Old Fashioned Gingerbread

So picture this, an oversized slice of Gingerbread, a mug of hot tea and a feature length episode of  Miss Marple (I’m a big Agatha Christie fan). Sounds perfect doesn’t it? I’m sure at this stage you’ve established that I love cake. Well gingerbread is one of my favourites and when I came across this recipe I was really surprised at the volume of treacle used. It’s not an ingredient you see that often in recipes now a days however, it is a flavour I love and remember from childhood (treacle toffee, yum).

I was very excited about making this cake and letting my boys taste it. To my horror they didn’t like it at all! And having a husband who doesn’t like sweet things kind of left me in a bit of a pickle with a 20cm squared gingerbread!

Anyway, I got over that little conundrum very quickly once I tasted the gingerbread, it was delicious. The treacle gave a lovely stickiness to the cake, it was almost like a pudding. However, there was also a lovely lightness to it which made eating more an easy task. I’m not implying that I ate all 20cm squared, I did give about half of it away to two friends of mine!!


  • 15ml/1 tbsp vinegar
  • 175ml/ 6fl oz milk
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 to 11/4 bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 115g/4oz  butter
  • 1 egg
  • 115g/4oz caster sugar
  • 175ml/6fl oz black treacle

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas 4. Line a 20cm/8in square cake tin with parchment paper.

Add the vinegar to the milk and set aside. The milk will curdle however the extra acidity activates the two raising agents and this guarantees a lovely light result. 
Sift all the dry ingredient together (except the caster sugar) into a bowl three times. This aerates the flour further enabling a lightness to the cake.

In a separate bowl, beat together the the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until well combined. Stir in the black treacle, mixing well. 
Gradually fold in the flour, alternating with the milk. The folding helps maintain the air in the flour that was generated through the sifting process.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until firm to the touch. DO NOT open the oven to check on the cake. I know it’s a basic rule drummed into us by our mothers! However I did and my cake sank a bit in the middle. However, it didn’t affect the flavour.

This cake is delicious both warm or cold!
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11 Responses to Old Fashioned Gingerbread

  1. Oh my lord that is a chunk of gingerbread! I shall be making some following my own recipe soon – I can’t wait. Lucky friends!

  2. Colette Carty says:

    Must make this soon, my mouth is watering! My kids like this when it’s drizzled with icing made from icing sugar and lemon juice – worth a try, gives you an excuse to bake it again. Colette x

  3. Freddie says:

    That looks outstanding – I’ll have to bake some later in the month!

  4. Freddie says:

    Or perhaps even the perfect foil! Oops!

  5. Freddie says:

    Made it for Friday night – It’s gone already. Damned good stuff, we found that it washes down very nicely with a heavily sherried malt!

  6. Rhoda Kirwan says:

    Ah brilliant! So glad you made it, liked it and got back to me to tell me!! Thanks a mil

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