When it comes to incorporating whisky into most aspects of the kitchen, our team here at the Scotch Whisky Experience have got it nailed. Senior Visitor Assistant Jacqui Taylor talks us through the recipe for this very moreish whisky loaf cake with stem ginger and a Highland whisky icing. Jacqui was the winner of this year’s Scotch Whisky Experience Comic Relief Bake Off, and we had to ask her for instructions on how to make a ginger cake with whisky, it was too good to miss!
“It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I LOVE to bake. It’s also not really a secret that I love whisky, so I’m always on the lookout for ways to combine my two favourite things, and I’m always interested in putting alcohol in the cake/biscuit/pie… Mary Berry would love me. So when I stumbled across this ginger cake recipe, my first thought was “this would go amazingly with X/Y/Z whisky”. Ginger cake was a huge family favourite when I was a kid so the recipe struck a chord with me straight away.
My immediate choice of whisky for this recipe was Glen Scotia Double Cask, as I knew that the sweet, spicy notes of that particular Campbeltown dram would go perfectly with the kick of ginger. However, when I found a hipflask half-full of Glenfarclas 15 year old single malt, I decided to go with that instead: Glenfarclas has lovely, rich, cinnamon spice and raisin notes and I was fairly certain it would work just as well. Any whisky with a hint of spice and a bit of sweetness, possibly sherry matured, would work really well with this recipe, but you could always go mad and throw in some Islay malts if that’s your thing.
Feel free to try different measurements of the spices/whisky used, this is just my favourite combination!
Ginger and Whisky Loaf Cake recipe
For the cake
100g unsalted butter
50g Dark brown sugar
50g light brown sugar
50g Black treacle
75g Golden Syrup
2 tbsp syrup from a jar of stem ginger
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g plain flour
1 pinch of salt
4 balls of stem ginger, finely chopped
For the icing
75 icing sugar
2 tbsp syrup from the jar of stem ginger
25ml of Whisky (see Jacqui’s suggestions above)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Grease and line a loaf tin (including the sides to prevent the cake from sticking to the tin)
- In a saucepan, weigh the butter, sugars, treacle and syrup, and heat them gently until the sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the milk; allow to cool to room temperature
- Whisk in the beaten egg
- In a separate bowl, mix together the spices, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then gradually beat in the liquid mixture, whisking to ensure there are no stray lumps of flour
- Once fully combined, stir in the chopped ginger. The batter will be quite runny – it’s meant to be like that!
- Pour into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for around 50 minutes – 1 hour. Do not open the oven for the first 40 minutes, or the cake will sink in the middle. When a knife or skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin
- Combine the icing ingredients until you have a runny, pourable mixture – you might need slightly more or less of each of the ingredients to get the desired consistency/flavours.
- Remove the cake from the tin and pour over the icing. Leave to set before cutting into chunky slices.
Bar Manager Ian Clement has the following suggestions for a dram or two to match this full-flavoured cake – let us know what you think!
“The Balvenie 14 year old Caribbean Cask is a single malt that has been finished in Caribbean rum casks, which helps to really highlight and enhance the ginger used in Jacqui’s cake. Or alternatively, you can compliment the glaze she used by pairing her ginger cake with some Glen Scotia Double Cask. I normally describe this single malt as a huge block of salted caramel!”
Read more about matching whisky with desserts and cakes in our blog post from last year.