Recipe: Easy Ginger Cake

Egg free dairy free ginger cake

This ginger cake is one of my favourite cake recipes, and made entirely from non-perishable store cupboard ingredients, so it’s both egg free, dairy free and vegan. The recipe is very forgiving so you can vary quantities and really is a genuine bung it all in the food processor and whizz then bake recipe.

Although delicious fresh from the oven the cake keeps well and actually improves with age, the top becomes wonderfully moist and sticky after a few days in a tin. It reminds me of shop ginger cake the texture is similar to the Lyle’s one in a green foil wrapper – but with fewer additives and more flavour. I far prefer baking using oil rather than fat as I think that it gives a far moister cake.

For extra zing in the cake add a dash of chilli powder, I often add a handful of dried dates or figs for extra texture and flavour. The seeds of the figs provide a slight popping crunch to the otherwise soft cake. If you do not have treacle, golden syrup, dark maple syrup or molasses would work well in its place.

Recipe: Easy One Step Egg Free Ginger Cake

(makes 16 x 2” pieces)

350g Plain Flour
225g Sugar (I use soft dark brown for colour and flavour but any would work)
100g Cooking oil (Sunflower or rape/canola)
2 – 3 tsp ground ginger
1tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt
About 60g treacle *
225ml boiling water

½ – 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
½ – 1 tsp ground all spice (optional)
Dash chilli powder (optional)
Handful dried dates or figs (optional)

Place all the ingredients into the food processor bowl and whizz until you have a smooth golden brown batter. Pour into 8” square pan lined with greaseproof paper and bake at GM4/180C for about 35 – 40 mins until risen and a cocktail stick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

* When weighing the treacle I put the spoon into a jug on the scales, then zero them, use the spoon to dollop the treacle into the jug without scraping the spoon I then rezero the scales and weigh 225g of boiling water into the jug which will dissolve all the treacle which saves any sticky scraping for spoon to food processor bowl. As the recipe is so forgiving accurate measuring is really not necessary.

This recipe also works perfectly using ginger beer in place of the water, or for ginger cupcakes!

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  1. says

    Do make it and let my know what you think Bethany – it is the easiest cake in the world to make. I wonder if some vanilla frosting would work spread on top?!

  2. says

    Gosh I made a very similar one tonight, only it has butter instead of oil and you cook it in a loaf pan. You chop up crystallised ginger and sprinkle on top then pour some microwaved honey over! Which reminds me, I probably should have taken a photo…

  3. Lara says

    I hope you don’t mind some randomer posting on your blog but over the last few weeks I have tried so many Ginger Cake recipes it has put me close to tears. Stem ginger, pickled ginger, pickled ginger juice, buttermilk, golden syrup, treacle, ground ginger… the recipes out there are ENDLESS and yet… none of them, even the fancy schmancy ones quite lived up to their rep and could be quite complex to make. Then I stumbled on this. You’re recipe… I read it twice… three times… surely not… I don’t need to go shopping? I don’t need to hop on one leg and recite the recipe backwards while it cooks? I followed your instructions, added the cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg (since I like those flavours) used Dark Brown Muscovado sugar and the cake is stunning! The flavour is AMAZING and it is sooooo good. Thank you, you are a blessing.

    • Helen says

      I am so glad that you like it Lara, it took me several goes to get it right but it is now my favourite cake, and will be a base for other flavours in the near future.

  4. C. says

    Great recipe! I had alot of the same frustrations as the other people who commented – just wanted a simple ginger recipe! Thanks for posting it!

  5. Nicky says

    A million thanks for this recipe….. it was the ‘Lyle’s green foil wrapper’ that did it for me! Wonderful, I added uncooked pears is a sort of decorative pattern in an 8 inch round tin. It took longer to bake of course, but came to no harm covered with a piece of greaseproof for the last 20 mins or so. I live in Norway, in an isolated part, so it is not easy to get fancy ingredients…but this was perfect, as you said, everything in the store cupboard!

