Skip to content
Back Back to Insurance menu Go to Insurance
Back Back to Saga Money Go to Saga Money
Back Back to Saga Magazine menu Go to Magazine
Search Magazine

Sticky ginger cake with clementine glaze

Signe Johansen / 06 October 2016

This sticky ginger cake makes a colourful Nordic alternative to traditional British Christmas cake.

Ginger cake
Sticky ginger cake with clementine glaze

Cooking time

1 hour




  • 25g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g molasses sugar (or dark brown muscovado)
  • 150ml treacle
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 175g refined spelt flour (or plain flour)
  • 75g wholemeal spelt flour (or rye, wholewheat, oatmeal flour)
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp freshly grated root ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1⁄2 nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt

For the glaze

  • 150g icing sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 clementine
  • Juice of 1 lemon

To decorate

  • Seeds of 1 small pomegranate
  • Bright green raw pistachios


I’m not wild about sickly sweet marzipan or the gratuitous use of tooth-busting sugar icing on traditional British Christmas cakes, so this is my Nordic alternative —lots of colour, flavour and just the right amount of sweetness to feel celebratory!

1. Preheat the oven to 170 ̊C/gas mark 3 and lightly oil a 900g loaf tin.

2. Melt the butter, sugar and treacle in a medium saucepan, stir through and remove from the heat. Cool slightly then add the buttermilk and eggs.

3. Sieve the flours, raising agents, spices and salt into a medium bowl. Add to the liquid ingredients in the pan in stages, stirring thoroughly after each addition until evenly mixed.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes, then cover with aluminium foil to prevent the top from scorching.

5. Bake for a further 10–15 minutes or until the loaf has risen and feels firm to the touch. If in doubt, insert a metal skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean the cake is done.

6. Place the cake on a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes before turning it out and piercing the top in several places.

7. Make a clementine glaze by mixing together the icing sugar, clementine zest and juice, and lemon juice until you have a sticky icing. It shouldn’t be too runny or the glaze will just pour right off the cake.

8. Drizzle the glaze over the ginger cake and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pistachios to decorate.

Extracted from Signe Johansen’s How to Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living (Bluebird, £14.99), published on October 20.

For Signe’s great article on ways to bring hygge into your life, see the October issue of http:Saga Magazine.

Visit our Scandinavian recipe section for more tastes of hygge


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.