boscobel beach ginger cake


I don’t know if this cake is an authentic Jamaican recipe.

Prepping for this cake, I can honestly say, was a bother. First there is scraping the ginger root and whizzing it in the blender; then, I had to sift the brown sugar (brown sugar in Bangkok has large “stones” in it which must be removed before baking), and third, I must melt butter and mix it with flour for prepping the pan. This last step can be avoided by using flour-spray, but I prefer to use my own flour-butter mixture. In the end, I liked the way it turned out. The crumb was moist, the texture soft but firm, and the taste was cinnamon-y–it reminded me that Christmas is coming. So whether or not it’s really Jamaican doesn’t matter. It’s a great name for a cake.

Boscobel Beach Ginger Cake (adapted from

Prep time: 40 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes

For the Cake:
1 cup (227g) butter
1 1/4 cups (250g) packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup (50g) grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups (312g) all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Glaze:
1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, optional
1 1/2 tablespoons rum, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F/175˚C. Grease and flour one 9-inch bundt cake pan (1 tablespoon melted butter to 1 tablespoon flour to make a paste). In a large bowl put flour, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt. Whisk 30 seconds to combine. Set aside.

2. In another large bowl, cream the butter on high speed about 30 second. Add the brown sugar and cream on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the grated ginger and vanilla. At this stage, the mixture will look curdled. Beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and ending with the flour. Mix until just incorporated, scraping down the bowl between additions.  At the end, use a silicone spatula to hand-turn the batter at the bottom of the pan to make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed. Scrape batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, with just a few crumbs attached. Cool in the pan 30 minutes on a wire rack.  Turn out onto a wire rack for glazing. Cool thoroughly.

4. Glaze cake with rum icing. Set the cooled cake on the wire rack placed over a baking tray. In a medium bowl, mix 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons rum. If it is too thick, thin with a little milk. It should be thick but spreadable. Spoon over the top of the cake, letting glaze drip down the sides. Let glaze dry before slicing cake.