Chocolate Gingerbread

Over Labor Day weekend, Cam and I found ourselves visiting the Ferry Market Building and Cam waited in line for me at Blue Bottle while I got my window shopping fix. When Cam finally made it through the line (which was particularly bad on the holiday weekend), he showed up with an adorable little loaf cake in addition to my latte. The cake was a seriously rich, moist gingerbread, but Cam was expecting a little chocolate cake, so the cake became mine.

As delicious as it was, I was kind of with him. I like gingerbread, but it’s no chocolate cake. Unless, of course, you make chocolate gingerbread. Now, how come I had never thought of that before?

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These little cakes are moist and spiced like gingerbread but with a serious bite of chocolate from both cocoa powder and chocolate chunks. It doesn’t hurt to use really good chocolate, and lots of it. I used Tcho baking drops, which are dark, but not too dark with a great chocolately flavor that pairs really well with the ginger and molasses.

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My recipe is an adaptation from “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth” (Jill O’Connor)‘s recipe for an upside-down gingerbread cake with pears and walnuts. I left out the upside down part (although that did sound incredible) for the chocolate cakes, keeping to a simple gingerbread. I am also intrigued by the gingerbread recipe from “Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours” (Kim Boyce) which uses Kamut flour… I think it would work beautifully with an infusion of chocolate as well. To bump the nutrition in my (simpler) recipe, I added a bit of flaxseed meal. It’s not necessary, but why not?

These cakes are my newest addiction. Paired with a big glass of milk or a cup of coffee, I think a slice (or three) is just about the perfect treat for the brink of fall.

BTW – today is Celiac Awareness day! And here I’ve given you a gluteny recipe. Sorry about that… but here’s the good news: I think this recipe would work beautifully with the Ahern Gluten Free All Purpose Mix in place of the all purpose flour. If you try it, let me know!

Chocolate Gingerbread

135 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (optional)

2 tablespoons crystalized ginger chips
3/4 cup chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease a baking pan (I used two small paper loaf pans, but you can also use an 8 inch round cake pan or a single full sized loaf pan).

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter & brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Mix the buttermilk, molasses and flaxseed meal (if using) together, and add all at once to the butter mixture. Don’t worry if it looks a bit curdy. Add the flour mixture and mix just until you get a smooth batter. Fold in the crystalized ginger and chocolate chips being careful not to overmix.

Bake until a cake tester comes clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

  • Asha@FSK

    That looks brilliants moist and decadent. I could have some right now with my tea!!

  • jack

    great idea! what a flavor combo… definitely going to try this out soon. any thoughts on good quality candied ginger in seattle?

  • Letzia

    I love the italian style paper loaf pans, very nice touch!

  • Rita Reyes

    Congratulations on making the top 50 food blogs!

    Gluten Free

  • Ann

    I found your bliog when searching for food photography tips, but then stared transfixed at this cake. What an awesome combo ginger and chocolate must have been.I’d love to try this, the ginger that you used in the recipe, was that raw ginger, crushed or powder?

    • L

      Oops – should have said that (will fix it). I used ground ginger in with the other spices, and then to amp up the ginger flavor some, I used the ginger chips along with the chocolate chips.

  • Rita Reyes

    Congratulations on making one of the top blogs!

    Gourmet Cupcake

  • Amanda

    Interesting idea. I’ve never seen this combination before but it sounds great. Your cake looks moist and super yummy. I’ll have to try this one!

  • Sophie @ Caribbean Recipe Kits

    The chocolate ginger bread looks absolutely delicious, and I love the close ups of the inside of the cake and crumbs :0)Funny enough your chocolate cake reminds me of Jamaican ginger cake, it has the same consistency and colour although I don’t think it includes chocolate… after seeing yours I think it should!

  • Paige

    I just found you from a post at Cannelle et Vanille. I love gingerbread and am always on the lookout for a new recipe. Thanks for sharing this one…it will go to the top of my stack of recipes I want to try.

  • Paige

    Made these into cup cakes for my blog. Really nice. Thank you!

  • sara

    Oh my goodness! I made this cake tonight and it turned out just amazing! Super moist, great chocolate flavor and great gingerbread flavor. Plus, so easy to make. Yum!! Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe! :)

  • bluegreen

    This sounds amazing – do you happen to know if it matters what kind of molasses I use? I only have blackstrap molasses and I know that that is different from light or dark molasses, but I’m not sure if will alter the result of a cake like this… Thanks!

  • Alicia Keys

    I’m so making this this weekend! @bluegreen – many people like to use blackstrap molasses when making gingerbread

  • Lheimlic

    Really enjoyed the cake. I used fresh ginger instead of powdered, used a clean garlic press for juice and pulp. I added it to the liquids.

  • Debbie

    I just made these this weekend and DID use a gluten free flour mix (although not the one you recommended. Not sure if it is available here in Canada). I had to cook it a bit longer so the centre would set…but it was deliecious. It was for my husbands birthday and we took it over to his parents and they all really enjoyed it. Especially my six year old son. :) Thanks for a lovely recipe. We’ll be making it again.

  • Erin

    I just made your Chocolate Gingerbread recipe. I loved it! Even my husband who doesn’t enjoy most desserts loved this bread! Thank you!

  • KB

    Are crystalized ginger chips easy to find? This looks like a fun recipe for Christmas gifts for the neighbours.

    • Christina

      KB…I just chopped up some crystallized ginger. I found it in the Asian section of the grocery store and it was called sweet ginger.

  • Christina

    So very yummy and moist. Definitely a keeper!

  • Friend

    So difficult to read this site. Recipe sounds good, after I C/P onto GDoc.

  • Laura Perez de Morris

    OMGoodness! I made this today and sprinkled my cake with a little powdered sugar, it was amazing!!!

  • Angela

    Made it with blackstrap molasses….”.maybe a little too strong for this recipe- any ideas – maybe an icing that could tame this strong taste! It is yummy but just a bit to strong I think

  • TXBaker

    Didn’t love it, sorry to say. Molasses overpowered the flavor and mixed with the cocoa it gave it an almost burnt taste. The cake was also extremely soft when we cut into the loaf and fell apart. Thanks, anyway, but wouldn’t make again.

  • Monica M.

    I just tried this recipe and it is wonderful and something I’ll be making for years to come. When I first saw it over a year ago, I was salivating because they remind me of Martha Stewart’s chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies, which are one of my favorites. This loaf version is just like that – so moist, flavorful, and delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Happy Holidays!