Sticky Jamaican Ginger Cake

Well over 50 years ago, McVities launched their Jamaican Sticky Ginger cake. Many, many people have fond memories of it being served, buttered or not, with a cup of tea or even as an after-dinner pudding covered in custard. 

Although it fell into decline when McVities sold out to United Biscuits, it was revamped a few years ago in its original form, but carried the strap line a 'sticky pudding cake'. Presumably, this was due to product description and various forms of legislation?

Recently, it's been given a new lease of life by Brandhouse, brand specialists in London, and the 'sticky pudding cake' epithet has been dropped. It's back to just 'The Original Jamaican Ginger Cake'. 

It has its fans and its followers. A closer look at the ingredients demonstrates, however, what is necessary for a factory-made product to have a decent shelf life : Humectant (Sorbitol), E471 Emulsifier, Guar Gum stablisers, Potasssium Sorbate preservative.....and so on. 

So, the BIG QUESTION is....can you make it at home using easy-to-hand ingredients, no additives and still come so close to the original taste that you can't tell the difference? Or maybe...even better? 

I think so. 

Make it yourself and let me know. You can email me at or leave a comment on this site or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Whichever takes your fancy. Has it worked for you, bringing back memories of childhood or does it still need tweaking? I hope not, but I'm open to suggestions. 


175 gms of sifted plain flour

15 gms ground ginger

10 gms of ground cinnamon

quarter of a nutmeg - ground

half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 tablespoons milk (30mls)

75 gms treacle or black molasses

75 gms golden syrup

75 gms soft brown sugar

75 mls water

75 gms butter

1 large egg - beaten

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C and place a shelf low down in the oven.

Grease a 2lb loaf tin or place a liner into a 2lb loaf tin.


1. Sift the flour and the spices (nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger) into a large bowl. 

2. Beat the egg and put it to one side. 

3. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the milk in a small bowl and put it to one side. 

4. Put the treacle, golden syrup, sugar, butter and water in a saucepan and heat slowly, stirring continously until it's all dissolved together. Don't let it get hot. 

5. Add the syrup mix to the large bowl of flour and spices and stir together with either a wooden spoon or a Dutch whisk until well combined. 

6. Thoroughly stir in the egg. 

7. Thoroughly stir in the milk and bicarbonate of soda. 

8. Pour the mixture into the prepare loaf tin

9. Place it on a low rack in the oven for 75 - 90 minutes or until a skewer / cake tester / needle comes out cleanly. 

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for a a few minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool thoroughly. 

When it's cold, leave it in its liner or wrap in greasporrf paper and store in an airtight container for two days. This helps to develop the stickiness. 

This cake will freeze .... if you can leave it alone for that long. 

Serve it cut into thick slices -or spread it with butter or serve as a pudding covered in custard. 

Don't forget...let me know how your Sticky Jamaican Ginger cake turned out and whether you think it can be improved even more.....

Happy baking....


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