Gingerbread Cake with a Hint of Chocolate

I love this time of year when everyone is baking their favorite holiday treats and the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg fills the air. This cake is easy to prepare and makes a great dessert for a small holiday gathering or breakfast with a strong cup of coffee. I topped mine with an egg nog and orange glaze, but you can’t go wrong with a sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

serves: 10-12

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1/2 cup of water or coffee

3/4 cup unsulphured molasses

3/4 cup honey

1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground ginger

2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

3 large eggs, room temp.

1/2 cup milk

Eggnog Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2-3 tbs. egg nog

zest of 1/2 an orange

Method of Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9 x9 x2- inch baking pan and line the bottom with a piece parchment paper that has been cut to hang over two opposite edges by a few inches. This will help remove the cake when it is cool. You can also use two 6″ round cake pans (greased and lined with a circle of parchment paper in the bottom) or line muffin tins with papers.

Combine the butter, coffee (or water), molasses, honey and the brown sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan and place over low heat. Stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is blended. Remove from heat and pour into bowl to cool.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. When the molasses mixture is just warm to the touch. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and stir to combine. Fold in the dry ingredients, being sure to not over mix the batter. It’s ok if there are a few lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. A smaller cake or cupcakes will take less time approximately 20-25 minutes.

To Prepare Glaze:

Place the confectioner’s sugar in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the egg nog until it’s the consistency of hot fudge. If it’s too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar or more egg nog if it’s too thick.

When the cake is cool, drizzle the icing over the top and finish with some finely zested orange.

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