Really Ugly Chocolate Gingerbread, tastes fabulous though

I have not been baking much lately. Silly really, as it is my greatest ally in the hunt for stress relief. Anyway, decided the other day that we needed something gorgeous to end the day with. So I dug out my old favourite, Nigella Feast, and proceeded to make the Chocolate Gingerbread, with of course a couple of additions of my own.


For the cake:

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 125g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 200g black treacle
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 275g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa
  • 175g chocolate chips

For the icing:

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 60ml ginger ale

The ingredients above work really well but I have added a few additions of my own.

For Lorna’s icing:

  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2 pieces of stem ginger ( the ones in the syrup) finely chopped
  • A little syrup from the stem ginger jar
  • Some warm water
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa


  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C
  • Line a tin measuring around 30cm x 20cm x 5cm
  • In a sturdy, large saucepan put all your sugars, syrups, butter and your spices. Gently melt them together and then take them off the heat. Let them cool a little.
  • In a small cup (I usually use an espresso cup) mix your bicarbonate of soda and the water.
  • To your syrup mixture, beat in your eggs, milk and the bicarb mix. Make sure the mixture isn’t too hot or your eggs will scramble!
  • Then fold in your dry ingredients.
  • The chocolate chips are added then ( this is an easy one to leave out though, the cake is plenty chocolatey already!)
  • Pour your mixture into your prepared tin and bake for around 45 minutes till the top is risen and firm to touch.
  • Let the cake cool on a wire rack.
  • Now this cake is lovely without icing, in fact if you leave out the chocolate chips it has the texture of a jamaican ginger cake and as such is lovely eaten on a Sunday afternoon with a nice cup of tea. However if you are feeling indulgent then the icing is a dead easy addition.
  • For Nigella’s icing – sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. In a saucepan melt the butter with the cocoa and ginger ale and then combine theĀ ingredientsĀ to make a gorgeous glace icing. Pour over your cool cake and consume.
  • For my icing – in a bowl sieve your icing sugar and cocoa and add the chopped stem ginger. Then add about 2 tablespoons of your syrup and a little warm water. Mix to the consistency of a pouring glace icing. Pour over your cooled cake.

Well, what can I say. This cake is a family favourite and also keeps for days. In fact the longer it keeps the better it tastes. It’s not the prettiest of cakes, the icing has lumpy bits of ginger in it that somewhat ruin the aesthetic! But it is yummy and that more than make up for it’s ugliness.