Gingerbread is one of my favourite things to make. Which is a good thing because I make it quite a lot. It’s really simple, mostly make it in loaf form and it’s best if you leave it a couple of days after baking so the spice and the stickiness really develop. It also makes really great cupcakes either plain or iced, coffee flavour butter cream works well for some strange reason. It also freezes really well.


The original recipe was in the Observer magazine about 15 years ago, if not longer and is from Sybil Kapoor, over time I’ve added to it, extra ground ginger and occasionally chopped glace ginger, which was an idea borrowed from Christelle’s aunt who makes a very different but equally good ginger cake. If you aren’t as much of a ginger fiend as I am, by all means dial back the ginger, the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of mixed spice and 3 teaspoons of ginger.  I’m also more flexible on the type of sugar, the original calls for demerara sugar but I’ve happily used brown caster sugar or just light brown sugar and it’s always worked it’s just maybe less sticky


What (adapted from Sybil Kapoor)

225g plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

7 heaped teaspoons ground ginger

2 heaped teaspoons mixed spice

200g glace ginger (optional)

285ml milk

1 egg

85g butter

85g golden syrup

85g treacle

115g brown sugar


1) Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/350F/180C. Line a 2lb loaf tin

2) Put the flour, spices and raising agents in a large bowl and mix together. If you’re using the glace ginger, put that in and make sure it’s covered in flour

3) Put the butter, sugar, treacle, syrup and butter in a small pan and melt together.

4) Add the egg to the milk and beat until sort of blended

5) Once the butter, sugar, treacle and have melted together, add to the flour and stir until combined.

6) Pour the milk and egg mixture into the flour and beat until it’s all combined.

7) Pour this runny mixture into the loaf tin and bake for an hour and half until the cake is firm and a toothpick comes out clean.

8) Once the loaf has cooled wrap the loaf and put it in a tin for a day or two to really let the flavour develop or eat it straight away if you absolutely must!

About nicdempsey

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