Moggy, an Easy-Peasey Ginger and Syrup Cake

Yorkshire Grub’s first proper sweet dish! Maybe that seems like an oversight to you, but savoury’s always been my big love. Moggy is extremely delicious, though. And there are no cats in it.

Moggy, a syrup and ginger cake

Recipes for Moggy show up in various older cookbooks. Joan Poulson writes in a couple of her books that the name is most likely derived from the Old Norse word ‘mugi’, meaning heap of corn.  Online resources for Old Norse are a bit incomplete so I haven’t been able to check up on the word – we’re taking Ms Poulson’s word for it for the time being.

What I will say is that this feels like a very Yorkshire sort of a cake to me. It’s super straightforward and lacking in pretension and very tasty. If you happen to find yourself spending the afternoon working a field or chipping coal out of a hole in the ground, Moggy will see you through it. Plus, it gets bonus points for having ingredients that you may well already have in your store cupboard.

There are a few variations on this recipe. Some have treacle in, some do not. Some have ginger, while others don’t. I went for the middle ground, throwing in enough ginger to give it bite but sticking with syrup. The final effect is a cake that’s a bit reminiscent of Parkin, but lighter in both texture and flavour.

A couple of notes: go easy on the milk, as the dough gets too wet. Also, if you don’t have a loaf tin this is firm enough to cook on a baking sheet, but it will spread a bit.

Finally: shout-out to my Mum, who suggested a sprinkling of sugar on top, only for me to dismiss the suggestion out of hand before re-thinking the idea and concluding it needed that bit of crunch.

Print Recipe
Moggy, an Easy-Peasey Ginger and Syrup Cake
Moggy
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Yorkshire
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
people
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Yorkshire
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
people
Moggy
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees celsius.
  2. Mix together your baking powder and flour, then rub in the butter until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs (it helps if you keep the butter cold and grate it into the flour).
  3. Mix in your ground ginger, sugar and syrup, then add milk, a little at a time, and combine your mixture into a stiff dough.
  4. Line a loaf tin with greased baking paper, then put the dough in the tin. Sprinkle with a little demerara sugar (or whatever type comes to hand).
  5. Bake until brown and firm - around an hour. To test whether it's done, insert a metal skewer if you have one. If it comes away from the cake clean, it's done.
  6. Cool on a rack. Serve with a thick spread of butter.
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4 comments Add yours
  1. Went a drop or two overboard on the milk and had to scrape dough off my fingers to get it into the tin, but the results were lovely.

    Looking forward to a foolproof Parkin recipe.

    1. It quickly goes from ‘just right’ to ‘too wet’ when you get to the milk. Glad you brought it back!

      Parkin should be just in time for November 5th, along with some bonfire toffee!

  2. Will definitely be giving that a go Mark – it might well be one to take when we go caravanning with certain friends of ours next month!! Keep up the good work . Anne

    1. Ideal caravanning cake, I’d have thought. Nice and portable. Already had one round of feedback from my mum, so she’d better like it!

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