Tamarind and Fresh Ginger Cake – an Asian inspired affair

tamarind ginger cake
I know, I know its been so long here. I have been out of touch with this blog.
But there have been so many things going on at the same time.
A lot of baking, shooting for the book with Chi Anh. A job change (which I love!). And an impending trip to Europe (tonight!). It’s all happening and sometimes I feel overwhelmed.
Gratefulness is what I feel throughout this whole time. I think without Chi Anh, I would have almost given up. We both have gone through an incredible period of excitement, pain and even heartbreak. It’s incredible how you can share so much with a person you haven’t met. Real connection is beyond physical distance. We talk most days, and her presence in my life is so real and cannot be replaced. Thank you, buddy!


And of course, my family, who has happily eaten far more cakes than what is considered to be healthy. Nice cakes, yes. And also the not-so-good one (why did I think of making a tofu based cake? It was a horror story!).

Of course, there are unexpected surprise, too. This tamarind and fresh ginger cake was inspired as I did a lot of research and ‘soul searching’ for my book. It plays on the tangy sweet-sour flavour of tamarind and the spicy warmth of ginger. The cake is really lovely, somewhat a cross of gingerbread cake and lemon pound cake. Moist and soft crumbs…

I almost forgot about it totally, until last weekend when Mr. B and I got a chance to try the amazing gingerbread cake with smoked maple butter at Pope Joan. I can’t say my cake is the same as that one, but if you like gingerbread, this is for you….
Tamarind and fresh ginger cake with lime glazing

Inspired by two incredible bakers -David Lebovitz and Dan Lepard.


  • 30g dried tamarind paste
  • 150ml water
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 80g dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 30g fresh ginger
  • Glazing
  • 100g icing sugar
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 20g chopped glace ginger (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter and line the base and side of the loaf pan (17cm size, which is half of the standard loaf pan you can normally buy).
  2. Put the tamarind paste into a small sauce pan with 150ml of water. Bring to a gentle boil, and mash up the tamarind. Pick out the hard tamarind bit. Peel the ginger, then finely grate them into the butter mixture.
  3. Whisk in the butter until it is completely melted, leave the mixture to cool. Add in the egg, a pinch of salt and sugar mixture and mix well to combine.
  4. Sift flour and baking soda to the butter and tamarind mixture, mix until the mixture just incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake the loaf for 35-45 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean if pieced in the middle of the cake. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
  6. Making the icing: sift the icing sugar in a bowl, gradually add the lime juice and whisk well to have a thick and smooth consistency. Adjust the consistency with extra icing sugar or lime juice.
  7. When the cake is cool, drizzle the icing on top of the cake. Arrange the chopped crystallised ginger on top if using.
  8. Variations
  9. Walnut, tamarind and fresh ginger cake: adding 50g coarsely chopped toasted walnuts to the cake batter before baking.
  10. Spiced tamarind cake: omit the ginger and add ½ teaspoon of ground allspice to the cake mixture.
  11. Note: You can bake a full-size loaf by doubling the ingredients.

19 Responses to Tamarind and Fresh Ginger Cake – an Asian inspired affair

  1. Awww… we all could use one Chi Anh in our lives yeah? No need for 2, one will do. :)

    Lucky girl you!

    ps : i wanna bake this cake! I’ve got lotsa tamarind pulps. Same thing right?

  2. Rosa says:

    A beautiful cake and combination! I bet it tastes divine.



  3. Monique says:

    What a lovely composition also..love the old paddleboard..tamarind is so good for you also:)

  4. Ooh that looks like it would have good depth of flavour. The topping makes it cuter and prettier, too!

  5. Hannah says:

    Tamarind in cake! Oh, the tanginess must be just delightful :)

  6. LCOM says:

    What an interesting combination! Beautiful photos.

  7. Dear Anh,

    This cake would be so different with the tanginess of the tamarind. Lovely combination with the ginger.

  8. Now I cant wait for your book to come out, if all the dishes are heart warming like this tender cake! I once made sponge and added ginger, it was a pleasant surprise..will surely try out your version with tamarind too, I’m curious!

  9. Magda says:

    Nice to see you back and to read all the great things that’s been happening to you. Good luck with everything.
    The cake looks beautiful!

  10. Very original! I haven’t seen this before!

  11. This is a very pretty cake! Would love to try the recipe.

  12. Kat says:

    Just made your cake. Delicious. Its a delightful ray of warmth in chilly England. Soft crumb and great flavour combination. I can see this becoming a favourite.

  13. Wizzy says:

    Oh goodness I love when ingredients are used in new and unexpected ways.

  14. chrysts says:

    I made this cake and added fresh cut basil, and chili oil! Yum yum yum!

  15. I love this perfect pairing of tamarind and ginger, and the glace ginger on top is just the perfect finale! So happy to have found your blog!

  16. This loaf looks amazing, Anh! I love anything ginger. And love Lepard’s recipes, too.

  17. ian says:

    this recipe looks exciting…. im from the philippines and we have a tamarind tree in our backyard… i’ll definitely try to cook something like this… thanks for the recipe i am not a good cook but i love eating so this really helps a lot! =)

  18. Soma says:

    Tamarind in a cake! what a beautiful idea. i know I will love this one. ginger is something I use regularly in cakes and love it. I really need to try this one.

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