A beautifully golden loaf cake, moist from the brown sugar and ginger syrup that is infused while the cake is hot. Sweet and spicy, it's simply delectable! It lasts for several days and can be frozen.
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If you leave the ginger syrup out, this is a simple vanilla cake with a caramel undertone from the brown sugar.
But really, why on earth would you? The ginger syrup is just perfect.
It's poured on the cake while still hot, and seeps inside, leaving a super moist crumb and trickles of sweet and spicy goodness.
For the brown sugar cake:
- Brown sugar: use light or dark brown sugar. The difference is the depth of flavor and color.
- Unsalted butter.
- All-purpose flour.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- Baking powder: is used as a leavener to help the cake rise, so make sure it isn't expired.
- Eggs: fresh, large.
- Milk: Whole, low-fat, and almond milk, they all work.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works and is infinitely cheaper.
For the ginger syrup:
- Fresh ginger.
- Honey: any flavor works. I use traditional clover honey.
How to make this ginger cake
- It's a simple butter cake where the eggs are added one at a time after creaming butter and sugar.
- Then the dry ingredients are added, alternating with the milk. This means you start and end with the flour mixture.
- After it is mixed well and no lumps remain, the batter is poured into the prepared loaf pan.
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Combine all spices into a large bowl and mix thoroughly into lean ground beef
Poking: I use a brochette stick (regular bamboo sticks) or my cake thermometer (image above). It is thick enough to make a good hole without tearing the cake surface. Poke the whole surface for better results.
Pouring the ginger syrup
This part is easy, giving this loaf cake a lot of extra moisture and a sharp but sweet ginger flavor.
I do it while the cake is still hot and in the pan.
Add syrup: you can use a jar and pour it. It will flow to the sides. You can bring it back to the top with a spoon and redistribute it again, or aid yourself with a spoon/spatula while slowly pouring the syrup so that most of it remains in the center of the cake.
Use a brush and patiently apply the syrup to the whole surface. This method distributes it better.
You can also do it both ways. First, pour half the syrup and let it flow to the sides, then brush the rest to ensure the whole surface is covered in this sticky and fantastic ginger honey syrup.
Add-ins: this recipe is old-fashioned with a slight caramel tone, allowing add-ins like nuts, dried fruits, or chopped chocolate to be added.
Glaze it: after adding the syrup, let it cool, and remove it from the pan. Use a simple powdered sugar glaze with ginger syrup as the liquid.
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For the brown sugar loaf cake:
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup milk, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Ginger Honey syrup:
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup water
- ½ oz fresh, peeled ginger, chopped or sliced
For the brown sugar loaf cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Butter or spray an 8x4-inch loaf pan.
- Line with a strip of parchment paper, covering the pan's bottom and two short sides. The two long sides will remain unlined but greased. This will help remove the cake from the pan after it’s baked.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add to the egg mixture in three additions, alternating with milk and vanilla in two additions.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. It will become shiny on top.
- Transfer to a cooling rack, poke the surface of the loaf with a wooden brochette skewer, cake thermometer, or something similar, and pour ½ of the honey syrup on top of the hot cake.
- Brush the remaining half so that the top surface is well covered.
- Let cool before removing from the pan. If the sides are stuck from the syrup, run a smooth-bladed knife around the edges so that it unmolds without breaking.
For the ginger honey syrup:
- Put three ingredients in a small saucepan, cover, and boil for about 5 minutes. It depends a lot on how thick you want the syrup.
- Turn off the heat and let the ginger cool in the syrup.
- Refrigerate until ready to use. Bring it to room temperature when you want to use it, or microwave it for 20 seconds or so before pouring it onto the cake.
- Brown sugar: being the star of this cake, I want to clarify that any type of brown sugar can be used. I usually favor a darker one, but lately, I haven't been able to find it, so light sugar it is. The difference is in the depth of flavor. I find that darker sugar has a more pronounced caramel/molasses flavor, and that translated to the cake. But they all work.
- Milk: Whole, low fat, and almond milk, all work.
- Bundt or round cake: double the recipe and use a 10-cup bundt cake pan or a 9-inch round one.
- Syrup: you can add the room t° syrup to a hot cake or a hot syrup on a room temperature cake. That way it will seep and better infuse the cake batter.
- Storing: the cake can be frozen (well wrapped) or kept at room temperature for 2 days, well wrapped.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: ⅛
- Calories: 314
- Sugar: 31.8 g
- Sodium: 109.6 mg
- Fat: 9.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 55 g
- Fiber: 0.9 g
- Protein: 5.3 g
- Cholesterol: 67 mg
Keywords: brown sugar ginger loaf
Adapted from The Pocket Cookbook, by Elizabeth Woody from Mc Call's magazine staff