Pembury House’s gingerbread loaf

Over the years, Pembury House garden owner, Jane Baker, has found that the cakes served at her garden openings rise and fall in popularity. And this year, ginger is back in fashion.

Cooking time: ¾ hour

Temperature: 350 F/ 180 C/160C fan/ Mark 4

Quantities are for a 9-inch square tin.


  1. Place the milk, butter/margarine, and golden syrup into a fairly large heavy saucepan and heat gently whilst stirring until all the ingredients are mixed.
  2. Beat the egg and stir it into this wet mixture once it has cooled.
  3. Sieve the plain flour into the wet mixture, stirring to distribute the flour through the mixture evenly. Watch out for any lumps and if necessary beat them out with a fork.
  4. Stir in the other ingredients into the wet mixture bit by bit.
  5. Grease the tin and line the bottom with non-stick paper or use a suitable baking tin liner.
  6. Bake until it feels springy in the centre.
  7. Cool for 10-15 mins then turn out on to a rack.
  8. Gently warm a tablespoon of the ginger preserve prior to brushing it onto the top of the cake once cold.

This will cut into 8 good slices.


If you enjoyed this content please consider making a donation to help us continue to support our nursing and health beneficiaries.


Jane’s recipe is a treasured family recipe, kindly shared by in support of her garden opening.

Photograph by Leigh Clapp




  • 8oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 oz sultanas
  • 1 oz chopped stem ginger
  • 1½ oz brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ pt milk
  • 4 oz butter or margarine
  • 8 oz golden syrup
  • Ginger preserve/jam for the top


Don’t miss a thing

Sign up to hear more about gardens, events and our
activities throughout the year

By completing this form, you confirm that you are aged 18 years or over and that you are happy to receive emails from the National Garden Scheme in accordance with our Privacy Policy. We will never share your details with anyone else without your express permission.



Our donations in 2023

Donor 1
Donor 2 £450,000
Donor 3 £450,000
Donor 4 £450,000
Donor 5 £425,000
Donor 6 £350,000
Donor 7 £350,000
Donor 8
Donor 9 £100,000
Donor 10 £90,000
Donor 11 £80,000
Donor 12 £281,000
Donor 13 £260,000