When the night's begin to draw in and get darker, it makes me feel excited for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas. But I really do miss the light nights! Well this Gingerbread Bonfire Cake is all about darkness anyway. Made with treacle, dark brown sugar and some Guinness for good measure. It was described as 'Bonfire Night in a cake' by my colleagues which is why I titled it appropriately. It really is the perfect cake for this time of year. Plus I've drenched it in a salted caramel sauce which is never a bad thing!
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Gingerbread Bonfire Cake
In a mixing bowl whisk together Guinness (you could also use another dark stout), black treacle, dark brown sugar, vegetable oil and eggs. In another mixing bowl sift together self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Then add this to the wet ingredients and mix in.
To bake the cake use a ring shaped bundt tin, you can easily pick one up if you don't have one. Grease it with vegetable oil to ensure the cake doesn't stick. Bake it for 45 minutes until it is a deep rich brown and a skewer comes out clean. Let it cool for 5 minutes then tip it out of the tin, then I leave it to cool. To decorate. smother the cake with caramel sauce, then add chopped crystallised ginger on top for extra spice and a lovely crunch.
What caramel sauce should you use?
My favourite caramel sauce to use is my Homemade Caramel Sauce, it's rich, smooth and absolutely divine! You can also easily add salt to it to make it into a salted caramel sauce. If you don't want to make your own, it's quite easy nowadays to find a good quality ready made caramel (or salted caramel) sauce in the shops or online. I have used Tesco's Finest, Bonn Maman and Carnation Caramel in the past with great results.
How long does the cake last for and can you freeze it?
The cake will last for 3-4 days in an airtight container in a cool place. To freeze the undecorated cake, freeze on a plate until frozen solid, then carefully wrap in cling film. Remove the clingfilm when you take the cake out of the freezer to defrost.
Can you make this cake with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some additional baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add 2 teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
Can this cake be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free you can replace the self raising flour with a gluten free self raising flour blend. If you only have a gluten free plain flour blend, you will need to add baking powder. The general advice is to add 2 tsp baking powder per 200g flour, so for this recipe you'd need to add an additional 2 teaspoons of baking powder. You may also like to add ½ tsp Xanthan Gum for better texture. This cake is already dairy free, just make sure to decorate it with a dairy free caramel sauce.
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
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Gingerbread Bonfire Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
For the sponge
- 250 ml Guinness or other dark stout
- 165 g Dark brown sugar
- 340 g Black treacle
- 175 ml Vegetable Oil
- 3 Eggs large
- 225 g Self raising flour
- ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Ground ginger
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- 2 tbsp Crystallised ginger chopped
- 150 g Caramel sauce good quality shop bought or homemade
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. I grease my bundt tin with vegetable oil, and I use a pastry brush to get it into all of the cracks. If you have a preferred way of greasing your bundt tin that has always worked for you, then please do stick with it
- In a bowl whisk together the Guinness, black treacle, the dark brown sugar, vegetable oil and eggs
- In a separate bowl, sift together the self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and the salt. Add this to the wet ingredients and mix in
- Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes until it is a deep rich brown colour and a thin skewer inserted comes out clean
- Let it cool for 5 minutes then tip it out of the tin. If it doesn't come out straight away, run a knife along the edges and around the middle ring
- Leave to cool fully before pouring on the salted caramel sauce and garnishing with the chopped crystallised ginger. You may need to warm the caramel sauce for 15 seconds in the microwave to make it runny enough to drizzle over the cake
- This cake is amazing served with custard. Store leftovers in an airtight container and eat within 3 days
If you like this, check out more of my Cake recipes!
Recipe adapted from Chowhound.