I can thank the National Trust café at Upton House for giving me the idea for this cake – a slightly sorry looking piece of ginger sponge was moist and delicious and significantly more gingery than it looked. I’d normally head for a dark and dense gingerbread offering, so this was a revelation. I started with a basic Victoria sponge recipe and went from there.
This works equally well as a 2 layer cake. Use the buttercream topping as the middle layer and ice the top with a simple lemon juice and icing sugar glaze.
Serves 8 – 566 Kcal per Slice
225g Light Spread
225g Caster Sugar
4 Large Eggs
3 tbsp (Skimmed) Milk
15g (about 3 tbsp) Ground Ginger
200g Self Raising Flour
1 tbsp Baking Powder
For the Topping:
100g Salted Butter
200g Icing Sugar
3 Balls of Stem Ginger
1 tbsp Syrup from Stem Ginger
3 tbsp Light Brown Soft Sugar (Optional)
1 tsbp Ground Ginger (Optional)
Preheat the oven to 170c or equivalent.
Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment or a ready cut loaf liner.
Beat 225g Light Spread and 225g Caster Sugar together until light and fluffy.
Tip – I don’t have a stand mixer but that would certainly be ideal to make this. I have an electric hand whisk – just a cheap one and it does the job fine. You could of course use a wooden spoon and elbow grease but the result won’t be as light.
Crack one of the 4 Large eggs straight into the mixture and continue beating – give it a good 30-60 seconds beating. It might look split but don’t panic.
Tip – if you’re not confident about your egg cracking skills, crack them into a small bowl first.
Continue to add the remaining eggs one at a time. By the time you have finished, the mixture should be super light and airy.
Add 3 tbsp (Skimmed) Milk a tbsp at a time and beat in thoroughly then add 15g Ground Ginger and beat in.
Tip – I buy spices in big bags from asian supermarkets and the world food aisles of the major supermarket. This tiny 38g jar is £1.00 at the time of writing and this 100g bag is 85p (actually on offer at 50p at the time of writing). Its a no-brainer.
Tip – You can remove the electric whisk and work with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon from this point. Over-beating the flour will make the cake tough.
Add 200g Self Raising Flour and 1 tbsp Baking Powder and gently fold in – do not overbeat it.
Pop the mixture into the lined loaf tin and bung into the oven for about 25-30 minutes.
Tip – Insert a skewer into the thickest part of the cake and if it comes out clean, its ready.
Leave the cake to cool for 5-10 minutes then remove it from the tin, still in the lining and leave on a wire rack to cool.
Tip – Do try and be patient and let the cake properly cool before icing. I’m impatient and it never works out well – the icing will just melt all over the shop.
Whilst the cake is cooling, using a stand mixer or electric hand whisk, beat together 100g Salted Butter and 200g Icing Sugar.
Tip – You could use light spread, another margarine or spreadable butter here but to be honest, the buttercream won’t be the best and it’ll be very soft, I’ve learnt my lesson and stick to proper butter.
Chop 3 Balls of Stem Ginger into as small pieces as you can and add them to the buttercream along with 1 tbsp of Syrup from Stem Ginger Jar.
Smear the buttercream over the cooled cake and as an optional extra, scatter over 3 tbsp Light Brown Soft Sugar and 1 tsbp Ground Ginger which you have quickly mixed together. This gives a bit of crunch and even more fiery ginger.
Slice and enjoy.
Tip – Keep at room temperature.
Tip – Can be frozen with or without the buttercream. Don’t freeze with the sugar sprinkle.