Sticky treacle, ginger & lime cake

This moist and sticky layer cake tastes better the longer you leave it in the tin, so make ahead and enjoy for up to a week

  • Prep:45 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 20 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 442
  • fat 16g
  • saturates 10g
  • carbs 70g
  • sugars 50g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 5g
  • salt 0.8g


  • 200g butter
  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 175g black treacle
  • 2 tbsp ginger syrup
  • 200ml full-fat milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 325g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 75g stem ginger, chopped
  • zest 2 limes
  • 4 tbsp limes marmalade or lime curd
  • zest 2 limes, plus juice of 1
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp amber sugar crystals (we used Tate & Lyle), or 5 sugar cubes


  1. Put the butter, muscovado sugar, treacle and ginger syrup in a saucepan. Heat for a few mins, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool for 5 mins. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm-deep round cake tin with baking parchment.

  2. Whisk the milk into the butter mixture, then add the eggs and beat well to combine. In a large bowl, mix the flour, bicarb and ground ginger. Pour in the buttery liquid and stir well to combine, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Add the stem ginger and lime zest, and stir again.

  3. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 hr 15 mins. To check if the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the centre of the cake – if any uncooked cake mixture sticks to the skewer, return the cake to the oven for a further 10 mins, then check again. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  4. Split the cake into 2 or 3 layers with a long, serrated knife. Spread the lime marmalade or curd between the layers then reassemble.

  5. In a small bowl, mix the lime juice and icing sugar until thick and smooth, adding a little extra icing sugar if it’s too runny. Transfer to a sandwich bag, squeeze down into one corner and twist shut, then snip off a tiny bit of the corner. Drizzle in stripes over the cake. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the sugar crystals or cubes, with half the lime zest, to a chunky rubble and scatter over the top of the cake. Finish by sprinkling with the remaining zest. Will keep in a tin for up to 1 week – it tastes great on the day it’s made, but even better after a day or two in the tin.

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