Lemon & Ginger Snack Cake

Saturday 13 June 2020

My best friend when I was in high school was a girl named Linda Wilson. We met in Grade 10. She lived across the back yard from myself in a house that backed onto ours.  

We did everything together. We were in the same class at school.

There was only her and her younger brother and she had her own record player and got a generous allowance, which she used to buy 45 records. 

She had just about every popular record on the Hit Parade.  On Friday nights we would sit up in her bedroom listening to the records, talking about boys and dreaming about a time when a boy might finally ask us out on a date.

We would practice slow dancing with a hanger hooked onto the back of her closet door, with her bathrobe draped over it. (Embarassing but true.)  I mean . . .  God forbid we went to a dance and didn't know how to actually dance with a boy!  

One time we even pooled our money to buy a book, "How to Get a Teenage Boy" (and what to do with him when you get him.) by Ellen Peck. For several weeks at least this was our Bible! 

It didn't work.  It would be another year or so before I managed to capture a teenage boy and Linda never did until she finished high school and was out working.

Linda's mother was this really short Acadian French woman. She worked at the Metropolitan store and was small just like a bird. Her name was Cecile. Swas an excellent cook and she used to make this chocolate cake called Wacky Cake. 

 It was a chocolate cake that  you mixed right in the cake in.  You mixed together all of the dry ingredients in the cake tin and made three dips in them. You added water to one dip, and oil to another dip and then vinegar to the third.

Then you beat it all together with a fork and baked it.  There was a lush icing to spoon over top of the finished cake as well.  Oh boy but it was some good.

Sadly Linda and I lost touch when I moved out to Winnipeg to begin my life with my ex husband.  I looked for her for many years but couldn't find her.  

It was about eight years or so ago now I found out that she had passed away from cancer when she was 55.  It made me very sad to discover that.

I discovered this recipe the other day on the Land O Lakes webpage. It reminded me of Linda and our friendship.

And her mother's Wacky Cake.  It, too, is mixed together right in the pan.  

It asked for an 8 inch square baking tin, which I don't have, but the equivalent is a 9 inch round, which I do have, so I baked it in that.

Lemon and ginger are a beautiful flavour combination which I love. 

My husband is not so fussed about lemon, but he does love ginger, so I thought he would enjoy it.

I used my nine-inch enamelware baking tin and the cake did not stick at all.  It baked up beautifully light and moist.

The glaze is really nice.  Not too thick and not too sweet . . . its basically butter, icing sugar and lemon juice whisked together.

I did toy with the idea of adding some of the syrup from my preserved ginger jar, but in the end didn't.  Instead I settled for just sprinkling a bit of the preserved ginger over top.

This was a simple and moist ginger cake with just a slight lemon flavour in the batter. Most of the lemon flavour is in the glaze.  You don't need to add the preserved ginger on top, but if you have it I highly recommend that you do.  It adds a really nice touch! 

Yield: 9
Author: Marie Rayner
Lemon & Ginger Snack Cake

Lemon & Ginger Snack Cake

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 40 Min
A deliciously moist snacking cake that is mixed together right in the pan prior to baking.


For the cake:
  • 210g plain flour (1 1/4 cups)
  • 95g sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 100g soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup, firmly packed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 60g dairy sour cream (1/4 cup)
  • 60ml milk (1/4 cup)
  • 1 large free range egg, beaten
  • 60g butter, melted (1/4 cup)
For the glaze and finish:
  • 90g sifted icing sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1 TBS butter, melted
  • 1 to 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • chopped preserved ginger to garnish (Optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Have ready an 8 inch square baking tin, or a 9 inch round baking tin.
  2. Whisk the flour, both sugars, baking powder, ginger and lemon zest together in the cake tin, making sure it is completely combined.
  3. Whisk the milk, egg and sour cream together.
  4. Make two wells in the dry ingredients. Into one pour the milk mixture and in the other pour the melted butter.
  5. Using a fork or tiny whisk, mix everything together until well combined, smoothing the batter out when done.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in the tin.
  7. For the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar, melted butter and lemon juice until you have a smooth mixture. Spread this over the top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle with chopped preserved ginger if desired.
Did you make this recipe?
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This simple cake is pretty wonderful.  I loved its flavours and I also loved that it wasn't overly huge.  With just the two of us, we don't ever really get large cakes eaten. This was just perfect! 


  1. Good morning, Marie. I'm liking this cake a lot. I don't have preserved ginger but I do have candied ginger which I think would work well. I like that the cake is a single layer yet looks quite festive to have with a cup of tea or my favourite lemon/ginsing tea. It's still cool here. Almost had to put the heat on but didn't. Enjoy your weekend my friends. Hugs and love, Elaine

    1. Good morning Elaine! Your tea sounds lovely! I love fruity teas. I was going to put candied ginger on it, but then spied the preserved and used that instead. Candied would be lovely I think! It is cool here this morning as well. Todd has wanted to have the heat on quite a bit, but I have been piling blankets on him. Love and hugs, oxox

  2. I love lemon and I love ginger, so I think I will make this!
    Sorry for the loss of your friend. It must have been sad to have found out she had passed away. I had a friend named Sonja when I was in 4th grade like that. I do wonder what happened to her. I will always love that name because of her. xx

    1. You are wecome Kay! Its a lovely cake. I like think that the people we draw into our lives somehow are a part of who we eventually become. xoxo

    2. I made this cake! I had to make it gluten free and use 1/2 rice flour mixed with 1/2 cornstarch. It was really good! I forgot to put in xanthan gum (which I usually use) so it did split a bit at the top but no worries, I covered it over with that great icing! Thank you! I love lemon and ginger. Next time I make it, I will get the crystalized ginger to go on top! xx

    3. Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and share your experience with the cake and how to make it gluten free! Yay and thank YOU! xoxo

  3. Well, I think you know I have a very soft spot for both lemon and ginger so this one is going on the list right now and I'll get the ingredients and maybe even try it next week. It sounds so delicious.

    I loved hearing the story of you and Linda, the dancing and the book. I'm sorry you lost touch. I've tried to find some of my grade school friends too and even with FB it's hard to locate people sometimes, especially women because of the name changes. I'm glad you have such good memories, too.

    1. It is a truly lovely cake Jeanie. So simple and yet very special! xoxo

  4. I see you posted this before and I commented on it -- and I realized I have never made it! So I saved it this time and maybe will make it for a lunch next week where I have to bring dessert!


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