Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Deep, dark chocolate gingerbread bundt cake full of warming spices. This chocolate gingerbread bundt cake with cream cheese frosting is a show stopper dessert around the holidays!

slice of chocolate gingerbread bundt cake topped with cream cheese frosting and a fork

I have fallen in love with a bundt cake. Dark and rich chocolate cake spiced with ginger, molasses, and sweetened with dark brown sugar. Blanketed in sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting.

Christmas on a plate. 😉

What may look like your run-of-the-mill chocolate bundt cake, one bite of today’s cake will surely take you for a surprise. Deep in the chocolate crumbs you will taste a medley of warming winter spices, pungent and dark molasses, and a bold ginger taste ready to scare off your gingerbread man. And ordinary chocolate bundt cake? Ha! This is none of the sort.

3 images of chocolate gingerbread bundt cake

Originally intending to make a pumpkin chocolate bundt cake of sorts last weekend, I found myself eager to try something a little new. While I love pumpkin dearly, I am beginning to embrace the flavors of the upcoming holidays. There are no flavors I associate more with holidays than gingerbread or molasses, so into my chocolate bundt cake went… Christmas.

Into the cake batter goes cocoa powder, whole milk (or heavy cream), molasses, eggs, and brown sugar. I used oil as my fat in the recipe because I’ve learned that oil produces a much softer, moist slice of cake as opposed to butter. While I love butter in my cookie recipes, when I’m not looking for an item to spread and to remain moist over time – I find oil does the trick. Especially a cake with so much flavor from the ginger, molasses, and spices – you will not miss the butter in this recipe at all. Box cake mixes (which have the texture I was looking for) are baked using oil, not butter.

For the festive spices – if you’re anything like me, you’re going to lend a heavy hand pouring your cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves into the mix. The two teaspoons of ginger are necessary (you’re making gingerbread after all), but feel free to taste the batter as you add each and cut back as needed. I typically get sprinkle happy when it comes to spices in my baked goods (especially cinnamon), but the spice amounts below were even spot-on to my taste tasters. Just the right amounts, they said.

Spice is always nice.

slice of chocolate gingerbread bundt cake with cream cheese frosting

The cake is left ultra moist from the oil, molasses, and dark brown sugar. More often than not, I favor using dark brown sugar in my baked goods because it adds a larger scale of flavor depth. One secret behind my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies is the use of dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar in the dough. The dark variety leaves the cookies so soft and moist!

1/2 cup of dark molasses gives the cake a huge flavor punch – a little bit of molasses can go a long way, but in a dense chocolate bundt cake – a whopping 1/2 cup is not overpowering at all. I prefer dark molasses because it has a more robust flavor than light molasses (comparable to the taste difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar). I prefer dark molasses over blackstrap molasses as well – blackstrap is the darkest variety. Blackstrap molasses is too bitter for me and light molasses is too mild. Regular dark molasses fits the bill every time.

*Tip: spraying your measuring cup with non-stick spray before measuring the molasses will save you a lot of sticky trouble!

The cake’s texture is soft, yet dense – exactly how you can imagine the taste of gingerbread and chocolate cake if the two combined forces. You’ve got your pungent, slightly spicy, and thick slice of gingerbread with a delicate and moist piece of chocolate cake all in one bite. Texture perfection, if you ask me. Each crumb is ultra moist, chocolatey rich, and tender. There are so many complex flavors happening in this cake that it is practically impossible to stop eating it.

I can think of worse problems.

2 images of slices of chocolate gingerbread bundt cake topped with cream cheese frosting

The frosting was an afterthought and while this cake is simply glorious on it’s own, I felt a tangy and creamy layer overtop was the perfect addition. The cream cheese frosting is a Sally special… the perfect ratio of cream cheese to butter, confectioners’ sugar to vanilla, and a splash of milk to get things moving in the mixer. The white frosting is quite thick and smooths beautifully over the dark chocolate bundt – I love the color contrast of the two!

I topped the the frosting with a light drizzle of chocolate sauce. From the spices in the batter, the frosting piled on top, to the chocolate drizzle – apparently “more is better” is my motto today. Now THIS is how I like my holiday gingerbread. 😉

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slice of chocolate gingerbread bundt cake topped with cream cheese frosting and a fork

Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10-12
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Deep, dark chocolate gingerbread bundt cake full of warming spices. This chocolate gingerbread bundt cake with cream cheese frosting is a show stopper dessert around the holidays!


Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup (156g) dark molasses
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting by © Sallys Baking Addiction

  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 oz (112g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 23 cups (240-360g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 24 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: chocolate sauce, for drizzling


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Spray a 9-inch bundt pan with nonstick spray. Dust with cocoa powder and tap out excess. Set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Over medium-low heat, melt together the oil, molasses, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan until all of the brown sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Whisk the eggs and milk into the molasses mixture after it has cooled (to avoid heating and scrambling the eggs). Set aside.
    Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg into a medium bowl. Gently fold the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until just combined. There will be lumps remaining. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes until cake is pulling away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  3. As the cake cools, make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the confectioners sugar. Add the vanilla and the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you’ve reached the desired thickness. Add a little more sugar or milk if necessary to achieve a spreadable frosting.
  4. Invert cake onto a cake stand or a large serving platter. Frost cake immediately before serving and drizzle with chocolate sauce (optional).
  5. Cake remains fresh for up to 4 days stored in the refrigerator.


  1. Cake adapted from Martha Stewart.

Keywords: chocolate gingerbread bundt cake


Comments are closed.

  1. I though of another question. Can you make this into chocolate ginger bread? What would the temp be and the cook time and would the measurements be the same?

  2. The recipe says coarse salt. is that supposed to be kosher or sea salt? Also Can bake this in a bread pan? how long on the baking time/temp?

