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Dark and stormy cake with rum and lime buttercrea­m


Prep time: 25 minutes, plus overnight soaking Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves 8

My ideal ginger cake: moist and gorgeous.


– 225g butter, at room temperatur­e, plus extra for greasing

– 150g soft dark-brown sugar

– 150g golden caster sugar

– 355g plain flour

– 1 tbsp baking powder – 2 tbsp cornflour

– ¾ tbsp ground ginger

– 4 large eggs, beaten – finely grated zest of 1 lime

– ½ tsp vanilla extract

– 150ml whole milk

– 50ml dark rum

For the syrup

– 35g fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced

– 80g soft dark-brown


– 50ml dark rum – 125ml ginger beer – juice of 1 lime

For the rum and lime buttercrea­m

– 155g butter, at room temperatur­e

– 250g icing sugar, sifted

– finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes

–2½tbsp dark or white rum To decorate

– 3-4 chunks of preserved ginger in syrup, very thinly sliced or chopped

– thinly sliced lime (optional)


Heat the oven to 180C / 170C fan/gas mark 4. Butter two 20cm cake tins and line the bases, buttering the paper as well.

Because soft brown sugar tends to clump together, put it in a bowl and break the lumps down with a fork or the back of a spoon. Add the golden caster sugar and blend them well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cornflour and ground ginger together in a separate bowl. Add a pinch of salt.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, but after the first addition add a tablespoon of the flour mix – this stops the eggs and butter curdling. Add the lime zest and vanilla.

Fold in the flour mixture in three more goes, using a large metal spoon. Alternate with the milk, ending with the last portion of flour. Mix in the rum.

Divide the batter between the two tins and smooth the tops.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until you can see the cakes coming away from the sides of the tins.

Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a wire cooling rack and carefully remove the paper.

Simmer all the syrup ingredient­s except the lime for two minutes, stirring to help the sugar melt. Add the lime.

Place each sponge on a plate, bottom-side up. Prick them all over with a skewer and brush them with the syrup, being generous with it.

Cover the sponges with foil and leave for an hour, then spoon on more of the syrup. Repeat – you can leave the cakes covered with foil overnight.

To make the buttercrea­m, beat the butter and gradually add the icing sugar. Add the lime zest and juice and mix again, then slowly add the rum.

Spoon or pipe half the buttercrea­m on to the sponge you’re using as the bottom layer, then put the other sponge on top. Spread or pipe the rest of the buttercrea­m on top of that.

Decorate with preserved ginger and, if you like, some finely sliced lime.

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