Martha Collison's Jamaican ginger cake

This traditional cake needs no icing or embellishment – it is a perfect treat on its own. It tastes best a few days after baking, and develops a deliciously thick, sticky top


  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes to 55 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 5 to 10 minutes

Makes: 10 slices


200g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
100g butter, chilled and cubed
100g black treacle
100g golden syrup
100g dark brown muscovado sugar
200ml whole milk
1 Waitrose British Blacktail Large Free Range Egg, beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices together into a large mixing bowl, and add the cubes of butter. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients, as if you were making pastry, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You shouldn’t be able to see any large lumps of butter.

2. Melt the treacle, syrup and sugar together in a medium-sized pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. After about 4-5 minutes, when the mixture is no longer grainy, remove from the heat and stir in the milk.

3. Pour half the warm syrup mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until a thick batter forms. Add the egg and whisk until combined, then add the remaining syrup mixture and beat until smooth.

4. Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 50-55 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the tin before serving. This cake is at its best after 2-3 days and will keep in an airtight container for up to 10 days.