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  • Tanya Carneiro

Old Fashioned Sticky Gingerbread


Anyone who knows me, will know of my obsession with gingerbread cakes, ginger puddings and gingerbread men...but this recipe is close to my heart as it reminds me of Christmases with my late nana.

Now it’s not Autumn/Fall or Winter where I live ..but my soul still resides in Europe during the cool months of Autumn hence why I ramp up the cosy baking during September- December!

You just can't take the Fall outta me. Something so magical, mysterious and beautiful about the season of Autumn - only fellow Fall lovers will understand.

Quintessentially British-Christmas - This childhood favourite of mine is the most moist, tender sultry cake bursting with ginger flavour that sticks to the roof of your mouth when you eat it.

The sign of a super good textured cake.

Make a batch now, adjust the gingeryness to your liking then bake it again for Christmas so it's perfect for your holiday parties or hosting.

This is a gorgeous treat for guests (expected or surprise visits!) who come around, offer them tea/coffee with a plate of this gingerbread stacked up nice and high with a light dusting of powdered sugar or just by itself.

Gingerbread makes the perfect edible gift during Christmas season, so bake a batch, cut it into neat squares and place a few slices into a box, tied with a festive coloured bow and label!


Serves : 16 dessert slices or 32 snacking squares

Ingredients: 125g Unsalted Butter

125g Soft Dark Brown Sugar

85g Golden Syrup

85g Black / Dark Treacle (not Blackstrap molasses)

200ml Whole Milk

1 Tbs Fresh Ginger Paste (I use Gourmet Garden brand)

1 Tbs Vanilla Extract

2 Large Eggs Whisked well– Room Temperature

250g Self Raising Flour

1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda / Baking Soda

2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

¼ Tsp Ground All Spice

¼ Tsp Ground Cloves

Tiny Pinch of Salt + Ground Pepper

Ginger Syrup:

1.5 Tbs Caster Sugar

1.5 Tbs Water

1 Tsp Ground Ginger Powder

Note: This cake is best served 2 days after it is baked, so flavors can deepen and improve.



1. Grease a 20cm square tin with parchment paper on all sides.

2. Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup, dark treacle and ginger paste in a saucepan and simmer on medium heat until it has just melted then remove from heat. Do not let this mixture bubble.

3. Pour the vanilla & milk into the saucepan and whisk until incorporated completely, then allow to cool for 5 minutes.

4. Now preheat the oven to 160°C fan forced. This cake is best cooked on a low steady heat.

5. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground spices, pepper and salt into a large bowl and whisk well to combine. It is critical to use a large bowl as the batter will inflate when the wet ingredients are added.

6. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the treacle butter mixture in a steady stream, followed by the whisked eggs - then mix VERY GENTLY + SLOWLY in 1 direction, using a hand whisk.

This is key to not develop the gluten in the batter, creating a dense tough cake.

For the last few strokes, use a spatula to carefully fold the batter into itself until no dry flour pockets.

7.Gently pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Level the surface with an offset spatula if there is too much unevenness with the batter. There will be bubbles on the top of the cake batter, this is fine.

8.Immediately place cake into the oven and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until the cake is moist to touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Do not open the oven door until 45 minutes has passed or else the centre of the cake will sink.

9. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes with a tea towel on top of the cake until the cake is warm. (do not let the tea towel touch the cake surface).


10.Whilst the cake is cooling, make the simple syrup by adding the sugar, water and ginger powder into a small saucepan and bring to a medium simmer letting it bubble away. Swirl the pan to ensure the sugar dissolves, never stir or it will crystallize.

11. Once the syrup is medium thickness like runny honey, turn the heat off and get a pastry brush.

12.Brush the top of the cake with a layer of ginger syrup and let it absorb 3 minutes. Apply another coat of glaze and then store the cake in an airtight container for 2 days before cutting into it.

13. Slice and serve in squares.

This cake is also extremely delicious warmed up with a dollop of double cream or vanilla ice cream.

The crumb is so tender, yet moist and sticky - truly a heavenly treat!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, do let me know how you go!



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