jamaica ginger cake

Jamaica ginger cake is very nostalgic for me as it was a very occasional treat when I was growing up and I loved everything about it. I loved that it was a dark, dense, slightly sticky on the outside sponge cake made with lots of black treacle and fragrant with spices. They still make it today but I wanted to do a dairy free version that could also be vegan so I have created this recipe around the original recipe but omitted the butter and milk. It has a great texture as well as a great taste, and you don’t miss the dairy at all. The cake gets nicer over the next few days after baking and gets slightly sticky on the outside as the flavours mature. I tested it out on my friend’s teenage kids and they really loved it even though they had never had Jamaican ginger cake before. It’s dairy free heaven… but shhh, you don’t have to tell anyone it is because they won’t notice!


Serves 8.

225g self raising flour or spelt flour with three teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
1/2 cup of light olive oil
115g of black treacle
115g of golden syrup
115g of soft dark brown sugar
275 ml of full fat almond milk or a milk alternative that you prefer
1 medium egg or egg replacer for 1 egg (available in health stores)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
A little icing sugar for dusting (optional)
A bundt tin lightly oiled or sprayed with cake release spray


Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Put the brown sugar and the egg in a food processor or mixer and mix up till pale and fluffy, I use an electric whisk and a very large bowl but a mixer or food processor are perfect.
Next add the golden syrup, the black treacle, the milk and the olive oil and whizz up till thoroughly mixed then tip in the dry ingredients. Mix for about a minute and then pour into the bundt tin.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Great warm with dairy free vanilla ice cream like Swedish Glace. Or iced with vanilla icing. Recipe at the end of the honey cake recipe.
Lastly, this cake could also be cooked with chopped nuts in it if you like a bit more texture. Just put 150g of chopped nuts into the mixture just before you put it in the baking tin. It’s also perfect at Christmas as the spices are very Christmassy.

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