Gingerbread Loaf

This is my standby. My emergency cake, my school fete cake. A cake to sell your house because the smell is just, well…comforting, homely. Welcoming. And delicious. You can eat it warm from the oven, with custard (or cream) or keep it well wrapped and enjoy for days later as it gets stickier and stickier. I made my latest one with duck eggs and, wow. Best gingerbread loaf cake I’ve ever made. This might be because a duck egg is larger than a hen egg or it might be because a duck egg just gives it that something extra. But. Whatever eggs you have – just make this. (Remember, there are no rules.) It’s easier than what you think, though it needs a little patience. And can be made even easier if you buy the loaf cake tin and loaf cake liners available from John Lewis and Lakeland.

This recipe uses a 2lb loaf tin and liner.

You will need scales, liquid measurer (i.e a jug with millimetres marked on), small saucepan, mixing spoon and bowl.

  • 100g/4 oz butter
  • 175g/6oz black treacle
  • 50g/2oz golden syrup
  • 150ml/1/4 pint milk (I use full fat but use whatever you have)
  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger (I use heaped teaspoons – but that’s my preference)
  • 2 tsp mixed spice (again, heaped!)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g/2oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (if you only have small eggs then use three)
  1. The first thing you want to do is weigh the butter, treacle and syrup. The easiest way to do this is by weighing directly into a small saucepan. (If you can’t do this just weigh out and scrape around the best you can. Nigella says to grease the spoon with olive oil and the treacle slides off. I tend to heat mine on the cooker.)
  2. Measure out the milk in a jug.
  3. Once the butter has melted and you’ve stirred to combine with the syrup and treacle pour into the jug which contains the milk.
  4. Now officially you should now allow this to cool. I cheat and put it either in the fridge or freezer depending on how quickly I want it. If you do this just don’t place it next to something like ice-cream as it will be very hot and will affect your fridge/freezer temperature (albeit for a small while).
  5. While the liquid is cooling mix together all of the dry ingredients. Flour, spices, salt, bicarbonate of soda and sugar. Get your hands in and make sure the sugar has left no lumps.
  6. Pre-heat the oven now. About 130 fan or 150 regular oven.
  7. Once the liquid has cooled pour over the dry ingredients and mix. I actually use a hand whisk here to make sure all the lumps disappear. But that’s not compulsory, you can do it with a spoon.
  8. Crack in the eggs and mix so well combined.
  9. Place a liner into a tin (so no greasing required – if you don’t have a liner grease well with butter or lard. You will probably also need to line with greaseproof paper.)
  10. Pour mixture into tin.
  11. Place into pre-heated oven and cook for one hour.
  12. After one hour open the oven. If you press the loaf and it stays indented place back in the oven for five minutes or so. If it springs back remove from oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  13. That’s it. You’re done.
  14. This cake will last ages as long as well wrapped or in an airtight container.