World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

Saturday 9 April 2011

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

I realize, that to say that something is the World's Best anything is a pretty bold statement to make . . . and I don't make it lightly.

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

I have been creating and baking Gingerbread Cakes since I was knee high to a grasshopper! Ok . . . so maybe that is somewhat of an exaggeration . . . but I've certainly been testing and baking them since I took high school home economics!! (It wasn't until then, that my mother really let me loose in the kitchen unsupervised!!!)

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

I've experimented with, devised, and tried many, many recipes through the years. Some might have had the lovely spicy flavour I was looking for, and just the right amount of heat . . . but been sadly dry and lacking in every other respect.

Other's might have been moist, but lacking in spice and character!!!

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

Nobody likes a dry gingerbread . . . and nobody likes one that's not all gingery and spicy . . . well, this gal doesn't at any rate!

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

This is my tried and true recipe. The one I came up with, and have been using for years and years. It is no fail, as long as you follow the instructions exactly. It always bakes up deliciously moist. It has just the right amount of spice and heat . . . and it tastes better and better with each day that passes.

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

It's beautifully delicious served warm, with the accompanying Spiced Lemon Sauce . . . or perhaps a dollop of whipped cream, or creme fraiche, or even lashings of custard, which is how the Toddster likes it . . . but then he is a Brit and if there's no custard involved, it's just not a pudding as far as he's concerned!

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

It's scrummy yummy, sliced and served cold . . . spread with softened butter.
It's likewise moreishly delightful, sliced thin and lightly toasted and once again spread with butter and . . . ahem . . . a bit of marmalade . . . just a scratching you understand . . . not gobs.

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

In short . . . this IS the World's Best Gingerbread Cake. Trust me on this. If you like Gingerbread, like I like Gingerbread, I think you'll find that . . . this is the cadillac of Gingerbreads.

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

Yield: 9
What makes this the world's best??  It's moist and spicy and moreishly delicious, that's what!


For the cake:
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 280g of plain flour (2 cups)
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 310ml  of boiling water (1 1/4 cups)
  • 60ml   of dark treacle  (1/4 cup)
  • 120ml of Golden syrup (1/2 cup)
  • (You may use 180ml of mild molasses instead, or 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 6 TBS butter, softened
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar (3/4 cup packed)
  • 1 large free range egg at room temperature
For the Sauce:
  • 95g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 TBS cornflour (cornstarch)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 240ml of boiling water (1 cup)
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • the juice of one lemon


How to cook World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spiced Lemon Sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter and flour a 9 inch square baking tin. Set aside.
  2. Add the treacle and syrup to the boiling water along with the bicarbonate of soda. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy with an electric whisk. Beat the egg with a fork, and then beat it into the creamed mixture a little bit at a time. Whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder and salt. Set aside. On low speed add the cooled syrup mixture to the creamed mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients only to blend. Pour into the prepared baking tin.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until well risen and the top springs back when lightly touched, or a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. To make the sauce, whisk the sugar, nutmeg, salt and cornflour together in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the boiling water. Cook until thickened, whisking constantly. Whisk in the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove from the burner and keep warm. Serve spooned over squares of the gingerbread.
  6. Serve the cake warm, cut into rectangles, with the  spiced lemon sauce spooned over top.  If you are feeling really indulgent you can add a dollop of softly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Delicious any way you choose!

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  1. Oh my goodness--one of my very favorite desserts, Marie! My Mom would make gingerbread with lemon sauce fairly often when I was a girl--absolute comfort food for this girl!

    Now, Mom's wasn't homemade, so I have NO problem in believing that your's is the world's BEST gingerbread cake--hands down! Can't wait to try your recipe--I know it will become a new family favorite!

    Loads of love to you tonight, dear friend...hubby's about to take me out for a late dinner--haven't done that in ages!


  2. Another one of my favorites! YUMMY! :D

  3. My Mom used to serve warm gingerbread with spiced pears or peaches and a bit of whipped cream...I still have one jar of spiced peaches left from last summer's crop so may give your recipe a try!

  4. I have fond memories of this from my own childhood as well. It looks very similar to gran's recipe, which I still make to this day. It is a good cake for me to make when we go out sailing as it keeps so beautifully (though we tend to gobble up cake long before it has a chance to go stale - lol!)

    The lemon sauce looks wonderful and something I must try. We tended to have it iced or just plain as a cake more than as a dessert.

  5. Oh yum this looks amazing. I adore sticky gingercake but am often dissapointed in the flavour. This looks perfect. thanks

  6. I can almost smell this gingerbread. Thanks so much for another wonderful recipe.

  7. Ooooh, I LOVE gingerbread, and you are right. .a truly good gingerbread is hard to find! I can't wait to try your recipe!

    And with the lemon sauce. .is there truly any other way of topping it? My Hubs prefers his with whipped creme, but what does he know? lol That leaves more lemon sauce for me!!

    My mouth is already watering! Thanks SO much for sharing another winner of a recipe!

  8. Oh,yummy!
    I love gingerbread and lemon sauce!
    I am going to have to make this very soon!

  9. Beautiful ginger cake Marie,I definately want to make this, can I use a 10in round baking tin instead of a 9in square?

  10. UK Ex Pat, you can cook this in a 10 inch round tin,, but it will be a bit thinner and cook a bit faster, so keep an eye on it. Start checking at about 20 - 25 minutes! You will love it I am sure. Don't overbake or you'll dry it out!

