Everyone who has tried this cake has fallen in love with it, including me! Making cakes this way, with molasses or treacle, guarantees a deliciously dense and sticky cake, which keeps very well in an airtight container for at least a week. Don't worry if you don't have a bundt pan—see the instructions for making it in a regular 9 x 13-inch pan below.

Makes 12 slices


For the cake:
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 3/4 cup crystallized ginger (or use glacĂ© ginger packed in syrup, drained)
  • 1 1/2 packed cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses or black treacle
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice (or use cinnamon)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

    For the glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • About 2 Tbsp. lemon juice


    Note: No bundt pan? No problem, simply make gingerbread fingers instead. Bake the cake in a parchment-lined 9 x 13-inch baking pan, and bake in the same way until it has risen all the way to the middle. Drizzle with the glaze, or make a double batch with 2 cups sugar and a few more teaspoons of lemon juice, then spread it thickly over the top of the cake. Let set, then cut into bars, wiping the knife clean before making each cut.

    Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 12-cup bundt pan with a little oil, or use nonstick cooking spray. Chop the crystallized ginger into small pieces.

    Put the dark brown sugar, molasses or treacle, and milk in a large pan and let them melt gently together.

    Take the pan off the heat, whisk in the oil to cool the mixture, then add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Finely grate in the zest of the lemon.

    Mix the flour, baking soda, spices and salt, then sift into a large bowl. Make a well in the center by pushing the flour to the sides of the bowl, then pour in the wet ingredients. Add most of the chopped ginger, saving some for decoration later.

    Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, going slowly at first. Once everything is mixed, give the batter a good beat with the whisk until smooth and evenly blended. Pour into the prepared bundt pan.

    Bake for 35 minutes, by which point the cake should have risen all over and be dark golden; but don't open the oven door yet or it will sink. Turn the oven down to 325° for a final 15 minutes of cooking. Test by inserting a skewer into the deepest part of the cake; it should come out clean. Put the pan on a wire rack and let the cake cool completely.

    To decorate the cake, sift the confectioners' sugar into a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice, then stir 4 to 5 teaspoons into the sugar until smooth. It needs to be thicker than you think, so see how it flows from the spoon before you add any more juice. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate, then drizzle with the icing.

    Scatter the reserved chopped ginger over the cake, then let the icing set for at least 30 minutes.

    Adapted from What to Bake & How to Bake It by Jane Hornby (Phaidon, $35.00).

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