Jamaican Ginger Cake/Gâteau jamaïquain au gingembre

I love ginger, in all it’s forms, whether it be, fresh, dried, or crystallised, it’s always a welcome spice in my kitchen.  That spicy, peppery taste may even convince me to call it my favourite spice, but I fear the other spices might get jealous, so I’ll just add it to one of my favourite cakes instead!

Most Brits’ll be familar with jamaican ginger cake or at least the Mc Vities version, some of you may have even started smiling, just from the title of this post.

This cake is comfort food at it’s best , in a dark,sophisticated kind of way.  It’s deep flavour, sticky texture and fragrant aroma, melt in your mouth,  to produce a lovely warm feeling,  deep in the pit of your stomach.

Traditionally, jamaican ginger cake is made by granny and shared with the whole family but you know?  This cake’s far too good to share, so don’t tell your mother, brother, aunty or uncle about this baby and keep this sumptuous secret to yourself!

N.B. This’ll be my last teff recipe for a while as the whole nation seems to have simultaneously stopped stocking it. The whole nation being the giant that is Wholefoods,my two fave organic supermarkets and Sainsburys, which is a real shame, if we ever get it back, I promise I’ll do a giveaway so you can all taste what I’ve been banging on about for so long.


So tell me readers what’s your favourite spice?

Jamaican Ginger Cake

Edit: OK folks a lot of you have been asking for subs, so I’ve made a note in the recipe of what you need to do. Happy Baking!

Makes one 1lb loaf

    [tweetmeme style]

  • 1/2 cup/80g  brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup/80g  teff flour or buckwheat if you are also in a no teff funk! OR 1/2 cup AP flour and 1/2 cup wholewheat flour (if you’re not gluten intolerant)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground ginger (your choice)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp gluten free baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsps/50g golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup/130ml buttermilk
  • 1/4/86g blackstrap molasses
  • 3 tbsps/20g vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsps sweetened crystallised stem ginger, chopped, (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF

Grease and flour a 1lb loaf tin.

Whisk the first 7 ingredients together in a mixing bowl until combined.

In another bowl mix the remaining wet ingredients together.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and fold all the ingredients until just incorporated, then fold in the stem ginger if using.

Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in cake comes out clean.

Serve with custard! mmmmm…

Adapted from a recipe in Blog Aid, Recipes for Haiti

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Gâteau jamaïquain au gingembre

Pour un gâteau de 23 x 10 cm (8” x 4”)

  • 80g de farine de riz complète
  • 80g farine de teff, à défaut de ne pas en trouver vous pouvez la remplacer par 80g de farine de sarrasin
  • 1/2 à 1 c à c de gingembre en poudre (c’est votre choix)
  • 1/8 c à c de clou de girofle en poudre
  • 1/4 c à c de sel
  • 1 c à c de poudre à lever
  • 1/4 c à c de bicarbonate de soude
  • 2 oeufs
  • 3 c à s de mélasse raffinée
  • 130 ml de lait ribot
  • 86g de mélasse
  • 20g/ 3 c à s d’huile végétale
  • 4 c à c de gingembre confit, coupés

Préchauffez le four à 180ºC

Beurrez un moule à pain de 23 x 10 cm (8” x 4”).

Dans un bol, fouettez les premiers 7 ingrédients jusqu’à l’incorporation.

Dans un autre bol, mélangez les ingrédients liquides restants.

Ajoutez le ingrédients secs aux ingrédients liquides. Incorporez tous les ingrédients y compris le gingembre confit si vous avec decider d’en mettre.

Versez dans le moule à pain et enfournez pendant 40 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que la lame d’un couteau introduite au centre du gâteau sorte propre.

Servez avec de la crème anglaise…..mmm….

Adaptée d’une recette dans le livre Blog Aid: Recipes for Haiti

81 thoughts on “Jamaican Ginger Cake/Gâteau jamaïquain au gingembre

  1. I’ve never had Mc Vities ginger cake, but I’m smiling anyway because this looks so good! The recipe sounds scrumptious. It’s a shame you can’t currently find teff flour, it’s such a versatile and nutritious ingredient…have you tried ordering it online?

