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Barbados gingerbread cake

  • 30 minutes
  • 1½ hours
  • 1x 23cm cake
Barbados gingerbread cake

Redolent with tropical spices, this is a moist gingerbread cake that improves with keeping.


  • 250 grams butter
  • 1 cup molasses sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • ¾ cup full cream milk
  • ½ cup good quality marmalade
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • grated rind each of 2 lemons, oranges and limes
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½-2 tblsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 150 gram packet crystallized ginger, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup lemon and orange peel


  1. Melt together the butter and molasses sugar together, stirring to make a smooth mixture of the two ingredients. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum, milk, marmalade, eggs and grated rinds. Set aside to cool.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves together into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Slowly pour in the melted mixture stirring all the time to form a smooth batter. Beat in three quarters of the crystallized ginger and all the peel.
  4. Pour into a greased, baking paper-lined 23-cm 24cm square cake tin and sprinkle over the remaining crystallized ginger.
  5. Bake at 180ºC for 1½ hours until well risen and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin. This tastes better if kept well wrapped in an airtight container for 2 days before eating. Serve in slices, buttered or unbuttered as wished.

Cooks Tips

- Dark brown can or muscovado sugar can be used in place of molasses sugar. For an even lighter texture and flavour, use soft brown sugar. - If you do not have all the spices, use the ginger and one tablespoon mixed spice.

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