Irish Whiskey and Ginger Cake

Saturday 17 March 2018


I had my DNA done several summers ago and when I got the results, I was surprised and very pleased to discover that I was 27% Irish. 

It brought a whole new meaning to Saint Patrick's Day because now I could actually participate in the wearing of the green with pride in my ancestry and where my roots came from.   

Happy Saint Patrick's Day and what better way to celebrate than with a delicious cake!  And not just any cake, but an Irish Whiskey and Ginger Cake!

This is a dense and moist cake that is really filled with lots of ginger flavours!  Almost like a ginger pound cake, it goes really well with any hot cuppa.  

You get a real ginger whammy from the abundant use of ground ginger along with crystallized ginger. I love ginger of any kind, but I adore crystallized ginger! 

Crystallized ginger is sometimes known as candied ginger or ginger chews. With its soft, toothsome texture and sweet, spicy taste, crystallized ginger can be added to cookies and cakes, as well as eaten on its own. 

You can buy crystallized ginger in some grocery stores, and health food stores and Asian grocers often carry it. Chewing on a piece of it when you have an upset tummy or are suffering from motion sickness is usually a huge help.  

I always have a large container of it in my cupboard. It is rather high in sugar however, so don't overdo it! 

It really shines in this beautiful cake however . . . moist, dense and buttery, and studded throughout with golden jewels of the crystallized ginger.

Most of the ginger gets soaked in some warm Irish whiskey for a time before you fold it into the cake.  

Its a very pleasant addition, however if you didn't want to do that, you could just marinate it in some flat gingerale. This ginger gets folded into the cake batter.

The rest gets scattered across the top of the cake prior to baking, like little gold glistening stones.  It doesn't sink down too far, thankfully . . .

It just sits there on top, like shiny gold pebbles in a brook.  This cake is beautiful with hot drinks. I can imagine it would go down really well after a meal with an Irish Coffee, cut into thin slivers.  

Oh, I am thinking a nice sliver of Cashel Blue would be really nice served with this.  I will have to bake another one now, just so I can see.  The thought of that combination has my tastebuds tingling!

*Irish Whiskey & Ginger Cake*
Serves 8 to 10
This is about to become your favourite teatime cake.  It is fantastic, with a warm golden colour and a pleasant sweet spicy flavour. 

250g crystallized ginger, diced (approximately 2 cups)
3 TBS Irish whiskey
150g butter (2/3 cup)
100g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
3 large free range eggs
70g ground almonds (1/2 cup)
2 TBS ground ginger
150g plain flour (1 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS)
50g self raising flour (1/3 cup)

Place the 3/4 of the crystallized ginger into a bowl. Reserve the remainder for later. Warm the whiskey and pour over top of the ginger in the bowl. Let sit for fifteen minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 150*C/300*F/ gas mark 2. Butter and line a 7 inch round baking tin with baking paper.  Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir together both flours the ground almonds and the ground ginger. Stir this ito the creamed mixture along with the soaked ginger and the juices from the soaking bowl.  Spoon into the prepared baking tin, smoothing over the top. Sprinkle the reserved ginger over top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 80 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  This cake keeps well for 7 to 10 days in a tightly covered container.

This is a farmhouse type of cake . . .  the kind of cake that keeps well in the larder and the kind of cake you will find yourself thinking about in the middle of the night.  Perfect for elevensies, coffee break, tea time . . .  well anytime, but especially nice on this special day when we celebrate everything Irish!   

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! 


  1. Happy Saint Patrick’s day from a very cold Ireland! I’ll try this cake later on for tea time. I love ginger.

    1. Thanks Sara! Same to you! Its freezing cold here in Chester also with some snow flurries! If you love ginger, you will be really pleased with this cake! xo

  2. Replies
    1. It is an excellent type of farmhouse cake Monique! Xo

  3. I just took this from the oven Marie. It looks lovely and smells even better. I noticed there was no leavener in in sans the eggs and self raising flour so I’m thinker it will be a dense texture am I right?

    1. No, no levelling save the eggs and but of self raising flour. It is a dense cake, and Berta with a nice hot drink! I hope you enjoy it Noelle! Xo

  4. I've never seen self-rising flour here. How much baking soda or baking powder would you think I should add?

    1. You can very easily make your own self rising flour. For every cup of flour you use, you will need to add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Works perfectly. For 1/3 cup I would add 1/2 tsp of baking powder and pinch of salt. Hope this helps.


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