I could go on and on about why I chose to do another Beauty-related goodie, but this one is actually inspired by something that McKinley wrote in the pages. I couldn’t really find the passage again, but I’m telling you, the book mentioned spiced treacle cake, and I totally hopped up on the idea!
Beauty by Robin McKinley is a straightforward retelling of an iconic fairy tale. One of the things that I remembered from the book was a scene where Beauty wakes up in the morning thinking of hot chocolate and toast. And later on, she ruminates on the types of foods she’d been having while in Beast’s castle, and Beauty eventually decides that one of her favorites is a spiced treacle cake. Often she would ask for it, and there was an adorable scene where she even feeds the Beast a piece because she wanted him to try it!
So I went on a search for a spiced treacle cake.
Ginger Spiced Treacle Traybake
I actually gleaned this recipe from Fold in the Flour, though the original recipe is very much thanks to Mary Berry. I mention this because I had become addicted to The Great British Bake Off and after seeing that this was a recipe she had, I wanted to try it!
I will say that Mary Berry knows her shit, and honestly, even with the changes I made, it was still delicious and spiced and utterly gingery!
I’ve converted the ingredients into American measurements the best way I can. Also, these are the ingredients of changes I made as well, so if you want to follow the recipe to its totality, there’s plenty of places where this recipe can be found (including the Fold in the Flour link).
- 1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
- 1 cup muscovado sugar (I used dark brown)
- 2/3 cup molasses (I substituted with maple syrup, but you can use honey or some other syrup that has a thicker consistency)
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp allspice
- 4 eggs
- 4 Tbsp milk
- 3 bulbs stem ginger (I used 1 Tbsp ginger powder because I couldn’t find stem ginger in the groceries)
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tsp ginger powder (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- water (as needed)
- chopped candy ginger (as needed)
Making the Cake
Mix the sugar and butter until smooth and creamy, add eggs one by one. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.
Bake cake in 9 x 13 inch tray for 35 minutes at 350 F. Set aside to cool and make the glaze.
Prepare glaze. Mix the dry ingredients and add water as needed, up until the consistency is what you want to pour onto the cake.
Sprinkle chopped ginger candy on top for decoration.
Verdict: Not everyone is a big fan of ginger or spiced cake, so this was not exactly the household favorite. The changes I made also made the cake not so treacly, but eh, I’m not a big fan of molasses, so that definitely cut down on the stickiness and the density. of the cake itself.
However, as a ginger-lover, I didn’t mind this so much, and it was like eating a super delicious sponge with candied ginger!