Chocolate gingerbread cake – dressing up an old favourite

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Chocolate gingerbread cake is spicy and sweet


A friend shared this recipe as a family favourite. The original is from Nigella Lawson’s Feast but my adaptation is a little less buxom than Nigella’s original. Of course there is always a time and a place for extra sweet and stickiness but my ideal gingerbread is something that you can grab off the counter to nibble as you’re heading out the door. No worries about dribbles down your front. I also prefer my gingerbread to be just on the edge of sweet. Something you could eat at breakfast without feeling guilty.

The beauty of this gingerbread (and any gingerbread really) is that it can travel from breakfast to dinner with confidence. That’s where you can layer in Nigella’s extravagances. But you don’t need them. A little cinnamon scented whipped cream alongside a warm slice of this bread is after dinner elegance.

Chocolate gingerbread cake

  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1 ¼ tsp. baking soda dissolved in 2 tsp. of warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper or grease and flour it well.
  3. Melt the butter along with the sugar, molasses and spices. Whisk it well and remove from heat.
  4. Whisk in the milk, eggs and baking soda-water mixture.
  5. Add the flour and cocoa and beat.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes to an hour, depending on the texture you prefer. If you’re planning to serve it warm for dessert with a little something alongside or poured over, it could stand to be a little sticky so you could pull it out after 50 minutes. But if you prefer it a little dryer (and if you plan to have some leftover for packing in lunches) then I’d recommend baking it longer.

One more thing…

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9 thoughts on “Chocolate gingerbread cake – dressing up an old favourite

  1. Joan says:

    How long does an unopened carton of molasses last past its best before date?

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Joan – We guarantee our molasses for 18 months, up to and including the best-before date stamped on the carton, regardless of whether it has been opened or not. It may still be good long after that date, we just can’t guarantee it.

  2. Yolande says:

    There is another error in this recipe compared to the recipe book 2 nd Edition on the web site you state

    1 ¼ tsp. baking soda dissolved in 2 Tbsp. of warm water

    In the book
    1 ¼ tsp. baking soda dissolved in 2 tsp of water

    Also on the web you have
    Line a 9 x 13 plan instead of PAN

    1. Bridget says:

      Oh Yolande, what would I do without your editing skill? The errors have been corrected. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Paulette says:

    How would you re-warm this to serve?

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Paulette – I would cover it in foil and warm in the oven. But be careful not to let the foil touch the top of the cake or it will stick and pull off in bits.

  4. Carol says:

    In your cookbook, Family Favorites 2nd Edition, there is a typo on the Chocolate Gingerbread, it says to add the sugar, but the sugar is not listed.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Carol — I’m so sorry about the chocolate gingerbread recipe. It should be 1 cup sugar. They typo has since been corrected in both the printed and online versions.

  5. My Homepage says:

    I’d have to check with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment! 128374

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