Squidgy lemon-ginger cake

This dense, sticky ginger cake is easy to make and a great Sunday teatime treat

  • Ready in 2 hours, plus cooling
  • Serves 12
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 376
  • fat 16g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 57g
  • sugars 30g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 4g
  • salt 0.53g


  • 200g dates, stoned
  • 200g butter, cut in pieces
  • 300g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g fresh or frozen root ginger, grated
  • 1 lemon, grated zest
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 Bramley apple (about 250g/9oz) peeled and chopped into pea-sized pieces
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 1 tbsp chopped candied lemon peel, to decorate
  • 1 tbsp sugar ‘coffee crystals’, to decorate


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm round cake tin (about 8cm deep) with baking parchment. Put dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Heat the butter in a small pan until melted, and stir in the sugar. Allow to cool slightly.

  2. Beat in the eggs, ginger and lemon zest. Drain the dates and chop them finely. Scrape them into the pan too, and mix well. Stir in the flour, then apple. Spoon into the cake tin, put the tin on a baking sheet (this stops the base browning too much) then bake for about 1¼ hrs, until well risen. A skewer stuck into the cake should come out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Leave it to cool in the tin.

  3. Break the white chocolate into a non-metallic bowl. Heat in the microwave, on medium setting, in one minute bursts until melted (or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water). Remove the cake from the tin and peel off the paper. Trickle the chocolate over the cake, scatter with the crystallised lemon peel and coffee crystals and leave to set before serving. If well wrapped, the cake keeps for at least a week – it just gets better and better. Or, wrap the cooled cake in several layers of cling film before decorating, and freeze for up to two months.

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