Delia Smith’s Preserved ginger cake with lemon icing


food porn… I mean, really, look at that!! 

Okay okay… Despite the luscious photo, I JuST know alot of ya’ll are going “Eeeww, ginger….who puts ginger in cake?? gag. And preserved ginger? yuck!”

But seriously, aren’t ya’ll bored by all the chocolate entries? I know I am, and I’m really looking for some unique recipes to try out. And don’t put off anything until you’ve given it at least two tries. The first one, to get used to the taste of something new…and the second to really get in there and figure out if you like it or hate it.

A few months back when I went to watch Borat at The Cathy with D (BTW, I’ve never laughed so much at the cinema…if you haven’t watched the movie yet, please please do so. It’s hilarious…and I may just have the hugest crush on Sacha Baron Cohen. Did you see how sizzling hot he looked at the Golden Globes?! *swoon*), I came across this chic cafe cum lifestyle store called Clique. We didn’t try any of their food but they have the coolest stuff on sale, from old movie posters, travel guides, quirky lamps and most importantly, shelves and shelves of amazing cooking books! I almost told D to go ahead and watch the movie without me so that I could browse through their collection at my leisure… but thankfully I didn’t let my obssessiveness get the better of me. After a slightly rushed perusal of their books, punctured with gasps and whispered shouts of “Oh my god, they have this!?”, “I’ve been looking for this book for like, forever!” and “I don’t care, but you are buying this for my birthday”, I settled on a hardcover Delia Smith offerring. It was like I had an extremely early Christmas. The Delia Collection-Baking is filled with gorgeous photos and beautifully written recipes. Very Nigella-esque but not as rambling, which is good if you want to quickly get on with the recipe. 

The very first recipe featured in the book was a Preserved Ginger Cake with Lemon Icing and in Delia Smith’s own words, “quite simple (her) favorite cake”. Now, with validation like that, you know I’m gonna try it out. And coupled with the fact that I have had a jar of preserved stem baby ginger in syrup patiently sitting in my pantry for a few months, I figured why not?

It’s a simple enough recipe, and very very delicious. Of course, you must like ginger, what with the preserved stem ginger, ginger syrup, ground ginger and freshly grated ginger that goes into the cake. In my family, this was absolute hit. Having a slice of this yummy confection with her afternoon teh halia, my mother was a very happy women for the two days that the cake lasted. It was sweet, moist and fluffy; rose perfectly and had a spicy heat that went down so well during the rainy afternoons. 

So, first try with something new: loved it.

Delia Smith’s Preserved Ginger cake with Lemon Icing


5 pieces of preserved stem ginger in syrup, chopped

2 tbsp ginger syrup, from jar of stem ginger in syrup

1 heaped tsp ground ginger

1 tsp grated fresh root ginger

6oz/ 175g butter, softened

6oz/ 175g golden caster sugar (I used 3oz each of soft brown and caster sugar)

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp molasses syrup (I substituted with a tbsp of molasses cane sugar)

8oz/ 225g self-raising flour

1 tbsp ground almonds

2 tbsp milk, at room temperature

For the icing:


8oz/ 225g icing sugar, sifted

juice of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 325F/ 170C. Lightly grease and line the bottom of an 8″ round tin.
  2. Cream butter for 30 seconds using electric beaters. Add sugar (If you’re using the substitutions, add the brown, caster and molasses cane sugar at this point) and cream the butter and sugar(s) for a full 5 minutes, scraping down the sides often, until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one by one, creaming for 1 minutes after each addition.
  4. Next, fold in the ginger and molasses syrup.
  5. Sift the flour and ground ginger and fold into the butter mixture. Carefully fold in the ground almonds, milk, grated root ginger and chopped stem ginger, in that order.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.
  7. Bake for 40-50minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool ten minutes in tin and then turn over onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
  8. For icing: Stir enough lemon juice into the sifted icing sugar to get the mixture to the consistency of thick cream. Pour over the completely cooled cake, being sure to place newspaper below the wire rack to catch drips.         


Yum, really.


7 thoughts on “Delia Smith’s Preserved ginger cake with lemon icing

  1. This cake is fantastic – my husband made it for me on my birthday. It was a hit with everyone, and he was especially proud that it turned out so well.

  2. God you lot must be American – Delia Smith – or Saint Delia, as she is known here in the UK, is quite simply the very best Chef of all time – everything she makes is superb and very very simple – believe me throw out all your cook books and just buy Saint Delias’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s