Orange spiced ginger cake

Preparation time 15 Minutes

Cooking Time 1 Hour

Serves 16

I adore a really good sticky ginger cake, something reminiscent of the Mc Vities ginger cake. That dense but incredibly moist sponge bursting with aromatic ginger. I expect the top to be sticky from the use of syrup and treacle. At school, it was always served with custard.

This is version does not stray too far away from its original beginnings except that now it is vegan and also sometimes gluten-free. For me orange and ginger pare so well together, they create a gorgeous flavour combination. I wanted to ramp up the spice a little by adding mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

The funny thing is I very rarely make a ginger cake in the summer. For me, silly as it sounds ginger cake is a cold-weather cake, something to be enjoyed when the temperatures drop. To be eaten with a cuppa snuggled up in the warm. I am not sure whether it is because of the warming spices or a childhood memory. Either way, it is one of my favouites.

This vegan version of this popular cake, in my opinion, is on par or even better than the one using eggs. The texture is fluffy and bursting with the wonderful warming spices. If you are a real ginger lover then I would say definitely add the stem ginger as it certainly raises the ginger levels and adds an extra stickiness to the sponge. 

This recipe converts so well into a gluten-free version I would suggest to add a little more milk to the recipe if you are using gf flour and also 1/2 tsp pf xanthum gum to the flour if it is not already included in the flour. The icing can also just be left off if you prefer your cake bare. It is still going to taste luscious.


  • 225g vegan margarine or butter
  • 125g dark brown sugar
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 175g black treacle
  • 50g golden syrup
  • Zest of one large orange
  • 235ml soya milk
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 340g plain flour
  • 2 heaped tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp  tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 35g drained stem ginger, finely chopped.

Orange glaze

  • 80g sieved icing sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 an orange or orange extract.


1. Line a 9- inch square pan with baking parchment then preheat the oven to 160c

2. Melt the sugars, butter, golden syrup and treacle in a medium-sized saucepan, and place on low heat.

3. Once this has done place to one side and leave to cool slightly.

4. Mix the cider vinegar into the milk and leave for a few minutes to curdle.

7. Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl, including the spices. Pour the cooled treacle mixture in the dry mix along with the milk, orange zest, and stem ginger if using it. Stir thoroughly making sure the flour has been completely incorporated.


8. Pour into the prepared baking tin and place it into the middle of the oven. Bake the cake for an hour. The cake is cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.

9. Leave to cool in the tin, once cooled then mix up the glaze ingredients, making sure you only add the orange juice slowly. The icing should coat the back of a spoon.


10. Once the icing is dry, cut up and store in an airtight container.



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