Sticky ginger cake for the broken hearted

20 Apr









Dear Cake Doctor

After months of tears and tantrums, my relationship’s over. My boyfriend’s packing up and moving out and my heart’s broken clean in two. Is there a cake for this heartache?




Dear Heartbroken,

I’m so sorry to hear your heart’s snapped in two. It sounds as though you need something to stick you back together – and usually I’d prescribe a sticky date cake. But it seems as though you also need something to relight your fire. Something that warms you from the inside and gets you going again. Something sticky, and gingery too. I have just the prescription.

My sticky ginger cake’s your cure – slightly crisp on the outside, soft and gooey, rich and syrupy on the inside. Every bite holds delicate slithers of sticky ginger, spicy cinnamon, and syrupy delight. And pulling the whole thing together’s part of the healing process – warming the ginger, sifting the cinnamon and mixing the batter will relax and calm and the heady scent of homemade cake wafting through the kitchen will soothe and settle. Your prescription’s ready in just 30 minutes, and is not only curative in the immediate eating, but in the keeping and cutting for days afterwards.

Sticky ginger cake will bind your broken heart back together and relight your inner fire. You’ll be back on your feet in no time.


The Cake Doctor x


COMPLAINT: a broken heart

PRESCRIPTION: sticky ginger cake (inspired by Nigel’s Slater’s double ginger cake, in ‘the kitchen diaries‘)


250g self raising flour

200g golden syrup

2 tablespoons of syrup from the ginger jar

125g unsalted butter

3 pieces of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped

125g dark muscovado sugar

2 teaspoons ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

2 eggs

250ml milk


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius (200 if yours isn’t fan-forced).

Butter the base and sides of a loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper.









Pour the golden syrup, ginger syrup and butter into a small saucepan over a low heat.









When the butter has melted, mix it together with the syrup and gently tip the diced ginger and the sugar into the pan. Let the ginger bathe in the bubbling mix for a minute, while stirring slowly to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and set aside.









Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.









Break the eggs into a small bowl and add the milk, then beat with a fork or handheld whisk until just combined.









Make a slight well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the butter and syrup from the pan. Stir until just combined, then pour in the egg and milk mix. Stir gently until all of the ingredients are just combined. The mixture will be sloppy and delicious licked straight from the spoon.









Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin and place in the oven for 30 minutes.









When the cake is ready, the top will be firm and golden, and won’t wobble when gently pushed. A skewer inserted in the top will come out clean. And your heart will warm in anticipation.









Don’t wait too long to get stuck in – for warm gooey cake and a heart reconnected – but save some for tomorrow and the next day for the cure at its very firiest. Depending on how sharply that boyfriend’s pierced your heart, you might need to concoct a couple of these – but rest assured your heart will be on the mend before you know it. Good luck!


The Cake Doctor x

2 Responses to “Sticky ginger cake for the broken hearted”

  1. Michelle 29 April 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    I bought a slice of your sticky ginger cake at the Great Brixton bake off and it was completely delicious. I have been having cravings for it ever since (and even though I wasn’t suffering from a broken heart, I’m pretty sure this cake could cure that and anything else).

    • The Cake Doctor 30 April 2012 at 10:00 am #

      Thanks Michelle – I’m glad it hit the spot. It was lovely to meet you on Saturday – don’t forget to request your own prescription! x

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