    • I’m always a bit dubious of ordering gluten free flour online, because the quality is so poor, but I guess if I go straight to the manufacturers, I can’t go wrong, might give it a go, next time I’m craving some teff 😉

  2. What is Teff Flour? I am gluten and dairy free… I am going to try this with soy milk instead of buttermilk… ut don’t know about the Teff?

  3. This looks delicious – might have to try it out on my mum, who has a gluten intolerence but who also loves Ginger cake… Thanks for the recipe! Could you suggest an alternative to Teff flour though, if it’s hard to find?

  4. Yum! Congrats on being featured- and great post 🙂 I’m definately going to have to give this one a go!

  5. I love ginger,it was always a favourite around Christmas time – chocolate coated ginger,gingerbread men and houses,and gingernut snap biscuits. This recipe looks great,I’ll have to try it!

  6. This looks delicious. I’m a celiac who stumbled on your site while looking for good examples for my new blog site which will undergo a facelift shortly.

    I will try to bake it this weekend as it’s supposed to rain here. (Toronto area)

    If only the whole world would go gluten-free, my life would be so much easier! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Jamaican Ginger Cake/Gâteau jamaïquain au gingembre (via The Curious Baker) « THE GEOGEE EXPERIENCE

  8. Oh my gosh! I love ginger too! I have the biggest ginger craving and eat sliced ginger fresh outta the jar. This recipe sounds really good! Yummm!

  9. I like your pictures. Ginger is great any way you want to use it. Historically it has been used for tummy aches and cleaning the blood. But the world is so polluted it would take more than ginger to clean us/everything up. Thanks for the info.

  10. This looks like a great recipe for Jamaican Ginger Cake. You really captured the moisture and warmth in your photographs and the essence of how the cake is used in Jamaican family life. Great post!

  11. I’m so making this, like right now. I don’t know what teff flour is, but my neighbor is Jamaican so he might have some — yummmmm!!

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  13. Pingback: Jamaican Ginger Cake/Gâteau jamaïquain au gingembre (via The Curious Baker) « John F & Weetrees's Blog

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  15. I love ginger but some of the ingredients are a bit unusual. Can I add my own gluten and use regular flour?

    is the traditional ginger cake made by granny gluten free?

    • The traditional jamaican ginger cake is full of gluten, which is why I had to free it! 😉 You don’t have to add gluten just make a few little changes. I’ve edited the recipe with a little note on how you can use whole wheat and AP flour (as in the original recipe) instead of the gluten free kind 🙂

  16. OMG! The pictures that you took makes me sooo hungry. I love food! I have made myself a 355 recipe’s book that include family recipes. Now looking at this pictures all comes back to my head and I am hungry all over again..
    Great recipe, Great pictures.
    ~Great Love to you,
    Mirian from peelingtheorange. “)


  17. Will try this for sure..

    in a very other type of spice, I recently received a bag of spices from Sicily, it’s called the mafiosi (not kidding) and it’s absolutely gorgeous, pretty hop but very tasty, no idea what’s in there though !

  18. such a good recipe, only wish i was back in oz to try it out in the oven! poor parisian apartments, too tiny to taste good cake!
    cheers, igenue

  19. A good place to find Teff flour/ grain is an Ethiopian store. Sometimes a middle eastren store. Its such a tiny grain its east to grind yourself in a coffee grinder for herbs or if your lucky to have a Vita mixer with a dry blade container. Your food always looks so good.I am going to Bake several of them this weekend and share. Thank You

    • @Susan Chafin – Yeeeees! Of course, can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. I’ll definitely try an ethiopian shop, they must be getting their teff from SOMEwhere!

      @Andrea – I’ve already gone the Bob’s Mill route, but they don’t ship to the U.K unfortunately, thanks though!

