I love this cake. It is full of flavour, super-easy to make and the only ingredient unusual ingredient is treacle. Now, treacle is a staple in my larder, both for this cake, and for brown soda bread. Good on the day you make it, this is even better one or two days after when the crust is a little sticky and the crumb has settles.
This recipe comes from Fuss Free Flavour. My version uses all the spices that are optional in the original and has a touch of cloves too. It’s a great, flexible recipe. I know from experience that if you run out of treacle, syrup will do. The colour will be lighter, the flavour less rich and the rise a little less impressive, but it still works. If you’re so busy dissolving treacle you forget the oil – it could happen – the cake still rises and bakes. The crust is chewier, the crumb stickier and the flavour flatter, but it’s perfectly edible and the crust softens if you leave it for a day.
A note on time: The time it takes to cook the cake depends on the size and shape of the cake tin: bundt tins (round ones with holes in the middle) cook faster than a loaf tin, as does a round or square cake tins where the batter is spread in a thinner layer. you can also use this batter to make muffins. They only take 10-15 minutes to cook. I like to use a loaf tin for this cake.
Serves: 8-12. Prep: 6 minutes. Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Stores: Four days in an airtight container, up to three months in the freezer (slice before freezing).
- 350 grams flour
- 225 grams brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tablespoon ground allspice
- 0.25 tablespoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 0.5 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 60 grams treacle
- 225 grams water
- 100 grams vegetable oil
- Kitchen towel
- Large bowl
- Measuring jug
- Electric whisk (or wooden spoon and vigorous arm action)
- Rack (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Grease a loaf tin with cake release or a little oil on kitchen roll.
- Put the bowl on the scales and zero. Measure out the flour.
- Zero again then measure out the sugar.
- Mix the dry ingredients and put the bowl to the side.
- Put the measuring jug and the spoon on the scales and zero.
- Use the spoon to measure out the treacle – treacle is sticky, since you’ve measured the spoon, you don’t have to scrape it clear before measuring.
- Boil the kettle, then measure out 225 grams of hot water into the measuring jug (225 grams = 225 ml).
- Dissolve the treacle, stirring with the spoon.
- Zero the scales again and measure out 100 grams oil into the measuring jug.
- Add the water oil and treacle to the dry ingredients and whisk to mix it all together into a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter into the loaf tin, scraping the sides of the bowl with the spatula.
- Cook in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, checking with a toothpick after 35. When the cake is done, the toothpick comes out clean.
- When done, tip the cake out of the tin and let cook on a rack.
- Orange ginger: Instead of water, heat up 225 ml orange juice and use.