Victoria Allcoat shares a recipe for Ginger Cake that her friends swear tastes just like Crabbie’s Ginger Beer and makes a wonderful Bonfire Night treat.

So I was perusing BBC Food’s website, and stumbled upon their Bonfire Night recipes section. I found this delicious looking cake, brought it over to a friend’s for dinner and the first thing that everyone said was “it’s Crabbie’s in a cake!” Henceforth, the cake shall now be known as: Crabbie’s Ginger Cake. The cake is topped with a zesty orange icing to complement the warmth of the ginger. It’s the perfect indulgent Bonfire Night treat, and involves minimal effort.


crabbies one




For the cake: 

–        225g butter, softened

–        225g light muscovado sugar

–        225g golden syrup

–        225g black treacle

–        450g self-raising flour, sifted

–        6 tsps ground ginger

–        2 free-range eggs

–        300ml milk


For the icing: 

–        Orange juice

–        Icing sugar

–        Orange peel



  1. Preheat the oven to 160c, and grease and line 2 deep 23cm (ish) cake tins.
  2. Melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup and black treacle together in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  3. Mix the flour and ground ginger together in a bowl.
  4. Pour the syrupy, sugary, gloop mixture all over the flour.
  5. Stir to combine thoroughly, making sure there are no pockets of flour.
  6. Add the eggs and milk and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the cake mix into the tins.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake springs back to the touch and when a knife can be inserted and come out not covered in cake goo still.
  9. Wait for the cake to cool completely and in the meantime get cracking on your icing!
  10. Making icing is a skill you just have to learn to eyeball—exact measurements aren’t too useful. You need enough juice (around a few tsps), and icing sugar (just add a little at a time) until you get a fairly runny mixture that you can drizzle off the edges of your cake.
  11. Cover the cakes in icing, allowing it to ooze over the edges.
  12. Cut some zest off an orange and cut it into little chunks or thin strips, however you fancy, and dot it across your cake as decoration (I made the error of grating my orange zest, and ended up with orange blobs not zesty prettiness).
  13. Pour yourself a big glass of Crabbie’s and tuck into the perfect Bonfire Night treat!


Victoria Allcoat 


Photo credits: Victoria Allcoat