  6. Jane says

    Thank heavens a recipe I had all the ingredients for!! I had bought al the ingredients for a super duper ginger cake I am making for the village show. but, it flopped in a big way!! so I was looking for one I had enough stuff to make, was just getting very disheartened when bingo, and so easy too. Still cooking at the mo but look forward to the finished result.

  7. jinnyb says

    thanks for this fab recipe, tried it out tonight & have to agree with everyone else – it’s turned out great!!! what makes it even more spcial is that it’s eggless (i know so many people who don’t or can’t eat eggs so thankyou again)

  8. jinnyb says

    p.s Though i will be using this recipe lots from now on (Thankyou!) im gonna try it again but instead of water – thought i could try using condensed milk – which i’v been using in my other eggless cakes …. ? X

    • Helen says

      I think the condensed milk may be too heavy, fatty and sweet. I’d be interested to know how it goes.

      I was thinking of reducing the sugar a little (replacing with flour) and using ginger beer or wine in place of the water.

  9. jinnyb says

    yes sorry i foregot to say – i did not use the whole amount of sugar & instead only used 100g (trying to be healthy LOL) & Honestly it tastes Just right – sweet but not sickly, & maybe when i try it with the condensed milk i coulder further reduce the sugar …. will definately report back,
    Also i didn’t realise that most of your recipes are vegiterian – as i am one i got even more excited bout having discovered your site! so again THANKYOU!!!! (“O,”)”)

  10. jinnyb says

    did it!! used your recipe to the tee. except;
    only 100g sugar
    100ml condensed milk – the rest water
    handful desicated coconut
    top is a little crunchier – but i foregot to take it out the oven & it had gone 55mins!!!
    should have reduced the sugar further but foregot to do that too LOL!
    but nice!! alittle sweet for me but definately reduce sugar next time
    took picture but dont know how to upload it LOL
    all in all thumbs up!!!

  11. Lisa says

    Thanks for the recipe! I have not tried it yet but will do soon. I have a question – Why do you recommend using boiling water? Can I instead use room temperature water? I have never used boiling water in all my baking. Thank you!

  12. says

    Forgot to drop a comment in when I made, tried this a week or so ago and it was lovely and super easy. Making it again this evening I think. :)

  13. mark says

    made this ginger cake with gluten free flower for a friend as she was fed up with bad free from at the supermarkets and if i wasnt already married i would have been dragged to a shotgun wedding fantastic recipe.

  14. Jo says

    I’ve made this cake this morning and my husband and recently-arrived-home-from-Paris daughter both loved it!

    It was a really easy, straightforward recipe – exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much!

  15. Chris says

    A friend of mine is allergic to eggs and baking cakes for her to enjoy can be a bit of a pain. I tried this recipe last night and it was so straight forward and it tastes devine. I made the quantity as stated but split it between two silicone loaf tins. I have already passed this recipe on to a friend who has migrated to America to try it out too.

  16. Heather says

    I just made this cake. Mmmmmm yummy. I did half light brown half dark brown sugar because I didn’t have enough dark. I also added 1 more spoon of ginger. I’m going to try it with the ginger beer next time. So quick and easy.

  17. says

    Just got home from work and was looking for an easy gingerbread recipe. I made it in 10 minutes and it’s now in the oven, awesome recipe! Thank you so much.

  18. McDonald says

    Hi! I am going to try this recipe as all the ginger cakes I have mad use butter but sunflower oil seems to keeP other cakes so moist! Lemon icing goes absolutely perfect with ginger cake

  19. Sue says

    Super easy, super tasty, economical and stores well. Beats many I’ve tried from cookbooks and well-known chefs, thank you for sharing.

  20. Dawn says

    Absolutely delicious,I used Gluten free flour and added dates and mixed spice …Had lots of fresh ginger so used 6 heaped tsp of that..The best ginger cake recipe ever ….Thanku soooooo much xxx

  21. Toni Davison says

    Going to try this recipe today, I have a white chocolate covered ginger cake to make for a wedding this week, all the recipes I have found have so many ingredients which become expensive especially when trying to keep costs down. Going to get to family to sample it first, just to be on the safe side

  22. Bernadette Green says

    First time to make this easy peasy cake. It’s in the oven! With sprinkling of Pumpkin seeds on top. Made exactly as recipe asks and assumed that 100g of oil meant 100 mls ?
    Verdict later……watch this space!

