Ginger is one of the world’s most ubiquitous spices, used fresh in Chinese, Korean and Indian cuisines, pickled and served with sushi, and added to cakes, biscuits and marinades in its dried powder form. For this rich Jamaican cake, both fresh and dried ginger are used.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (32 votes)


  • 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1¼ tbsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 160 g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
  • 185 g (1 cup firmly packed) dark muscovado sugar (see Note)
  • 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cm piece ginger, finely grated
  • 185 g (½ cup) blackstrap molasses (see Note)
  • 100 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 2 tbsp pure icing sugar
  • crème fraîche, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need a 1.5 litre loaf pan for this recipe.

Preheat oven to 170ºC. Grease and line base and sides of a 1.5 litre loaf pan.

Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, 1 tbsp ground ginger, cloves and allspice into a bowl. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars for 6 minutes or until thick and pale. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in grated ginger and molasses, then fold in buttermilk, rum and flour mixture.

Pour into lined pan and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool slightly, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Combine remaining 1 tsp ground ginger and icing sugar, and dust over cake. Serve with crème fraîche. Cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.



• Dark muscovado sugar is a very dark brown, unrefined sugar. It is available from select delis and specialist food shops.

• Blackstrap molasses is the thick, dark syrup left over after sugar is extracted from raw sugar cane. It is available from health food shops and select delis.


Photography Brett Stevens. Styling Justine Poole.


As seen in Feast magazine, September 2014, Issue 35.