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Tuesday 2 April 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: Whisky Mac Ginger Cake

Let Her Eat Cake: Whisky Mac Ginger Cake
This might not seem the most spring-like of cakes, but let's face it, British Summer Time has been lost, never to return again. Better to face our fate and brace ourselves against the cold, until we all grow beards and look like Vikings.

If you've eaten all the chocolate eggs you can handle, and want to bite the head off anything cute and made of cocoa, then I prescribe this cake for you. Stat! It's a sultry, sticky, moody affair. A Jamaica cake that emigrated to the Highlands. The Heathcliff of cakes.

If you really hate whisky, then you can always replace it with rum to create a Dark n' Stormy cake, but I advise using a good single-malt. Sacrilege. 

Whisky Mac Ginger Cake
You will need:
For the cake
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 115g butter
  • 115g soft dark sugar (e.g. muscavado)
  • 115g black treacle
  • 115g golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp whisky (preferably a smoky, peaty one)
  • 225ml milk
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • Sprinkling of brown sugar
For the syrup 
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • Splash hot water
  • Crystallised ginger or orange for decoration (optional)
Make it!
The cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 18cm or 20cm round, 7 cm deep cake tin. 
  2. Place the flour, bicarb and spices in a large mixing bowl and stir. Add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. 
  3. Place the dark sugar, treacle, syrup, whisky, milk and fresh ginger in a saucepan and heat gently together until the sugar has dissolved. 
  4. Pour onto the flour mixture and add the beaten egg, stirring gently until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. 
  5. Sprinkle brown sugar over the bottom of the tin (this gives the cake a nice, caramel crunch on the edges) then pour in the mixture. 
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top feels firm and a skewer comes out almost clean. 
The syrup:
  1. Dilute 1 tbsp golden syrup with a splash of hot water and stir well. 
  2. Using a skewer, poke holes in the top of the cake whilst still warm, and drizzle over the syrup so that it soaks in, as well as leaving a sticky layer on top. 
  3. Allow to cool in the tin, then remove the paper. 
  4. Garnish with crystallised ginger (or crystallised orange, if you don't have any ginger, hmm hmm)
  5. Keep the cake in a airtight container for as long as it lasts, (half an hour?) growling at anyone who comes near it from underneath your tartan rug and beard.


  1. Would you be able to swap or leave out the egg? I would like to make it but have a friend who is extremely allergic to egg.

  2. You could try replacing the egg with a pureed or mashed banana... egg usually acts as a leavening agent for the cake, but since this is a very soft and sticky cake, banana might work. It sounds strange, but the other flavours are so strong that the banana taste won't come through so much!2w

  3. p.s. apologies for the '2w', cat walked over the keyboard...!

  4. May I just say, that this cake is gorgeous! I used a 10yr old Talikser, and the flavour really, really comes through. From a purely personal POV, I might put a bit less treacle in next time, but it's been a resounding success at work! Thank you for some fabulous recipes!

  5. Mmm, Tasha that sounds lovely. (And I'm sure whisky fanatics will be shuddering at our uses of single malt!)The treacle indeed contributes to the dark flavour, but you could use more golden syrup for a brighter taste.


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