Sticky Jamaican Ginger Cake


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in



By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

I was born in the UK, not Jamaica. I would love to give you stories of how I would sit with the family in Kingston on a balmy evening while cake baked in the oven, but it’s not so. The first time I ate gingerbread was in Ladbroke Grove back in the ’90s. There was a tiny restaurant on All Saints Road – basically a Jamaican lady’s front room – serving the most awesome food and cakes. It’s not traditional for gingerbread, but I like to use stem ginger.


  • 250 ml buttermilk or 250 ml whole milk and juice of ½ lemon
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • good pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 115 g butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 115 g dark brown sugar
  • 115 g black treacle
  • 115 g maple syrup, plus extra 1 tbsp for brushing on top
  • 2 × 2 cm stem ginger pieces, drained and finely chopped (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1 egg


  • 1.2 litre loaf tin


If you’re making your own buttermilk, put the milk and lemon juice in a jug and allow it to sit for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan 150°C/325°F/gas 3) and line the loaf tin with baking parchment. I usually put a strip along the whole length of the tin, making sure that it comes well over the edges. This makes it easy to remove the loaf when it is cooked.

Tip the flour into a large bowl and stir in the ginger, nutmeg and bicarbonate of soda. Add the butter and then rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Put the sugar into a pan with the treacle, maple syrup and buttermilk and heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat and bring the mixture up to just below boiling point and then stir in the stem ginger.

Pour the sugar and buttermilk mix into the spiced flour and butter mixture and then quickly stir everything together with a wooden spoon. Break in the egg and then beat until it is just combined to form quite a thick mixture.

Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin, using a spatula to make sure you get all of the batter out of the bowl. Bake the loaf in the oven on the middle shelf for 55 minutes–1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Once the loaf is baked, remove it from the oven and brush the top with the tablespoon of maple syrup. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then cut the sticky Jamaican ginger cake into slices to serve.