Ultimate Treacle Gingerbread Loaf Cake Recipe

An old-fashioned moist, dark treacle gingerbread loaf. Just how grandma made it. A super easy recipe for ginger cake.

A loaf of rich Treacle Gingerbread Loaf, sliced on a white plate

Grandma's Quick & Thrifty Cookbook

Grandma's Quick & Thrifty Cookbook Cover
This moist, treacley gingerbread comes from Grandma's Quick & Thrifty Cookbook.

A great title for this day and age, especially with the state of the economy and all our purse strings pulling tighter.

I was excited to have a good read of this cookbook. I was expecting great things from it.

It starts off with some great tips on preserving fruit, vegetables and herbs.

There are also energy saving tips, ways to use leftovers and ideas to make meals go further. And ...... then come the recipes.

Oh the recipes. Readers beware ........

Close up of Treacle Gingerbread Loaf with a fork pronged into the cake

Keep reading!

I have to tell you I felt deflated and disappointed when I got to the recipes.

I don't know what I was expecting, as these are billed as Grandma's recipes, so there wasn't going to be any ground-breaking, stylish dishes, but still I was disappointed.

There might be some great family dishes if you're a meat eater, but none of the veggie or vegetable dishes inspired me at all.

Don't give up yet!

I might have given up at this point, but I carried on reading until I got to the jewel in the crown. First a chapter called Desserts and then on to Bread, Cakes, Biscuits and other Treats.

You just can't beat traditional cakes and biscuits. Especially if you need a spot of comfort food. You won't find anything nicer than one of Grandma's puddings.

Desserts, Bread, Biscuits & Other Treats

I would recommend buying this book for these chapters alone.

I still wasn't convinced after my first read, but I find myself picking it up again and again.

I've also had requests for the recipe from my mum and her friend Margaret. So I'm going to end on a high note and say this book is worth buying for the Tips, Desserts, Baking and the Basics at the end of the book.

And of course this gingerbread loaf.

My vegan readers may like to try my Red Apple & Treacle Fruitcake 

pin it for later

An old-fashioned moist, treacley gingerbread loaf. Just how grandma made it . Everyone loves this retro bake for a teatime treat, with coffee or for dessert. #gingerbread #retrocakes #loafcake #gingerbreadcake #easygingerbread #oldfashioncakes #oldfashionedbakes #ginger #cake

Grandma's Quick & Thrifty Cookbook

Here are a few of the traditional sweet and baked recipes in this cookbook:

    Front cover of Grandma's Quick & Thrifty Cookbook
  • Chocolate Pudding in Teacups 
  • Jam Roly Poly
  • Plum Cobbler
  • Baked Custard
  • Apple Strudel
  • Irish Soda Bread
  • Big Fruity Tea Bun
  • Date & Walnut Loaf
  • Devil's Food Cake
  • Grandma's Never-Fail Sponge
  • Jam Drop Biscuits
  • Gingersnap Biscuits
  • Melting Moments
  • Gingerbread Men
  • Coconut Macaroons

Vegetarian Recipe Count: 113 out of 200 recipes (with a change of stock in a couple of recipes)
Vegan Recipe Count: 
22 out of 200 recipes

Grandma's Quick & Thrifty Cookbook

Format:  Paperback
Pages:  384
Publisher:  Reader's Digest
ISBN:  978-1780200019
Published:  4 Oct 2011
Size:  25.4 x 19.6 x 2.8 cm

A slice of Treacle Gingerbread Loaf, spread with butter on a white plate with silver knife

For more Scottish recipes have a look at my recipe index of Scottish Recipes for Vegans and Vegetarians

Treacle Gingerbread Loaf

gingerbread, old-fashion cake, old-fashioned baking, retro cake, grandma's cake recipes, treacle cake, treacle gingerbread, ginger bread, ginger cake, gingerbread cake, loaf cake
Yield: 8-10

Treacle Gingerbread Loaf

An old-fashioned moist, treacley gingerbread loaf. Just how grandma made it.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 45 Mtotal time: 55 M


  • 185g plain flour
  • 110g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 140g soft brown sugar
  • 250g black treacle
  • 185ml milk
  • 80ml olive oil
  • 2 large eggs


How to cook Treacle Gingerbread Loaf

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
  2. Grease a 10cm x 20cm x7cm (1lb) loaf tin and line with baking parchment or greaseproof paper, ensuring that the paper extends 3cm above tin. (I used a loaf tin insert, which didn't rise above the tin and it was fine)
  3. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and mixed spice in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar until well combined.
  4. Whisk the treacle, milk, olive oil and eggs in a jug. Add to the flour and stir until just combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
  7. Enjoy!


