Saturday, 19 December 2009

winter climbing tips: ginger cake


By far the best food I’ve found for a winter day out in the hills, be it Scotland, Norway or the Alps, is a tasty, sugar laden cake that simply does not freeze.

Behold! The ginger wonder.


  • 150g unsalted butter (I have used salted and it doesn’t make a massive difference actually)
  • 125g dark muscovado sugar
  • 200g black treacle
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • fresh, finely grated ginger, lump approx. 2-3 thumbs

note: I’ve upped the ginger amounts massively from the recipe I was originally using, and even these quantities aren’t overpoweringly strong. Beware of using much more fresh ginger though as it seems like too much can make the cake rise a little oddly.

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 250ml milk (we only ever have semi-skimmed but I don’t think it really matters what type of milk)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 2 teaspoons of warm water
  • 300g plain flour


Preheat your oven to 170 C (gas mark 3).

Pre-line a loaf tin with baking parchment.

Choose a large saucepan (you can mix the entire cake in this), and melt the butter, then add the sugar, treacle, syrup, ginger and cinnamon and ‘melt’ these together (use a low heat so as not to burn the butter to the pan, be patient!).

Take the pan off the heat and add the milk, eggs and the bicarbonate of soda. Mix (don’t worry that the mixture seems to be layered at this point).

Sieve the flour into the batter mix, slowly and in increments, whilst stirring (I usually add a bit, stir it all in, then add some more until it is all in, roughly 4 or 5 batches). Now, at this point it WILL be lumpy, no matter how careful and patient you have been, so the next stage is to stir, stir, and stir some more – trying to work out most of the lumps. You may be stirring for quite a while, but eventually you should end up with a nice silky looking liquid batter.

Pour the batter into your pre-lined tin, then carefully put it in the oven (middle of the middle shelf), for 45mins – 1hour (keep checking on it – when it’s done a knife or skewer inserted into it should come out clean – any gooey residue and it needs a touch longer.)

Once it is cooked, take the cake out of the oven and carefully lift it out of the tin, onto a cooling rack. Let it cool! When it’s feeling solid enough, remove the baking parchment, then replace the cake on the rack and let it cool completely (trust me on this, it actually tastes better when it has cooled down! Honest!)


And there you have it! Glorious sticky ginger cake. Cut it up, stick some in the freezer if you want to keep it (note: it probably won’t actually freeze solid – one of mine hadn’t gone hard even after 2 months in the freezer!)

Oh, and one more thing to be aware of – this stuff is deadly. Or at least it appears deadly on the security scanners at airports when it’s packed into your hand luggage. I kid you not…

1 comment:

  1. For anyone reading Lauren's blog, I should just like to say that this cake is truly awesome and makes great hill food. If you enjoy ginger then so much the better.

    I can't bake (yet, Lauren!) but if you (reader) can then do give this a try!