Sticky Toffee Ginger Cake with Caramel Icing

, from Issue #17. September, 2015
Photography by Vanessa Wu.
Sticky Toffee Ginger Cake with Caramel Icing

This cake is a great dessert to make ahead. It will keep beautifully for 4 days in an airtight container.

Serves: 8


200 grams pitted dates, finely chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup hot strong black coffee
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons finely sliced crystallized ginger
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
110 grams butter
⅓ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup golden syrup
200 grams plain flour
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Caramel Icing
50 grams butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar, sifted

To finish
5 dates, pitted and sliced
5 pieces crystallized ginger, sliced
crème fraîche or mascarpone to serve


Grease a 20 cm spring form cake tin and line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Combine the dates, soda and coffee in a bowl and leave for 20 minutes. Pulse the date mixture in a food processor to form a paste. Tip into a bowl and stir in the eggs, crystallized ginger and vanilla.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale. Sift the flour and spices together then, using a large metal spoon, fold the flour in alternatively with the date mixture.

Pour into the tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

Caramel Icing: Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for one minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk and vanilla. Stir in the icing sugar to make a smooth icing. Allow to cool but not set, stirring occasionally until a thick pouring consistency. The icing needs to be set enough to spread over the cake otherwise it will slide off the top and down the sides. Decorate with the dates and ginger and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or mascarpone. 

Menu: Serve with Smoked Salmon and Caper Tart, and Beetroot, Tomato and Broad Bean Salad with Parmesan Dressing.