Perfectly spiced gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake – one of two recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist. Optional dairy free.
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Gluten Free Jamaican Ginger Cake – The original Gluten Free Alchemist recipe
This gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake is one of two recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist. Actually, it was the first of the two Jamaican ginger cakes that I developed… way back in 2016. It has since been updated, with a new Jamaican Ginger Cake recipe that is additionally nut free and rice free… But this original recipe is still popular with readers, so I have decided to keep it on the blog.
Why I created the original ginger cake…
The decision to develop this recipe started with a chance conversation at work. A colleague told me that every Christmas, her family demanded she make a Christmas dinner favourite… Nigella Lawson’s Gingerbread Stuffing.
My colleague’s mother however, was unable to enjoy the annual gingerbread stuffing feast with the rest of the family. Why? Well… (familiar story…) she happened to be gluten free. But… If I could possibly find a way to make a gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake (which is crucial to the stuffing recipe), then my colleague may just become the ‘best daughter in the world’….
Regular blog followers will know that waving a gluten free culinary challenge in my face is something I cannot ever refuse. Especially when it comes from someone I know… Once a decision is made, it is like red rag to a bull… I have to keep going until the recipe is not only achieved, but achieved to a high standard. Expectations raised, the gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake challenge was on.
What is Jamaican Ginger Cake?
Most of us will know of Jamaican Ginger Cake from the packet version made by McVitie’s. A childhood favourite, the dark sponge and sticky texture is both unique and quite addictive to eat. Sweet and sticky with molasses and syrup and divinely spiced with Ginger and a little cinnamon, this cake is both exotic and British at the same time.
Having done some internet research however, I have been completely unable to find anything that tells me about its history. The assumption that it originated in Jamaica has been impossible to prove. But it now seems to be popular in every part of the world. If anyone knows anything about where the story started, please let me know…
My gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake – First, but still delicious
Although this was my earlier gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake recipe, it still remains a keeper. The tweaks and retests resulted in a cake to be proud of… The warming ginger kick, treacly stickiness and mysterious comforting darkness of the sponge are extremely close to my (albeit increasingly distant) memories of cakes past… A good replicant.
This ginger cake tastes fantastic on its own, with custard, with ice cream and even with butter (which is how I remember it best). I can also confirm that it works extremely well in gluten free Gingerbread Stuffing, the recipe for which is now on the blog. And that my colleague’s mother got to eat (and enjoy) the annual stuffing fest alongside her family.
But best of all for me… Miss GF was able to try another of my childhood cake-memories! And just like her mother… the favourite way to eat it, was slathered in a layer of creamy, natural butter.
Ginger… the seasonal spice
Of course, gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake is not the only gingery treat we have at Gluten Free Alchemist.We love ginger here. And with rapidly cooling Autumn temperatures, it is the perfect time of year to use it.
Come Autumn, there’s always a request for a batch of crisp, warming Ginger Biscuits… The annual batch of Brown-Sugared Pear & Ginger Preserve maturing in the larder… And plans for making Gingerbread Cookies and Gingerbread Men and a Christmassy Gingerbread House, complete with glittery, snowy gardens. The seasonal home-made Fruity Mincemeat has a ginger hit and we even have an incredible Winter Pear & Ginger Trifle too. But perhaps our most exciting addition to the ginger selection here on the blog, is our very traditional and exceptionally moreish German Gingerbread (Lebkuchen) Cookies. Don’t say you weren’t warned…
Made Gluten Free Jamaican Ginger Cake – Recipe 1?
As always, if you do make this recipe for gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake (or any other recipes at Gluten Free Alchemist), please let me know about it. It’s always great to hear what you’ve been making from the blog… Leave a comment, rate the recipe or tag me on social media (links at the top).
And if you’re looking for other gluten free inspiration, why not check out our beautiful gluten free Recipe Book Index too?
Love Ginger? You might also like these recipes…
Gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake – recipe 1
- 2 pound loaf tin
- 240 g plain gluten free flour blend I used GFA blend A see NOTES
- 70 g sorghum flour
- 40 g ground almonds
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp GF baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger heaped tbsp
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 125 g unsalted butter – or dairy free alternative cold and cubed
- 200 g soft light brown sugar
- 120 g black liquid treacle molasses
- 60 g golden syrup
- 1 large egg Lightly beaten – UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 170 g boiling water
- Completely line a 2 pound loaf tin with baking paper (base and sides).
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- Weigh and mix together the flours, almonds, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a large bowl.
- Rub the cold, cubed butter into the flour mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the brown sugar and stir through.
- Add the treacle, golden syrup and beaten egg and lightly mix into the flour.
- Add the boiling water and beat thoroughly with a silicone or wooden spoon until you have a smooth, sticky, well-blended batter.
- Spoon or pour the batter into the loaf tin and gently push into the corners and smooth the top.
- Bake for about 1 hour until well-risen and a skewer comes out clean. If you use smaller loaf tins, adjust the baking time to about 30 to 40 minutes).
- When baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
- When cold, remove and store wrapped in clingfilm (you can leave the baking paper intact) until ready to eat. Best matured for a day or two for stickiness.