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    Sticky ginger loaf cake

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    Sticky ginger loaf cake

    This gently spiced cake is just the thing to have on standby for unexpected guests. Wrapped up in foil, it keeps well, but we suggest doubling the ingredients so you can freeze one (un-iced) to enjoy during the busy festive period. It's always popular with those who are less keen on Christmas cake.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling
    • Cooking time: 50 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus cooling

    Serves: 8-10


    200g plain flour
    1 tbsp ground ginger
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp mixed spice
    ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    100g unsalted butter
    100g golden syrup
    140g black treacle
    100g dark brown soft sugar
    2 eggs, beaten
    80ml milk
    150g icing sugar
    ½ lemon, zest and juice
    30g crystallised ginger, chopped


    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment, leaving extra length at each end to help lift the cake out once cooked. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of fine sea salt. Put the butter, syrup, treacle and sugar in a small pan, then heat gently until the butter has melted; do not boil.

    2. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the wet mixture and eggs. Use a wooden spoon to pull the flour slowly into the wet mixture until all combined. Stir in the milk, a little at a time, until incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If, after 30 minutes, it is browning too quickly, cover loosely with baking parchment.

    3. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then lift out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in the lemon zest. Make a small well in the centre and add the lemon juice. Use a spoon to mix into a thick, smooth icing, adding a little just-boiled water if needed. Pour over the cake, spreading with a palette knife, then scatter over the crystallised ginger and leave to set. Keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days. The flavours develop over time – if you can make it last that long!

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, November 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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