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Ginger marmalade cake

July 27, 2011

If you’re anywhere near Christchurch, you will have seen plenty of gorgeous photos of snow floating around, or even the real deal! Snow to me means that I’ll have alll day to bake and make something ridiculously rich for dinner, followed by something ridiculously rich for dessert.* Then eating the leftovers the next day. Dessert on actual snow day was a slightly altered version of Tartine’s “steamed” gingerbread, but the recipe was still a tad too molasses-y (oddly, it tasted quite chocolatey), and the tiny amount of powdered ginger I used barely registered. On the other hand, the texture was amaaazing, so if you like seriously molasses-y cakes, go for it.

All you really need to know about this cake though (taste wise) is that it’s very smooth, moist, and rich – it’s not super gingery or spicy or marmaladey, but a bit of a symphony. Although it’s soft, it’s not very fluffy – it’s a cake you can cut neatly once cold, and it’s slightly dense and fudgy but still moist. It’s almost stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth moist, but not soggy. I still prefer the texture of Tartine’s sticky molasses ginger cake,

Making this cake is almost as easy as whipping up a Betty Crocker cake, except you can take all the credit. It’s a one bowl cake that’s small enough to serve just 4-6, so it’d be awesome for an impressive looking dessert with minimal effort – and that’s even after you’ve made the butterscotch sauce to go with it. If you want a lot of it, you can double the recipe and make it in an 8×8″ pan, or 9″ springform tin. Best of all, if you do make a lot of it, it tastes just as good the next day. Alternatively you can make it earlier in the day for an after-dinner dessert, and if you want it warm, it warms up well in the microwave.

If you don’t have ginger marmalade, you can use whatever marmalade you want and up the amount of ground ginger, or mix and match spices to work with whatever flavour you have. Also, if you’re like me and don’t actually really like marmalade, this cake tones down the bitterness and also adds some fruitiness without any of the peeling/cutting you’d normally need to do. Delicious and lazy.

Ginger marmalade cake

makes one small 9×4″ loaf to serve 4-6 

  • 120g hot water (just boiled if you’re in a very cold kitchen)
  • 200g ginger marmalade or whatever marmalade you have
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 25g neutral cooking oil
  • pinch salt (omit if using unsalted butter)
  • 105g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger (this is for a mild ginger flavour, I’d go double if I wanted a serious ginger hit or was using regular marmalade)
  • optional: pinch ground cloves, pinch ground black pepper
  • optional: 1 T cocoa, for colour and extra richness
  • 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 160C (325F) with a rack centred. Generously grease your loaf tin, then dust with flour. I brush some of the melted butter onto the tin to keep my hands clean, just use an extra 2g or so of butter.
Mix first five ingredients until uniform. Sift over the rest of the ingredients (except egg), stir until fully incorporated. Beat in egg until just combined. Pour into loaf tin, bake 40+ minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Butterscotch sauce

  • 25g butter
  • 25g brown sugar
  • 35ml (ish) whipping cream
Melt together in a very small saucepan on low heat to dissolve the sugar, then turn up the heat to medium and let bubble up and darken in colour slightly. Remove from heat and pour over cake. To reheat, pop back on the heat (you don’t want to serve this sauce cold with this cake). Or pop some cold on a piece of cake and microwave on medium high heat until it melts.
Other serving suggestions: Topped with caramel apple sauce. Served alongside poached rhubarb, or vanilla ice cream, or yogurt, or lightly sweetened whipped cream. Drizzled with double cream, or a very dark chocolate ganache. I wouldn’t suggest a frosting/icing with this cake given its texture – you’d probably have trouble swallowing!
*Roasted vegetable quiche (using steamed butternut squash, silverbeet and dotted with cream cheese) and crispy roast potatoes one night, and vegetarian shepherds pie the next with smoky roasted yams and cauliflower. Oh man, I feel full just thinking about it.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2011 7:01 pm

    This one looks like a dinner party winner. Ginger and marmalade are such good friends, but with butterscotch in the mix… wow.

  2. July 29, 2011 8:20 pm

    I love ginger cake – my mother used to make one with a butterscotch sauce on top too – so delicious. I recently bought a big packet of candied ginger specifically for cake-making purposes… and then my oven broke, /sigh. Should be fixed soon though!

  3. July 29, 2011 10:28 pm

    F: I was actually wondering if it really *needed* the butterscotch sauce…and then had a good laugh at myself.

    C: Ah, well good luck making that candied ginger last! It can be very tempting to snack on. I suppose in the mean time you can dip it in chocolate…

  4. July 30, 2011 1:03 am

    Looks fantastic. I’m so excited too, I know a guy (DEFINITELY NOT ME, ahem) who botched a batch of marmalade a few months ago, didn’t set, but still useful for cooking. I, I mean he, will have to try this out.

  5. July 30, 2011 6:29 am

    mmmmm this is dreamy! Ive been looking for a good gingerbread/gingercake recipe lately, and this looks like a lovely version that would be right up my street! Your photos are so goddarn tempting too :)

  6. July 30, 2011 11:46 am

    R: Haha…hope you like it!

    S: Thanks, although lets be honest, butterscotch sauce looks tempting no matter how it’s lit :D

  7. August 18, 2011 11:24 pm

    Damn, my oven was recently fixed and I forgot all about this post, and now all my ginger is gone, lol. I was able to use “most” of it for some cookies I made, but I totally see what you mean about finding it difficult to stop popping it into my mouth as I’m going along! :D

    I’m going to find out how to make my own candied ginger I think, can’t be too hard, surely?!

    • August 19, 2011 11:22 am

      C: Have never made my own candied ginger, but I’m guessing it’s mostly a matter of patience, much like most candied fruit and stuff.

  8. September 24, 2011 8:20 pm

    This is lovely and I like that it´s not too HUGE as we are only 2 at home and the tempatation to eat a ig cake is impossible to resist! Came over here via Greg at Rufus´ Food and Spirits Guide and very pleased that I did!

  9. September 24, 2011 8:22 pm

    C: Thanks, I’ve also tried to make smaller cakes as I get bored pretty quickly and I can only feed the flatmates so much cake!

  10. Greta permalink
    June 2, 2012 6:09 pm

    Hi, Thank you so much for this recipe and your delightful descriptions and pictures. I made this yesterday and it was super easy and agree that it is a perfectly sized cake.
    Can’t wait to try some more of your recipes.


  1. Two Spoons’ Ginger Marmalade Cake | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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