  23. Linda says

    Fantastic! Made this today it turned out wonderful,, and so easy to make and egg free too I can have a slice thnk you

  24. Heather Haigh says

    I just made this, couldn’t believe how easy it was. Had to use a mix of ground almonds and rice flour, instead of wheat flour, as I’m gluten and dairy intolerant but apart from that followed your recipe. Just had a piece while it was still warm and it was absolutely scrummy. Resisting another piece until after dinner!

  25. Laura says

    Hi, I was wondering if I can use golden syrup instead of treacle? This recipe sounds lovely but Im unable to get to the shops (and hubby has already forgotten to buy treacle on previous shopping trips! ). I haven’t baked in months due to being on a fairly strict bedrest but from the comments this sounds so quick Im sure even I can manage it – cant wait to try!


  26. Jharna says

    I tried the recipe .. But it didnt turn out quite so well.. It kinda turned into a sticky batter and not so much of baked cake.. :(
    I used dates .. Though it tasted good .. But as I said … Wasnt a cake..:( :'(

    • says

      I am sorry to hear that, I have made it multiple times and it has never failed me. Maybe check your oven temperature? If it was still a batter it sounds as if it wasn’t cooked.

  27. Tony K says

    I have used this recipe, absolutely brilliant!
    Only used 150 g of sugar, used maple syrup and used gluten free flower. success! will definitely use it again.

  28. Adelheide says

    Hi! I’m really keen to make this cake but I don’t have kitchen scales? Does anybody have the cup measurements for this? Thank you!!! :D

  29. Joan says

    I am making your ginger cake for a 90th birthday the tin is nine inches how much extra ingredients do I need to make cake about three inches deep and how much longer cooking time . Please help!!

    • says

      Hi Joan,

      for a round 9″ tin, double it, for a square tin use about 2 and a half times. I’d say cook for another 15mins, but you might need to cover it with foil for the last 15. Test with a cocktail stick for doneness. I’ve not tested this, so allow time to remake if needed.

  30. shendo says

    WOW.. you dont know how much this cake has changed my 5yearolds sons life. He is very allergic to any dairy also egg, so any cake recipe I have ever found for him has always been a really heavy stodgy cake (which he loves because hes known no different) but he loves ginger snaps, so I googled ginger sponge recipe, and I am so glad/thankful I clicked on your Web page, I have just made your ginger cake, and I can not believe how tasty and most of all.. light it is, thank you soooo much for sharing it, you have saved me making two cakes everytime I bake, one for him one for his brothers/rest of the family, and best of all, he can now take a birthday cake into school that the other kids are going to like, so he doesn’t feel different when they “dont like his cake” thank you so much!!

  31. Sarah says

    Awesome cake recipe, perfect for Vegan friends and those with allergies! I was thinking of adapting it into a Christmas cake – mixed spice instead of ginger, a bit more dried fruit and a splash of brandy subbed in for some of the water. When I make this cake I always make it as two small loafs, it rises well and slices nicely.

  32. Sonal says

    Helen I love you! What can I say I have been looking for a Jamaican Ginger Cake recipe for ages!! This recipe which you say will become sticky after a while did it for me. The smell of the baking this ginger and all mixed spices is heavenly.
    The only thing is I have tried to convert from grams to ounces and and has been baking for almost an hour. Do you think milk would work instead of water? The cake is nearly baked and will let you know how it turned out. Thanks once again.

      • Sonal says

        Thanks Helen. Yep I thought an hour was too long to bake. I will use a bigger baking tin than an 8″. 350g fl is appropriately 12oz of fl….so with all the other ingredients I though 8″ tin would be too small, however it still took longer though I used a bigger square tin. The cake was delicious.


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