You may use golden syrup instead of treacle in this cake. The result is still spicy with a great flavour but a milder, paler cake.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Disclosure Statement: I received this book free from the publisher to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  


  1. This looks so darkly rich and spicy - yum. I absolutely adore the sound of black treacle but haven't had much luck finding it in Australia, I'd love to bake with it!

    1. That's a shame. You can make a lighter version with golden syrup or even maple syrup. The spices will still shine through.

    2. I'm from Australia and I used CSR Treacle syrup Woolworths ans Coles sell it. My loaf is amazing

    3. I am so glad you enjoyed it ❤️

  2. What a flavoursome recipe. This Treacle Gingerbread Loaf sounds full of flavours, I have treacle in my cupboard but I do not use it very often. I forget how delicious this simple loaf tastes.

  3. I love this gingerbread cake and this looks wonderfully rich and moist and delicious!

  4. A GREAT entry for Tea Time Treats and SNAP! I also felt VERY disappointed when I first read my copy of the SAME book and for the same reasons too Jac....that recipe however, looks LUSH! LOVELY cake and GREAT photos too! Karen

    1. I wonder have you gone back to it Karen? I think the baking section is fabulous.

  5. Ooh that last photo with the butter slathered on, I want some. Suppose I'll have to add it to my ever growing to bake list - how's a girl meant to cook for her own blog when people like you are tempting me with these sweet treats!

  6. ooh gorgeous gingerbread, love how dark it looks. Gingerbread always sells well at cake stalls.

  7. Well your cake looks scrummilicious Jac and wonderful photos too. But I'm not sure how many grandmas would have been using olive oil - unless they came from the Mediterranean. When I was growing up, you cold only buy it in chemists!

    1. Well if my mum and grandmother are anything to go by, they always had some in the larder, although more as a health thing, to torture children with. Don't know if they used it for baking, so I get your point :)

  8. That looks like a] seriously good loaf cake. I never used to like treacle but now love it. Never tried it in such large quantities but I know it would work so well in a cake along with the spices. Olive oil s a revelation but one I approve of, think it works very well in cakes!

    1. The olive oil does work well, although I suppose you could use melted butter instead.

    2. Hi, I used sunflower oil, white sugar, mixed spice only, increased the black treacle to 300g and made it in a square tin. Turned out perfect and I can't imagine it being any more delicious.

  9. Hmmm we've never used treacle, I'm not sure it's even available in the supermarkets here. This looks amazing though, very moist and delicious! We also love that you list how many of the recipes are vegetarian and vegan:)

    1. I do that for all my cookbook reviews now. I think it is useful for my veggie readers to know whether a book is worth buying or perhaps better to be borrowed from a library, if it doesn't have many relevant recipes.

      Try the loaf with golden or maple syrup instead. If using maple syrup, I would add extra spices, so the maple doesn't overshadow the flavour of the spices.

  10. Yummy, have never baked a treacle loaf but am now tempted to try :-) Honest review. Who actually wrote the book? I wonder if it was a Grandma?!

  11. Thanks Ren, I do try to give honest reviews. It may have been a granny. It it actually has a collection of authors, but none I have heard of.

  12. Love gingerbread - hot with butter and a nice cuppa - book looks good too!

    1. It is rather good with butter. Think that is a Scottish thing.

  13. looks delicious - I tend not to buy books with lots of meat recipes because I have limited cookbook space and don't need more temptation of sweet bakes (enough in my other cookbooks) but I do love all this old fashioned baking - esp that gingerbread - looks delicious

    1. Well, at least you now have one recipe from it. I always give the count, as it might mean people would rather borrow a copy :)

  14. This indeed an old school dessert but a great one. Ah the memories. I have a few cookbooks from my grandmother actually, everyday meals I would not make and don't find inspiring too. But desserts can still hold a candle.

