Ginger cake with lemon & pistachio icing

Source young ginger for the cake and use a microplane so it's grated really finely.


  • For the cake
  • 1 cup golden syrup
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • Dash of white pepper
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 100g finely grated ginger

  • For the icing
  • 125g diced salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsps single cream
  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped


Line base and sides of a 22cm-diameter round spring-form cake tin with a double layer of baking paper, allowing a 2cm border above the top of the tin.

Combine golden syrup, caster sugar and oil in a bowl and mix well. Mixture will separate into layers. Set aside.

Sift flour, cinnamon and cloves together into a bowl and set aside.

Bring 1 cup of water to the boil in a saucepan, add bicarbonate of soda and stir gently into sugar mixture until well combined, then stir in ginger. Gradually whisk in sifted flour mixture then add eggs one at a time and mix well.

Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake at 170°C for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean.

Stand in tin for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool.

For the icing, whip the butter with the paddle attachment in a mixer. Introduce icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating continuously on a low speed.

Add lemon zest and juice, beating in until smooth. Gradually pour in cream until you achieve a consistency that is easy to spread.

Ice the cake and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Slice with a hot, clean knife and serve.

NOTES: First published in the Good Weekend.