I’m totally loving this Ginger Loaf Cake right now. Inspired by my dads love of ginger, this cake with all the cosy flavours is moist, soft and quick and simple to make.

A loaf cake with a slice cut from it, sitting on a wire rack

 

This recipe is like your favourite gingerbread loaf with a crunchy, crumble topping and it’s totally irresistible. While it’s perfect for the holiday season, it doesn’t matter for me. I’m all about cosy food right now, just like every year at this time when I’m desperately trying to hold onto the cooler weather here in Aus before it gets too hot.

Very loosely adapted from this chocolate loaf cake which also happens to be a reader favourite, you might also like this chocolate coffee crumb cake or my cherry crumble cake too.

Ingredients

With all the regular cake ingredients – flour, baking powder, eggs – there’s a few that have very important roles in this cake.

A collection of ingredients in small bowls on a marble surface

  • Dark brown sugar – adds a caramelly hint and moisture too.
    • You can substitute regular brown sugar or even muscovado sugar
  • Treacle – used especially for it’s flavour, it also adds richness and moisture.
    • You can use molasses if you prefer or even golden or maple syrup.
  • Buttermilk – keeps this cake tender
  • Oil – instead of butter in this one, keeps this cake moist
  • Spices – a cosy combination of ginger, cinnamon and allspice for cosy perfection

How to make it – step by step

This cake just needs a few bowls and is all mixed by hand. There’s no need for any fancy equipment. 

Batter being poured into a loaf tin and streusel being scattered over the top

  1. The streusel: Start by combining oats, flour, sugar and butter in a bowl then put it aside. This will get sprinkled over the top at the end.
  2. The dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and dark brown sugar all mixed up so there are no lumps.
  3. The wet ingredients: oil, eggs, treacle and buttermilk, beaten together.
  4. Combine: the wet and dry ingredients, stirring it just enough to be combined. Make sure not to overmix it.
  5. Into the tin: Straight into a tin (image 1 above) and sprinkle the streusel over the top (image 2 above), then bake.

It really is such a simple and quick cake to make, you’ll love serving this one up for afternoon tea. I love to slice it while it’s still just warm and spread a little butter over – so, so good.

A slice of ginger cake with a dab of butter on top on a small white plate

Tips and tricks

All my best tips so you get a perfect ginger cake every time.

  • Don’t overmix: Make sure you don’t mix the batter past the point of everything being just combined. Mixing too much will result in a tough cake or one that doesn’t rise properly.
  • Weigh the ingredients if you can: Baking is a science and if measurements are out it will affect the result. If you don’t have kitchen scales, just spoon the ingredients into cup measures, then level them off with the back of a knife.
  • The tin: I use a 6 cup capacity loaf cake tin. It will also work an 8 inch round cake tin but will require a shorter cooking time, so keep an eye on it.
  • The streusel: when you make the streusel, you want it to be starting to clump with no big pieces of butter left, but not clumping to the point of turning into a dough.
  • Slice: Be gentle when you start slicing so you don’t crumble off all that lovely crunchy streusel. I use a very sharp straight edge knife for this one, gently cut through the streusel a the edges first, then you can press down and slice as normal.

How long will it keep

Ginger loaf cake will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. You can keep it in the fridge or even freeze it too.

If freezing, I would slice it first, and place the slice in an airtight container or bag with baking paper between each slice. This way you can take out just as many slices as you want.

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A ginger cake on a wire rack, sitting on a timber platter

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A sliced ginger cake on a wire rack, sitting on a timber platter

Ginger Loaf Cake

5 from 3 votes
This soft and moist ginger loaf cake topped with crunchy streusel is the perfect tea time cake. Dark brown sugar and treacle for rich flavour and ginger, cinnamon and allspice give that wonderful gingerbread flavour.

Ingredients

FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING

  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup plain (all-purp) flour
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 42 g unsalted butter, cold (3 tablespoons)

FOR THE GINGER CAKE

  • 260 g plain (all purp) flour (2 cups / 9.1oz)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking (bicarb) soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup, packed dark brown sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup treacle (75g / 2.7oz)
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (180ml)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line a 6 cup capacity loaf tin (roughly 8x4 inch) with baking paper. Make sure the baking paper overhangs a little on the long sides to make it easy to remove.

FOR THE STREUSEL

  • In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour and sugar. Grate in the butter. Use your fingers to mix and press it all together until well combined and clumping (notes). Set aside.

FOR THE GINGER CAKE

  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, all spice, cinnamon and salt.
  • Add the brown sugar, the use a whisk to combine making sure to disperse any lumps of sugar.
  • In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
  • Add the buttermilk, oil and treacle then whisk well to combine.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and use a spatula to mix it until just combined - don't overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin, level out the top and scatter over the streusel.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with just a crumb or two.
  • Let it cool in the tin for a minute or two, before using the baking paper to lift it out and transfer to a wire rack to cool further.
  • Lovely served warm with butter.

Notes

  1. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients where a weight is the first measurement givenKitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  2. All ovens vary – always test for doneness 3-5 minutes before the recipe suggests
  3. The streusel mix should be well dispersed and creating small clumps but don’t take it so far that you have a dough.
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A ginger cake on a wire rack, sitting on a timber platter