Super-sticky tray cake

This sticky tray cake gets its flavour from stem ginger, muscovado sugar and a glug of Guinness – perfect served with a hot cup of tea.

sticky tray cake
Chris Alack


125ml unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the tin
175g dark muscovado sugar
150ml Guinness
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 medium eggs
100g golden caster sugar
4-5 knobs stem ginger, plus 2 tbsp ginger syrup from the jar

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160Cfan/ gas 4 and butter a 20cm-22cm square baking tin (such as a brownie tin). 

2. Place 125g of the muscovado sugar in a small pan with the Guinness and slowly bring to the boil, working out any lumps with the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda, which will cause the mixture to fizz up.

3. Sift the flour, ground ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl. In another whisk together the eggs, remaining muscovado sugar, caster sugar and melted butter, then slowly beat this into the flour mixture. 

4. Fold in the beer mixture in two goes, then finely chop and add 2 knobs of ginger. Transfer this to the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until it is just firm to the touch (the centre may sink slightly which is par for the course for a gooey cake). Run a knife around the edges of the cake then drizzle the syrup over the top. Finely slice the remaining ginger and use to decorate. Cover with clingfilm then set aside to cool, ideally overnight. Cut into squares to serve. 

SERVING IDEA The cake is also delicious warm. A good red fruit compote and clotted cream on the side turn it into a pudding.

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.