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Chocolate Gingerbread

by . Featured in FEAST
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Introduction

I’d never come across a chocolate gingerbread, and after making this one for the first time, I wondered why not. There’s something about the glottally thickening wodge of chocolate chip and cocoa that just intensifies the rich spices of gingerbread. The chocolate chips add texture and nubbly treat within. This is very rich, very strong: not for children, but perfect for the rest of us.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I’d never come across a chocolate gingerbread, and after making this one for the first time, I wondered why not. There’s something about the glottally thickening wodge of chocolate chip and cocoa that just intensifies the rich spices of gingerbread. The chocolate chips add texture and nubbly treat within. This is very rich, very strong: not for children, but perfect for the rest of us.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Chocolate Gingerbread
Photo by James Merrell

Ingredients

Makes: about 12 slabs

Metric Cups

For the cake

  • 175 grams unsalted butter
  • 125 grams dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 200 grams golden syrup
  • 200 grams black treacle or molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250 millilitres milk
  • 275 grams plain flour
  • 40 grams cocoa
  • 175 grams chocolate chips

For the icing

  • 250 grams icing sugar
  • 30 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 60 millilitres ginger ale

For the cake

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • ⅔ cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • ⅔ cup black molasses or molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips

For the icing

  • 2½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ cup ginger ale

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C/150°C Fan/325°F and tear off a big piece of baking parchment to line the bottom and sides of a roasting tin of approximately 30 x 20 x 5cm deep (9 x 13 x 2 inches).
  2. In a decent-sized saucepan, melt the butter along with the sugars, golden syrup, treacle or molasses, cloves, cinnamon and ground ginger. In a cup dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in 2 tablespoons of warm water. Take the saucepan off the heat and beat in the eggs, milk and bicarb in its water. Stir in the flour and cocoa and beat with a wooden spoon to mix. Fold in the chocolate chips, pour into the lined tin and bake for about 45 minutes until risen and firm. It will be slightly damp underneath the set top and that's the way you want it.
  3. Remove to a wire rack and let cool in the tin. Once cool, get on with the icing.
  4. Sieve the icing sugar. In a heavy-based saucepan heat the butter, cocoa and ginger ale. Once the butter's melted, whisk in the icing sugar. Lift the chocolate gingerbread out of the tin and unwrap the paper. Pour over the icing just to cover the top and cut into fat slabs when set.
  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C/150°C Fan/325°F and tear off a big piece of baking parchment to line the bottom and sides of a roasting tin of approximately 30 x 20 x 5cm deep (9 x 13 x 2 inches).
  2. In a decent-sized saucepan, melt the butter along with the sugars, golden syrup or light corn syrup, treacle or molasses, cloves, cinnamon and ground ginger. In a cup dissolve the baking soda in 2 tablespoons of warm water. Take the saucepan off the heat and beat in the eggs, milk and bicarb in its water. Stir in the flour and unsweetened cocoa and beat with a wooden spoon to mix. Fold in the chocolate chips, pour into the lined tin and bake for about 45 minutes until risen and firm. It will be slightly damp underneath the set top and that's the way you want it.
  3. Remove to a wire rack and let cool in the tin. Once cool, get on with the icing.
  4. Sieve the confectioners' sugar. In a heavy-based saucepan heat the butter, unsweetened cocoa and ginger ale. Once the butter's melted, whisk in the confectioners' sugar. Lift the chocolate gingerbread out of the tin and unwrap the paper. Pour over the icing just to cover the top and cut into fat slabs when set.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 week. The un-iced gingerbread can be frozen, wrapped in a double layer of food wrap and a layer of foil, for up to 3 months. Unwrap and thaw at room temperature for about 3 hours.

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 week. The un-iced gingerbread can be frozen, wrapped in a double layer of food wrap and a layer of foil, for up to 3 months. Unwrap and thaw at room temperature for about 3 hours.

Tell us what you think

What 8 Others have said

  • Made this for Christmas dinner. Very good, very lush and tender. Did not get around to the frosting, but it was fine without.

    Posted by Meann on 27th December 2023
  • Regular gingerbread is really good, but adding cocoa and chocolate chips sends it into the stratosphere. The ginger ale frosting is truly a stroke of genius. This cake is easy to make, but its gorgeous texture and dark and complex flavor makes it perfect for any festive occasion!

    Posted by jtv0310 on 8th December 2023
  • I combined this with your luscious vegan ginger bread recipe yesterday and made it for 50 people. Tasting the batter, I thought it could use some extra ginger, but baked it was absolutely divine. The afterburner punch of the ginger was just phenomenal. Thank you!

    Posted by Yobster on 16th April 2023
  • This is absolutely divine! Definitely making this again. So rich and indulgent. Thank you Nigella.

    Posted by Levan on 27th December 2020
  • Excellent!

    Posted by Rox206 on 16th December 2020
  • I baked this over the weekend after seeing it as Nigella's Recipe of the Day and it was a huge success. Everyone went back for seconds and my mother even took some home to enjoy with vanilla ice cream later. I have family members with celiac, so I altered this to be gluten free and it took to the change wonderfully! The texture and flavors are perfection and this will absolutely be a regular in my kitchen.

    Posted by LexiBakes on 30th September 2020
  • This is a very liquid batter – I think the chips just sank to the bottom. They made kind of a chocolate crust on the bottom – not necessarily a bad thing.
    It was one of a multi-cake potluck for my husband's birthday. Even with all those cakes, there was none of this one left over.

    Posted by Elhewitt on 26th September 2020
  • Squidgy and moreish! Very rich but absolutely gorgeous!!!

    Posted by Bichobunda on 8th August 2019
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