Friday, 8 July 2011

Gluten Free Ginger Layer Cake

This is a lovely sophisticated cake that actually tastes better after a day or two, which means it's a particularly good one to make days in advance if you've got friends coming to stay the weekend and want to be socialising rather than baking. The rich ginger flavour of this cake makes it one for the adult rather than the child's taste buds: dark, moist and decadent.

Serve 8

Inspired by the loaf recipe by Annie Bell at
I've added orange zest, stem ginger, crystallised ginger and walnuts to the recipe, turning it from a loaf into a double layered cake.

Cake base ingredients:
225g gluten free plain flour (Dove's Farm or M&S recommended), sifted
50g walnuts, broken into small pieces
110g dark muscovado sugar
110g golden syrup
110g black treacle
110g unsalted butter
80g stem ginger, chopped finely
1 tsp stem ginger syrup
1 and a quarter tsps ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
half a teaspoon gluten free baking powder (such as Barkart)
grated zest of half an orange
2 large eggs
2 tbsps milk

1. Turn the oven to 180C (160 fan oven). Grease and line two 18 or 20 inch round tins.

2. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and put to one side.

3. Put the butter, sugar, syrup, treacle and orange juice into a saucepan and place over a low heat until mixed, whisking gently with a fork.

4. Combine the sifted flour, baking powder, grated orange zest, ginger, cinnamon and stem ginger syrup to the butter mixture, and stir well.

5. Add the eggs and milk and beat firmly until the mixture is smooth.

6. Tip the chopped stem ginger and broken walnuts into the batter and stir gently until all is combined.

7. Pour the batter into the 2 prepared baking tins, and place in the oven for approx 50 minutes. They will be done when a skewer comes out clean and the tops bounce back when you touch them with your finger. Take out of the oven and leave in the tins for 15 minutes, before carefully turning the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:
4/5 tbsps orange juice (approx 2/3 squeezed oranges)
300g icing sugar, sifted
crystallised ginger pieces

8. To make the icing, combine the icing sugar and freshly squeezed orange juice together.

9. Spoon the icing over the bottom cake, then place the second cake ontop.

10. Spoon the leftover icing over the top cake. I like my cakes to look a bit messy and bohemian, so I add a lot of icing, leaving pools around the cake. If you'd like a smarter, neater looking cake, just be careful to add less of the icing.

10. Finally, place the crystallised ginger pieces around the cake. Leave the cake for at least an hour before eating to allow the icing to settle.

This cake was idly baked to the sounds of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' soundtrack for the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford


  1. This looks absolutely gorgeous! Not sure I could manage to leave it for an hour before eating, though...

  2. Yes that's the really testing bit! It's worth it though, as the flavours get better and better! So glad you like it Katharine x


please leave a message, it would be lovely to hear from you