My Grandma's Honey & Ginger Walnut Loaf




225 g butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
31/2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
100 g butter
200 g pure icing sugar
1/3 cup whisky
whole walnuts and/or glazed ginger

Feeds 6



1: Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a medium loaf tin with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer or hand-held electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the honey, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. 

2: In a cup, whisk together the milk and bicarbonate of soda until dissolved, then fold into the butter mixture.

3: Sift the flour and spices over the mixture, add the chopped walnuts and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30–40 minutes or until the top of the cake bounces back when you touch it (be careful as it will be hot!). Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4: Cream the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually add the whisky. Pour the icing over the cooled cake and garnish with some walnuts and/or glazed ginger.

I based this recipe on my grandma's classic gingerbread recipe – I love spices and the warmth that whisky can add. This cake is the perfect afternoon treat and, better still, is incredibly easy to make. 

I have used cups because that is how my grandmother did it. I’ve tried to do it by weighing out the ingredients but it doesn't quite taste the same.

A really nice variation is to take out the walnuts and honey and use 1 cup golden syrup in its place.