  3. hello,

    I tried making this. I cooked it in a pan a little smaller then a 13 by 9 pan. I let it cool and when I went to turn it out it fell apart. So I decided to take a bite since I couldn’t save it. You could taste the chocolate and the spices, but it also had like a bitter taste to it. it wasn’t very good. I’m not sure what I did wrong? I followed the directions as you put

  4. Hello! Just made your lovely choc ginger bundt cake – how long do you think you coukd keep the spare frosting in the fridge for? X

    1. I’d say 3-4 days.

  5. Will this turn out well if you use a 10-inch bundt pan? That’s all I have and I’d like to make this for an office holiday party this week.

    I was thinking of making either a chocolate or gingerbread bundt cake before I saw this recipe, so this solves my dilemma by combining both chocolate and gingerbread together…so win, win!

    1. A 10-inch pan works– bake time will be a little less because of a slightly larger pan.

      1. Hi Sally. I’m excited to try this, but I too only have a 10in bundt pan. I’d like it to be a nice large cake (it’s for a party). Could I just make a batch and a half (1.5) of this recipe in the 10in bundt pan? Or would that mess something up? Would I need more baking soda since it will be thicker?

      2. Hey Tiffany! The cake will still be quite large as is in the 10 inch pan, I promise. No changes necessary.

  6. Sally, can I make this recipe in a regular 9×13 pan?  Or do I absolutely need a bundt pan?

    1. I’m sure you can, I just don’t know the bake time.

  7. Hi! Can’t wait to try this recipe. However, I just have one question. Can I make this in a 7 inch springform pan instead of a bundt pan? What would the time variations be? 

    Thanks a lot! 🙂

  8. Good grief, even a search for a chocolate ginger cake brings me back to you, Sally!
    Looks like another amazing, dirty, tasty, scrumptious recipe.
    Will be trying this as a standard cake for a birthday this weekend with a caramel frosting filling and bourbon caramel sauce.
    Love your recipes. You enable me to inject a little American indulgence into life on a wet UK coast!

  9. Thank you for the great recipe! I did it today, I really like the flavor, but next time I probably adjust sugar and ginger…..ha ha
    Anyway, thanks again for sharing, when I need different recipes to compare, I always open your blog first!!

  10. This sounds fantastic!  I was wondering if these would be good for cupcakes and if so, if I should change the recipe in anyway.

    Thank you 🙂

  11. Jenifer Sheldon says:

    Made this yesterday using Williams Sonoma cup 4 cup gluten free flour and it was amazing! People could not even tell it was gluten free. Making the gingerbread load gf for Christmas tomorrow.

  12. This recipe made 6 mini bundt cakes, baking time 18 minutes (in a shiny pan).
    I used half white whole wheat flour and, because I didn’t think that there was enough flour compared to the liquid, increased it by another 1/4 cup. And an extra pinch of baking soda.
    Added a teaspoon of vanilla to the batter, too, and cut the brown sugar to 2/3 cup.
    For a glaze, I used softened butter, powdered sugar and whole milk; after glazing sprinkled with mini chocolate chips.
    Wonderful cake, and super easy!
    Oh, I also heated the sugar, molasses, etc. in a glass bowl in the microwave until warm, then whisked it all together until smooth. Before adding the eggs to that mix, I beat them for a minute in a small bowl with an electric mixer to increase volume. This will go on my regular fall/ winter cake rotation!

  13. Hi, Sally!

    Can I skip the molasses or use something else in it’s place? It’s a flavor I just dislike, but I love everything else about this cake.


  14. Recipe looks great! I’m surprised it’s only one cup of flour though? Your other bundt cakes are closer to 3 cups!

  15. Can you freeze the cake without frosting?


  16. Hi Sally,

    Could I bake this into two 8 inch round cakes? Wondering if it’s too soft to hold up to being made into a tier cake…

    (also) Sally

    1. Hi Sally! There may be too much batter for two 8 inch cake pans, but I’m not certain without testing it myself. The chocolate gingerbread cake will be great as a layer cake and hold up nicely.

  17. Hi Sally!! I am thinking of adding this to my Christmas Day desserts. I can’t decide between this or the gingerbread pear cake. Any suggestions? Also, what frosting besides the cream cheese would you recommend with it? My dad isn’t a huge fan

    1. Both! Ha! If you make this one you can top it off with a simple vanilla glaze instead of the cream cheese frosting.

  18. This is one of my very favorite cakes I’ve made! It’s so moist and light for a Bundt, and the recipe worked perfectly when I halved it for my mini pan!

  19. Can I substitute an extra half cup of flour and skip the cocoa? I really want to make just a classic gingerbread Bundt cake; I can’t find one on your website, Sally, and I don’t trust anybody else’s

    1. Hi Beth! You can definitely try substituting the cocoa powder for an extra 1/2 cup of flour. Let me know how it turns out! The bundt cake is on the smaller side.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply, Sally! Will do — all your recipes are always spot on, so I have high hopes!

  20. Hi sally,

    Love your recipes!! I am making this cake for a dinner tomorrow. Can I frost it today and refrigerate over night? The recipe said frost immediately before serving – is that important?

    1. Hi Ashley, You can certainly do that if it makes it easier for you. Or make the cake today and keep it at room temperature, make the icing and store it in the fridge (because it’s cream cheese) and then just assemble it before serving tomorrow!

  21. Fabulous!! Made this tonight for our family Christmas party. It was so delectably moist and chocolatey with a good amount of spice. I added chocolate chips to the batter not remembering that my batter was warm which resulted in even more chocolate decadence! I also topped with chocolate ganache instead of cream cheese which put it over the top! Thanks sally for a keeper!!

  22. What kind of chocolate sauce do you use? Do you just melt chocolate?

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