home Cook earlier this year, I decided to launch my own YouTube channel

I will publish a new recipe on YouTube every Friday, with me cooking all manner of dishes that I love.

The first video on my YouTube channel, in which I show how to make this ginger cake, can be found here.

As with this website, my YouTube channel will be very much a work in progress……

Any size cake!

This cake can be made in two 1lb loaf tins or a deep 9” cake tin. The pictures below are of the deep 9” version:

Whatever sized tin you are using, pour the batter to not much more than half-full, as it rises a lot.

Icings and drizzles

I almost always add a quick lime drizzle to this cake, and I sometimes add a ginger and lime icing, too: just mixing icing sugar with enough stem ginger syrup and lime juice to give an icing that is thick enough to pour slowly.

Not that this cake needs the icing, but occasionally the extra zingy heat and that lovely comforting stickyness you get from such an icing can really hit the spot!

If you want a really luxurious melt-in-the-mouth icing, that is light, creamy and tangy, try my recipe here.

About this recipe

This is my adaptation of a recipe I had scribbled down 30-odd years ago from my gran, re-discovered only after tidying up one of my bookcases: there is something quite alluring about recipes on scraps of yellowing paper; they are almost begging to be tried!

I have simply added crushed stem ginger (the type that comes in jars with syrup) to the original recipe, which not only adds a different level of ginger heat, it makes the cake even more moist. I tend to use 5 pieces, but I have upped the ginger content from time to time! I have also gone for molasses sugar for the lovely treacly flavour it gives.

In recent years I have added tamarind, which adds a nice sourness without overpowering the cake, but it is optional.

From time to time I have used a 50-50 mixture of black treacle and golden syrup instead of just golden syrup, giving an even darker, richer flavour, and I sometimes use a mixture of whatever brown sugar I have to hand…..either way, you get a great cake.

Resist the temptation to eat it immediately: let the cake “mature”!

The cake is nice eaten immediately, but it really benefits from being left for a couple of days, wrapped in greaseproof, so that the ginger flavour develops.

The cake also freezes perfectly, with or without the drizzle or icing.

Recipe: sticky ginger and lime cake – makes one large 9″ cake


  • 125g molasses sugar, or any brown sugar
  • 125g very soft unsalted butter or margarine
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 180g golden syrup
  • 5 tablespoons stem ginger syrup (from the jar)
  • 5 pieces stem ginger, very finely chopped or crushed
  • 230ml milk, either whole or semi-skimmed
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind pulp or use tamarind sauce from a jar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 rounded tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Drizzle Icing (optional):

  • the juice and the finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • a few tablespoons of caster sugar

(1) Line a deep 9″ circular cake tin with greaseproof paper (or use a cake liner) and preheat the  oven to 170C (fan). Alternatively, use two 1lb loaf tins.

(2) Place all of the cake ingredients into a large bowl and mix well for about a minute until you get a smooth, thick batter. Pour into the tin and level it off.

NB: you can sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon together if you want, but this is not essential here

(3) Bake for about 1 hour (9″ cake) until well risen and firm to the touch: a cocktail stick inserted into the middle should come out clean. It will have a few cracks on the surface, but that is fine. The 1lb loaf cakes take about 40-45 minutes or so to bake.

NB: For the 9″ cake, I sometimes turn the oven down to 150C after 45 minutes just so it does not go too dark on top.

(4) If using a drizzle, mix the sugar and lime juice together – there is no need for the sugar to dissolve fully. Make skewer holes all over the cake and spoon over the drizzle. Grate over the lime zest.

(5) Leave the cake to cool before eating. Ideally, wrap the cooled cake in greaseproof and store in a cool place for a couple of days.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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