  20. If you ever have any left and are not sure what to do with it try this:

    Sliced remained ginger cake
    creme friesh
    fine sugar
    toasted almonds

    put slices of ginger cake at the bottom of a trifle bowl.
    top with blackberries. (could be any fruit, tinned, fresh, I just love blackberries)
    and cassis
    whip up creme friesh with sugar (could be cream if you want to be really decadent)
    spread over cake and blackberries
    top with almonds

    someone once gave me this as a treat dish when I was on holidays in the UK. I have never seen Jamacia ginger cake here (Melbourne) so have never made it myself. Now I have a recipe for the cake I will give it a go.


  21. Thanks for the GF recipe! Celiacs are always on the search for good recipes and I appreciate you posting one for a type of cake that I’ve always LOVED!
    The only thing I want to point out is some baking powders are processed in factories that process gluten-containing products – so a GF designation in the recipe might help remind those cooking for celiacs to really check all of their ingredients prior to baking.
    Thanks again,
    You Get Well Soon.com

    • Thanks for reminding me, I’ve never come across a brand of baking powder here that wasn’t gluten free so I guess I just take it for granted. Happy gluten free baking! 🙂

  22. This looks amazing. I once made a ginger grapefruit cake which I loved but can no longer find the recipe. I will have to give this a try. I like the combination of fresh and crystallized ginger. Thanks!

  23. This looks great! I’ll be substituting ground flax for eggs, agave for the syrup and almond milk/vinegar for the buttermilk! 🙂

  24. Pingback: Jamaican Ginger Cake/Gâteau jamaïquain au gingembre (via The Curious Baker) « Natalie's Kitchen

    • OOooh dunno if my recipe’s as good as your granny’s. Most jamaican grannies have the jamaican ginger cake down! lol! You’re most welcome to give it a go anyway, just don’t tell your granny 😉

  25. The title of this post did indeed make me smile – I used to love the bought version of Jamaican Ginger Cake. I’ve tried to recreate something similar over the years but still haven’t managed it. It’s that sticky nature I like so much. Yours does look rather good, so I’ll give this a go.

    Have you tried the internet for Teff?

  26. My favorite spice is cardamom. No one here seems to be very familiar with it, unless they are of Scandanavian decent or from India. Your cake looks awesome! I’m going to try it.

  27. Thank you for posting this great recipe. I LOVE ginger!
    I can’t wait to give it a try.
    Merci beaucoup!!!

  28. Mmmmm this looks delicious! I’m suffering through a harsh Melbourne winter, and spicy gingery goodness is just the ticket. Might double the spice and have a hot chai latte with it. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Hey Curious Baker,
    So glad to find your blog! I love all the delicious gluten free baking -this ginger cake looks irresistible. I have always loved to cook ( and eat, of course) but was never a baker by nature. Now that I am gluten-free I am wearing the baker’s hat more and more often. Your site is such a great resource:)

  30. I lurrrrrve the Mcvities jamaican ginger cake, but yours looks absolutely delicious…

    ….yum, comfort food at its best, i can imagine curled up on the sofa eating this with lashings of custard on a wintry day while watching Eastenders!

  31. I made this recipe an hour ago and had an end piece while the loaf was cooling. Yummmy! The cake has a nice crust on the outside when fresh from the oven, and moist and dense on the inside. I made a few small alterations to the recipe, and I doubled this to fill a regular size loaf pan. I was surprised to see that this recipe didn’t call for xanthan gum, but it holds together fine without it. This recipe is fantastic! Thanks so much for the great recipes! 🙂

    • You’re more than welcome Sarah, I’m so happy it turned out well, I see xanthan gum as an extra rather than a necessity, often you really don’t need it. I have to say though, eating cake while it’s cooling is a dangerous activity, you blink and the whole thing’s gone! Drop by again anytime!

  32. very excited to find this as I have missed ginger cake a lot. I made it yesterday and although very much a ginger cake it came out a bit dry, I only cooked it for 35/40 mins, any suggestions as to what might have gone wrong?

    • Hi Cherie, sorry to hear that, I’m probably doing as much headscratching as you. I’ve made this recipe a few times and I’ve never had any problems with it. It could be a number of things. Baking tray too big, different oven temps, pockets of flour left in the mixing bowl. Could also be the brand of teff flour? Sorry I couldn’t be of more help

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