Orange & Ginger Treacle loaf

This is an adaptation of an old treacle loaf recipe I came across. It’s the sort of cake that reminds me of visiting older relatives of my parents where tea and a slice of rich cake would be served. In a time where golden syrup, molasses and treacle were in every kitchen cupboard. The orange butter icing is optional. My favourite way to eat this cake is actually without the icing but with some butter. Which is how we would have eaten such a cake as children. The fat from the butter counteracting the sweetness of the treacle. It freezes really well, un-iced, sliced and wrapped in greaseproof paper in an airtight container. As well as keeping for about 3 – 4 days in an airtight container. I shaved some off the top so the icing would be even. Once the icing is on, no one will know any different.


  • 340g Plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 56g castor sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 56g butter
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 230g treacle or molasses
  • ¼ cup milk or water
  • *56g Blanched almonds – optional
  • Basil flowers to decorate
  • Orange icing
  • measure out 200g icing sugar ( you might not need all of it)
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 30g softened butter – butter icing option


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/ 375F. Line a 900g loaf tin with parchment
  • Blanch and finely chop your almonds if using.
  • Mix the flour, sugar and spices in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter and dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in warm milk.
  • Add all the ingredients into the flour, starting with the egg and mix really well with a wooden spoon.
  • Pour into a 9oog loaf tin, baking in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes @180 until it passes the clean knife test.
  • Let cool before icing with butter icing or warm is fine for icing syrup drizzle.

Decorating the cake:

You can leave the loaf plain, top with butter icing or an orange ice drizzle. I’ll give you both here. Leave out the butter if you want the drizzle from the ingredients above. To make the drizzle, slowly add the sugar into warmed orange juice and mix until you have a thick syrup. You may not need all the sugar. If using the butter icing option. Slowly add the sugar to softened butter and the juice. Whisking until you have a creamy buttery icing paste. Once again the amount of sugar can slightly vary depending on the texture you want. You don’t want it gritty. Once you have your icing on, top with tiny basil flowers or grated orange zest. You can opt to use shop-bought icing. If so some orange flavouring or a little orange juice will pimp up the flavour. Both icings options keep well in the fridge in an airtight container for another cake or buns. Enjoyx

Iced cake with basil flowers

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