December 18, 2012


This is one of the cakes that I had in mind to bake for our Children in Need cake stall in November.  I changed my mind because I thought it wouldn’t sell well.  The best sellers are always the large cakes which are decorated in lots of gooey icing. 

lemon ginger cake1

However, I recently needed a cake and I was most intrigued by the recipe so I decided to give it a go.  It’s called lemon and ginger cake and it’s essentially a ginger cake with half a jar of lemon marmalade in it.

lemon ginger cake2The recipe comes from this book, which is one of the series of little cookbooks that you could buy in Sainsbury’s for 99p each during the 80’s and 90’s.

I was reminded of my own collection of these books when Phil wrote about Bolton Flat Cakes in his blog “As Strong as Soup” a few months ago. I don’t know if I ever bought this particular book and in fact all of my little Sainsbury’s books have long since disappeared.  I think I took them to the charity shop in an overenthusiastic and regrettable clearing out session.

Anyway, I liked the sound of Phil’s recipe – this kind of book is just my cup of tea right now - so after a bit of lazy internet research I found a copy on Amazon.  For the princely sum of 99p (plus postage of course) so that’s not bad. 

lemon ginger cake3

The cake was really easy to make, a melted mixture of butter and golden syrup being added to the flour with the marmalade.  I used Robertson’s Silver Shred – it’s many decades since I bought a jar and it was a favourite of my grandmother.  Which is how I came to have a large collection of the gollies that you could send off for, using the coupons on the jars.

The strange thing is that when I was measuring out my ingredients I found myself weighing in ounces, which isn’t easy as I have to deliberately reset my scales to do this.  Obviously my mind was wandering back to times gone by as I followed the recipe – how spooky is that ?!  I felt quite a little shiver down my spine when I realised what I was doing !!

lemon ginger cake4I just gave mine a dusting of icing sugar and the flavour and texture of the cake are so lovely they speak for themselves,  but I would have to think of a way of glamorising it if I was going to be sure it would sell at the cake stall next year. 

(Next time I make the cake I will be tempted to add a little lemon zest to boost the lemon flavour.)

Lemon Marmalade and Ginger Cake Recipe


250g golden syrup

125g butter

250g (about half a jar) of lemon marmalade

1 egg, beaten

250g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

1tsp ground ginger


Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan / gas mk 4. 

Melt the syrup and butter together in a medium saucepan.  Off the heat stir in the marmalade and egg.  Set aside to go cold.

Grease and line the base of a 20cm (8”) square cake tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder and ginger into a large bowl, mix together.  Add the syrup mixture and beat until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 45 minutes.

Cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Makes 16 squares.


  1. do you really think you'd have to glamourise it? I know what you mean but I think it looks gorgeous.

  2. Two of my favourite flavors! Another for the recipe file, Jean.
    Perhaps a little lemon water icing for the cake stall?

    1. Perpetua, I had thought that some drizzled lemon icing with some chopped glacé ginger scatterd over it might do it......might be worth a try.

  3. What a fabulous recipe. I've got a pile of lemons lined up to make lemon marmalade this weekend, ostensibly as Christmas gifts, but some of it might just find it's way into this cake.

  4. I'm very happy to have reminded you of this little volume. The Sainsburys books were interesting - I thought some were pretty good while others were a little odd to say the least. This book, I think, was the best. I've dipped into it quite a few times over the last 30 years but I've never made this cake and now I think I should have. It sounds very good indeed.
    Mr Binns won the title of Sunday Times Best Amateur Cook in Britain back in 1977 and wrote several books in the years that followed but, apart from a repackaged version of this book, I think this may have been the last book he published. That's a shame - we could do with more cheap, practical and interesting books like this.

  5. Good morning Jean.
    Like you I bought a number of these books, and, like you, took most to the Oxfam about five years ago. However I still have this one and others called 'Mixer and Blender Cooking' and the 'Home Baking'.
    Tom's (son) two favourite cakes are lemon and ginger so I shall definitely be making this for him.
    My flapjack and one stage fruit cake recipes come from tese books.
    many of my pages are semi-stuck together from where the kids used to help me bake.

    Superb trip down memory lane. Merci beaucoup.

  6. oooh, lemon and ginger... perfection in golden fabulousness... check out the soft light crumb on that cake... very chic!

  7. Two gorgeous flavours together.... perfect!

  8. They sound delicious just as they are - I know what you mean about needing to jazz up the decorations for cake sales and sometimes it seems like such a pity when the cake is lovely as is.