Mrs Simkins’ Sticky Gingerbread Cake

Posted: August 10, 2012

This resulting cake is a lovely moist and sticky gingerbread that is popular with both adults and children: perfect to accompany a steaming mug of your favourite Clipper tea whilst standing round the bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night.

Bread machines with the Bake only option are handy for making an easy cake; somehow, it seems much less effort than using the oven and it’s more economical on electricity. Bread machines aren’t cut out for light-as-a-whisper sponge cakes, but they can help you bake a very good loaf or bar-type cake based around dried fruit, ginger and so on.

This recipe is suitable for machines with the Bake only option with a timer for adding extra time as necessary.

If you don’t have a bread machine, you can make this cake in a conventional oven: pour the mixture into a greased, and preferably lined, 450g loaf tin and bake at 160C (fan ovens) or equivalent for approximately 45 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.


  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 150ml cold water
  • 110g butter, diced
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Remove the mixing blade and grease the bread pan.
  2. Line the bottom of the bread pan with greaseproof paper: invert the pan on top of your paper and draw round it, avoiding the handle. Cut round the lines and snip a few cuts round the edges of the paper to enable it to lie flat against the sides of the pan. Settle the paper into the bottom of the pan and press over the blade spindle, smoothing the edges flat.
  3. Put the sugar, golden syrup, black treacle, spices and water into a roomy pan. Heat over a moderate heat until everything has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter. Continue to heat until the butter has melted.
  4. Add the baking powder to the weighed flour.
  5. Leave the sugar mixture until almost cold and, using a sieve; gradually stir in half the flour and baking powder a little at a time with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs, one at a time with a little more flour, and mix in. Add the remaining flour gradually, stirring it in as you go.
  6. Pour the mixture carefully into the prepared bread pan, being sure to keep pouring into the middle so that the mixture spreads out of its own accord and stays on top of the greaseproof paper. Select the Bake only programme and enter 1 hour on the timer.
  7. Test with a skewer. If the cake isn’t done, close the lid smartly and enter another 5 or 10 minutes on the timer. Make a note for the next time.
  8. When the cake is ready, switch off the machine and remove the bread pan but leave the cake in the bread pan to settle for 10 minutes or so. After that time it should have started to contract away from the sides of its own accord.
  9. Protect one hand with a cloth and put your other hand carefully inside the bread pan and support the cake with your outspread fingers as you turn the bread pan upside down. The cake should come out easily. Peel away the greaseproof paper and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  10. Once completely cold, store in an airtight tin.
  11. This recipe is taken from ‘Fresh Bread and Bakes from your Bread Machine’ by Sue Simkins, out now.

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