This recipe has been in our family for at least four generations.  It originally used lard, but I have tweaked it so it’s now vegan.

  • 340g plain wholemeal flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 rounded tsp ground ginger
  • 85g solid vegetable fat
  • 85g demerara sugar
  • 170g golden syrup
  • 170g black treacle
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in approximately 430 ml of boiling water

Double-line a square 20 cm tin with greaseproof paper.  Preheat oven to 150 C/300 F/Gas Mark 2.

Put the flour, salt and ginger in a bowl, and rub in the vegetable fat.  Add the sugar.  Weigh 300g of this mixture back into the scale pan, make a well to take the syrup and treacle, add these to the scale pan, then slide it all back into the bowl.

Pour boiling water on bicarbonate of soda in a measuring jug.  Stir.  While still fizzing, pour into bowl and mix thoroughly.  Pour the runny mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.  Test with a skewer to ensure it is cooked. Leave in the tin until cool enough to handle, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

The top will not be sticky when it comes out of the oven; if you want it sticky (and the general consensus in our family is that this is how it should be eaten), keep it for at least 2-3 days before cutting it.


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