Ginger Cake

A delicious and quick to make gluten-free ginger cake, that gets better a few days after making - if you can resist it that long. I never can!

This method is a twist on my quick Saucepan Biscuits - you simply melt the margarine and syrup, add the bicarb and then the other ingredients. You'll end up with a very wet looking mixture but a delicious cake.

The lemon icing is optional - it really does taste lovely without it, but for a bit of added decadence the lemon icing really does complement the ginger.

Gluten-Free Ginger Cake

Ginger cake topped with lemon buttercream and crystallised stem ginger.


  • 325g margarine
  • 340g golden syrup
  • 100g gluten free plain flour
  • 250g gluten free self raising flour
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg

Lemon icing (optional):

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 200-250g icing sugar
  • juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • handful crystallised ginger, finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan/300°F/gas mark 2
  • Grease and line a deep 24cm round or square cake tin.
  • Melt the margarine and syrup in a pan. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Sift the flour, spices and xantham gum into a large bowl.
  • Add the sugar to the flour mixture and mix well.
  • Beat the egg into margarine mixture. 
  • Dissolve 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda into 150ml of warm water.
  • Pour the bicarbonate of soda mix into the margarine mixture and stir.
  • Add the flour mixture.  You will find the mixture bubbles.
  • It will be quite runny at this stage. Pour into your lined tin.
  • Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes.
  • When cooked the top should be slightly sticky but springy and a cocktail should come out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Once cool you can add lemon icing if you wish.
  • Simply mix the softened butter with 200g sifted icing sugar. Whip until soft, light and airy.
  • Add the grated zest of one unwaxed lemon (reserve a little zest for decoration) and juice of ½-1 lemon. Taste the icing and add juice to taste. Depending on the amount of juice you may need to add some more icing sugar at this stage to make the icing thicker.
  • Spread the icing on top of the cake. Add a little more lemon zest and some finely chopped crystallised ginger to decorate.
  • I leave the cake in the fridge overnight to set really well before cutting/eating.

If you want an even more lemony cake, you can bake in two lined sponge tins and sandwich together with lemon curd and lemon icing.