    1. Isn't it funny that we aren't interested in the meals, but the baking still excites us?

  15. Need to try this, tried a ginger loaf and wasn't dark and sticky enough. THis looks much better.

    1. This is definitely a dark stick loaf and I saw someone mix it into ice cream :)

  16. Love the way this looks - I'm a big fan of gingerbread and ginger in general and the stickiness does look good - does it get stickier with age?

    1. It does get stickier, by the next day, although it never lasts much longer than that :)

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  18. Hi I am dropping by via Tea Time Treats. This is really unusual and it looks so moist and crumbly. Its not easy to find treacle for me, and I wonder if there is another substitute?

    1. Try golden syrup instead Mich, it will still be spicy, but not as dark. You could also try molasses or honey.

  19. The gingerbread looks *really* good! Great for tea time with a bit of butter.

  20. THIS is the kind of gingerbread I've been wanting to make for aaaages! Thank you, lovely :) xx

    1. I do hope you enjoy it. I think it is a real treat :)

  21. I have just made this (vegetarian version with soy milk instead of dairy milk). It is so, so delicious. Gave half to my neighbour, the rest lasted until afternoon tea with a slice for after dinner and it is all gone now..

    By the way, I'm in Australia and have no problem sourcing black treacle at supermarkets / health food stores.

  22. Brilliant. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by to tell me.

  23. I am American, but have been watching the Great British Baking Show for some time and making their recipes when I can find the ingredients. I purchased treacle about 8 months ago from a British website who has a retailer here in the U.S. This is the first time that I have used it. I have a question about it. I measured out the treacle into my scales oiled tin dish. That is something I saw online that is supposed to make the treacle pour easier into the mixing bowl, and it did. What I hadn't realized is that the treacle had formed crystals on the bottom of the can.

    Was I supposed to stir it first before I used it, or was it too old to use since there were crystals?

    Because I am unfamiliar with treacle, I tasted the lid just after I opened it. It tasted very rich and sweet, but didn't taste spoiled.

    Please let me know about the treacle for the future as I plan to use it more often now that we are heading into the holiday seasons.

    Thanks, Shirlee Smith (Corpus Christi, Texas)

    1. Sorry, just saw this comment Shirlee. Don't worry if crystals form,just warm the tin of treacle over some hot water and they will dissolve. It's a temperture thing and sometimes happens.

  24. I followed the directions exactly except for using a glass bread pan because I do not own a metal one. I had to convert the oven temp to 355F, so it was just under 180c. I let it bake for 40 minutes and checked it. When I was pulling it out to check, the top had a slight wobble, so I didn't think it was done. I inserted the toothpick and it was slightly sticky. I put it back in for another 5 minutes and checked again. There was no wobble, but the toothpick still was slightly sticky. I put a skewer in also. It came out clean. I let it sit for 5 minutes, which might not be enough time when using a glass bread dish because when I flipped it and turned it back upright, the top came off. I had a very small section from the center at the very top that wasn't actually cooked, so this worked out well because I could see that the rest was cooked.

    Mine came out very dry on the ends. I am wondering if I should have used more olive oil than the recipe called for, or maybe the treacle was bad?

    It is very rich tasting though. Much more ginger flavor than we are used to here LOL. I might try to make this again because the flavor and texture are not bad except that it is really far to dry to eat. I had to slather it with 3 tablespoons of butter in order to eat it.

    If you have any suggestions for what I may have done wrong, I would appreciate it.

    1. I make this regularly & it always comes out well nut I never cook with glass so i don't know if it conducts the heat the same way. May be worth googling. I'm not sure what else to suggest if you followed the recipe amd yes it is a spicy cake.

  25. I don't have any self-raising flour, can i just use plain flour for the entire lot - I suppose i'd need to adjust baking soda and baking powder in the recipe to compensate right?

    1. Yes just use plain and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

  26. Omg, just made this georgous cake, it's amazing, thanks so very much for your recipe, it's not going to last long at my house, x

    1. Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to let me know x

  27. I think the size of the tin in your recipe must be not a standard size. I've just made a double batch for a 2lb tin and it's enough for two of my tins. Can you check if the measurements are for 1lb tin as you say?

    1. It's actually a cookbook recipe. I too usually use a 2 lb tin, but it wasn't my recioe. I haven't made this for years (over 10), so I am not sure which of my tins I used when I tried it. If there is enough for a 2lb tin, use that. Tins can vary


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x