Chocolate gingerbread cake is a yummy Christmas cake idea everyone loves. With this and our Starbucks gingerbread loaf, now you can make these seasonal flavors you love all year long.
Ready for a homemade chocolate gingerbread cake? You should try this one. With whipped cream, powdered sugar or drizzled with frosting it’s always a fun treat. Just one of many quick easy dessert recipes here on our blog. (affiliate links present)
I mean you can leave out the cocoa but why?? These two flavors actually go together surprisingly well, you’ll have to try it for yourself. We started with the combo of zucchini gingerbread and it was so good we kept going from there.
We’re making this from scratch. Unlike our cake mix gingerbread muffins that uses spice cake mix and tweaking it, we go all out for this one. A Christmas cake is what I like calling it because that is basically the one time I make it. You could enjoy it year round though easily.
Ok so you’re going to use a lot of the same spices as you would to make homemade gingerbread dough. You’d make cookies with that but this is a lighter, fluffy bite of goodness that takes less prep overall. Below will make a 9×9 cake pan worth, you could make cupcakes with it as well. I will go over that later.
- Cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 2.5 c all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves (only if you want to add them, 1/8 tsp. works great)
- 1 stick butter salted, 1/2 cup, softened
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1 c molasses – regular, not blackstrap molasses (totally different)
- 1 c water very hot or boiling is needed
On the top the easiest thing to pretty it up and add a bit of added sweetness is to dust it with powdered sugar. Alternatively you could whisk that with just a bit of water to make a thicker frosting you can pipe or drizzle right over the top.
Christmas Cake Recipe
You literally can make this year round, and not wait for the boxes to be on the shelves. That is what is great for all good things homemade right?? I mean we are such fans of this and pumpkin that in the middle of the summertime I’ll make our gingerbread pumpkin bundt cake to satisfy my holiday cravings!
- Use a 8×10″ baking dish or 9×9″ for this one.
- You could double this batter and make in a 1/2 sheet pan instead.
I would suggest that you either line the inside of it with parchment paper or spray with non stick spray. That will make it easier to get clean pretty squares when served.
- In a large bowl with a hand or stand electric mixer mix wet ingredients together; butter, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla until creamed and smooth, then add the egg and mix.
- Use a separate medium bowl to whisk together dry ingredients like flour, baking soda, etc . Then slowly add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet with 1/3 of the boiling water, mixing all along.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your 9×9″ baking dish with parchment paper. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 32-38 minutes
- until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean with crumbs attached
- or when touched in center it springs back
- Remove, set on cooling rack and let cool before slicing.
Biggest tip of all is you don’t want to over bake this, or any cake for that matter. I like to use my finger to test it really. If you gently touch the very center and it springs back then it is ready.
Immediately remove, it at this time and set on cooling wire rack. To get nice clean squares when cut, allow to cool before slicing.
Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes
Ok so how could you use this same batter into your favorite version of chocolate cupcakes?? It’s easy. Just use a muffin pan and liners. Fill each one 3/4 of the way full and I like 350 F. Regular size usually runs 18-21 minutes or so. Lightly touch the center of one and if it springs back they are done.
Remove, transfer to a cooling rack out of the pan so they don’t continue baking and get dry. This is how long to bake mini muffins of all kinds. And if you want to bake jumbo chocolate muffins you could do that too.
How to Save Leftover Cake
You may not finish this in one sitting after dinner. You want to keep it nice and moist so cover the pan with plastic wrap once cooled.
Wrap the end that has been cut inside the pan instead of around it trapping air inside. Leave on your countertop, not the fridge. It will last about 4 days.
When served you could add 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream to the top to add a bit of moisture too if desired. Another idea is to do like we do when making a poke cake and poke the top with a straw or knife. Then warm some chocolate syrup and pour a bit on top so it soaks thru to the center.
Gingerbread Cake Recipe
Got it?? Super easy and we have a printable recipe with all of the directions and ingredients for you below. You can print it out and keep it inside your recipe box once you fall in love with it, or come back year after year.
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Chocolate Gingerbread Cake
- 1 9×9 pan
- In a bowl with a hand or stand mixer mix wet ingredients together; butter, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla until creamed and smooth, then add the egg and mix. In separate bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Then slowly add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet with 1/3 of the boiling water, mixing all along.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your 9×9" baking dish with parchment paper. Pour in pan and bake for 32-38 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out mostly clean with crumbs attached.
- Remove, set on cooling rack and let cool before slicing.