  11. This sounds wonderful. I LOVE gingercake and I'm making this as soon as I get back from England. Delicious. I love the idea of the lemon sauce. I used to love the Jamaica Gingercake which was sold in all English supermarkets years ago, now I'll be able to make a real one,
    All the best,

  12. All I can say is thank goodness your mother let you loose in the kitchen. This looks fantastic - as usual!
    Mary x

  13. I've always loved gingerbread...the smell brings back childhood memories and makes me feel happy all over! I haven't made it in a long time! I should use your recipe! ♥

  14. So delicious. This also brings me back to my childhood puddings topped with melted sugar. Looking at the photos made me want to eat one with my hot cup of tea. This is marvelous, thanks!


  15. This sounds delish! The photos are lovely to drool over too. Yumm...

  16. This cake look amazing Marie, lovely, gloria

  17. I've never thought of pairing gingerbread with lemon sauce before now. Will be giving this a try the next time Hubby nags me to make him some gingerbread for sure.

  18. Thanks for anwering my question ref using a 10in round baking tin Marie. Ive taken your comments on board and I think its worth buying a 9inc sq tin for this.

  19. Hi Marie,
    Fellow Canadian here living in Switzerland. I would love to try your Gingerbread cake and I wonder if there's anyway to use canola, olive or sunflower oil (or even apple sauce) as I have high cholesterol and can't have butter. Looking forward to hearing from you.


  20. Sharon, are you able to get the low cholesterol spread there (I think it's called Becel in Canada, and Benecol and Flora Pro Activ here in the UK?? I am sure there must be an equivalent product in Switzerland. I wouldn't like to recommend using applesauce with any surety as I haven't done so myself. I did however bake a really delicious Gingerbread loaf two days ago that I used grapeseed oil in and that you could use a low cholesterol oil in if you wanted:

    It is TRULY fabuously delicious!

  21. Just took this cake out of the oven....O-M-G!! It's delicious and moist, then you get that kick of ginger coming through afterwards.

    Also, wasn't sure I would like the lemon sauce, but the flavours compliment each other perfectly!

    Word of advice to anyone trying this, the final mixture may look a bit curdled and very liquidy - don't be alarmed, the end result is beautiful.

    Thank you Marie! Your blog has now been added to my GoogleReader. I can't wait to see what delicious treats you've got in store for us!


  22. I can't wait to try this! I have been on the search for the perfect gingerbread cake and this one looks just perfect!

  23. Hello Marie - Just stumbled upon your site the other day and have fallen in love!! I am planning to make this gingerbread, but was wondering if I could make it in a loaf pan?

  24. Hi Vickie, I could not say with a certainty that it would bake properly in a loaf tin as I have never attempted to bake it in a loaf tin. Perhaps a better cake to try in a loaf tin would be the Gingerbread Loaf I have posted here:

    This is also a lovely moist loaf! Welcome to my site by the way. I hope you keep checking back for new recipes and happy cooking! Happy and Delicious New Year!

  25. Hi Marie,
    Have made this countless times and is the only gingerbread I make when I have the urge (and when bonfire night comes round) :) just wondering if i could use a muffin tin to make individual ones. If so, how many do you think it would make?

    Thank you Faye

  26. Hi Faye, thanks so much! I am so happy that you enjoy it! I am thinking that you may get nine or ten out of this recipe, possibly more. Just fill the cups 2/3 full and of course don't bake them for as long. Just until they are risen and the tops spring back when lightly touched. I would check at 20 minutes. Let me know how you get on!! xx

  27. Hi again Marie,
    just an update, I made these in the muffin tins and to my surprise made 17! They took 25 mins at 180 degrees in my oven, made my house smell gorgeous! (wish I could find a candle that smelt like this)
    Also they were still lovely and moist/tender just as I'd hoped.
    I'm the only one who likes gingerbread in my house so I have a few to eat now!! Lol

    Thank again Marie

  28. Hi Faye, thank YOU so much for taking the time to come back and let us know how you got on! I am so happy it worked well for you. By the way, you can freeze it, so why not freeze the extras and just take one out when you want one! Bless you! xo

  29. I made this cake last night so that it would be “ready” for tonight’s dinner. You have every right to claim it the world’s best. Perfect. Really good food is far more than sustenance and sensory pleasure. It is a gateway to our memories and dreams. Like Proust’s Madeleine, your cake brought back a rush of wonderful memories. Summers in the 1980’s in a seaside village where we did Summer Stock and might well have starved had it not been for the local tearoom’s abundant and generous supply of moist rich gingerbread and whipped cream. Thank you for your generosity in sharing this recipe. – David Bennett

  30. Thank you so much David! Very happy you enjoyed and took the time to let me know! You made my day! xx

  31. Find it better to eat the next day, nice and sticky...

  32. Daddy, a good gingerbread is like a good stew. Both improve in flavour upon standing. Glad you enjoyed!

  33. By the way, your "Golden syrup cake" is lish especially the crunchy top..:)

  34. Thanks Daddy, that's very kind of you to say!

  35. I absolutely love this recipe! The boy's decided that they needed sugar cookies for Christmas instead of gingerbread cookies since we were short on time but I totally had to work in my gingerbread goodness somewhere during the holiday. I made cake balls with homemade cream cheese frosting, dipped in white chocolate! You could totally taste the gingerbread through all the flavors which was exactly what I wanted! Thank u for sharing!!

  36. I used this recipe for cake balls; homemade cream cheese frosting & white chocolate & you could still taste the awesome gingerbread flavor! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!

    1. Thanks Mallenrd! Those cake pops sound fabulous!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know about your experience! Happy New Year! xo

  37. Hi, I stumbled onto this recipe and thought I would give it a try. I followed the recipe and managed to make rubbish. (my fault) I put it in a tin that was too small. I must say the bits that were edible were delicious. This is a keeper! I will use a proper tin next time.


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