Toasted marshmallow & ginger cake

Decorative Italian meringue masks a spicy, moist ginger cake layered with ginger buttercream- an amazing bake!

  • Prep:55 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 15 mins
    plus cooling
  • Serves 10
  • A challenge

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 549
  • fat 22g
  • saturates 13g
  • carbs 82g
  • sugars 67g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 5g
  • salt 1.2g


  • 100g butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 100g black treacle
  • 140g golden syrup
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 3 medium egg yolks, whisked with a fork (save the whites for the icing)
  • 140g butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 4 smalls stem ginger, finely chopped, plus 1 tbsp syrup
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • piping bag
  • large round piping nozzle
  • cook's blowtorch
  • 3 sparklers to decorate (optional)


Sparkler safety first

Never leave a naked flame or fireworks unattended.

Finishing touches

Keep a jug of boiling water to hand to heat the palette knife or butter knife and clean off any crumbs. The hot knife will help to give the icing a smooth finish. Dip into the water, then dry off every three-four swipes.

Meringue know-how

This recipe uses Italian meringue, which is made by heating the egg whites and sugar as you mix it. This stabilises the meringue, meaning that it can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days and is safe to eat without baking it first. Italian meringue is often used for making piped meringue baskets, as it holds its shape well when baked. 


  1. Melt the butter, sugar, treacle and syrup in a small saucepan, whisking until smooth. Set aside to cool for 10 mins. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment (our tin was 22 x 7 x 7cm).

  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, cinnamon and 1?2 tsp salt. Pour in the warm syrup mixture and the milk, followed by the egg yolks. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 30 mins, then slice off the top to give you a smooth surface. Flip onto a wire rack and remove the baking parchment. Leave to cool. Can now be covered with cling film and kept for up to 5 days.

  3. To make the buttercream, put the ingredients in a large bowl and mash together with a fork or spatula (this prevents the icing sugar from going everywhere). When roughly combined, blend with an electric hand whisk until smooth.

  4. Now make the marshmallow icing. Put the egg whites, sugar, 1 tbsp water and a good pinch of salt into a heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the hot water, and whisk until thick and leaving a prominent trail from the beaters – this will take about 4 mins. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking for another 3 mins until cooled slightly and really stiff. Transfer half to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and set aside.

  5. When ready to assemble, slice the cake lengthways into 3 even layers. On a cake stand or plate, reassemble the cake, with the largest slice on the bottom, layering with the buttercream.

  6. Using a small offset palette knife or small butter knife, cover the cake with the marshmallow icing left in the bowl. Use the palette knife to create vertical lines along the edges (see tip, left). Now use the piping bag to pipe spikes of meringue over the top of the cake. Use a cook’s blowtorch to toast the meringue to a golden brown – a few charred patches will add to the effect. Serve straight away or chill for up to 2 days, removing from the fridge 30 mins before serving. We decorated ours with sparklers.

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