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!

This Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake with cream cheese frosting is full of holiday spices and tons of chocolate flavor!

I have fallen in love with a bundt cake.ย Darkย andย 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

This Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake with cream cheese frosting is full of holiday spices and tons of chocolate flavor!

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)ย are baked usingย 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 gingerbreadย 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.

This Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake with cream cheese frosting is full of holiday spices and tons of chocolate flavor!

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 myย 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.ย I prefer dark molasses because it has a more robust flavor than light molasses (comparable to the tasteย difference betweenย 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.

This Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake with cream cheese frosting is full of holiday spices and tons of chocolate flavor!

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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

Description

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!


Ingredients

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 ยฉ 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ยฐF (163ยฐC). 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.

Notes

  1. Cake adapted from Martha Stewart.

Keywords: chocolate gingerbread bundt cake

136 Comments

  1. Thanks for the linky love and your cake turned out beautifully – I love how you said that the frosting was an afterthought. It never is for me – it’s the forethought ๐Ÿ™‚

    And yes the color contrast with the dark and light is such a nice pop!

    And I bet this cake was just soooo tasty going down!

    1. Typically cake is just an excuse for frosting but I was going for a plain jane kind of cake when I began to bake it. But let’s be serious – I will never be a plain jane kinda girl!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. “Deep in the chocolate crumbs…” Haha – I love your writing style, Sally! You make me want to bake everything on your site. And I mean EVERYTHING! ๐Ÿ™‚ This bundt cake looks fantastic for a Christmas Eve get-together with the family or a group of friends – cannot wait to add it to the annual Christmas baking list!

    1. haha thank you Cory! my writing style can be a little silly sometimes, but I like to get the point across. ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know if you end up baking this cake – or any recipe from the site!

  3. Gorgeous! I love chocolate and ginger together. Green and Blacks makes a ginger dark chocolate that I am obsessed with… So I know I’d love this cake!

  4. Seriously trying this one. It sounds delicious!

    Need to do a different icing though. Cream cheese is NOT my thing on anything.

    1. Kevin doesn’t like cream cheese either, I am in love with it though! Try a white chocolate frositng instead: http://www.food.com/recipe/white-chocolate-buttercream-frosting-130623

  5. Sally, I have baked several of your recipes…LOVED every one of them!!! When you say, just the right amounts of spices, you have definately hit the mark. Your butterscotch ginger cookies were amazing, and I usually don’t even like butterscotch. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You blend your flavors perfectly. So, my question is…any particular chocolate sauce? I don’t care for Hershey’s syrup.

    1. Hi Keri! That is so nice to hear – esp about those gingersnap cookies! I am a sucker for butterscotch, I’m glad you liked it in these cookies! For this cake, you could simply melt some chocolate chips and drizzle them on top. Yo udon’t need too much drizzle, just enough for a pop of color. You could also sprinkle with chocolate chips instead ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Thanks! Can’t wait to try it! All of your recipes have turned out perfectly, I’m not even going to bake a trial cake. This is what I’m taking to Thanksgiving dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Spice is always nice! I love gingerbread that is extra spicy, so I think it’s great that you have 2 teaspoons of ginger in this cake. I’ve never thought to combine gingerbread and chocolate together, so this is an intriguing combination that sounds delish! Love finding new, fun twists on classic recipes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. you and I are similar in our love for spices, Elaine ๐Ÿ™‚ You must try gingerbread and chocolate together soon. Maybe in a muffin!

  7. Oh my gosh oh my gosh. This sounds so wonderful. I saw the picture of this cake in your post the other day and on sight alone I knew I wanted it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Mmm, you’re right – totally Christmas on a plate. I’ve never given molasses much thought, and never baked a single thing with it, but now I’m seeing all these amazing recipes that use it – the flavor is so unique, and I bet it really does give this cake such a hint of holiday-ness!

    1. Oh Jess! You have GOT to bake something with molasses ASAP. You will not be let down. Gingersnaps, this cake, a loaf of gingerbread, ANYTHING. You have to try it Jess!

  9. My mom is obsessed with homemade gingerbread this time of year, this looks like the absolute perfect way to put my own spin on it and try something new! Just need to buy a bundt pan haha ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I got a bundt pan for christmas last year and have bene putting it to good use! you must try a chocolate version of gingerbread Meghan! yum. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. This is just perfection. So many spicy, rich holiday flavors swirled throughout this hunk of gorgeous cake–I can’t believe it! And I love that you paired those spicy flavors with chocolate–so unique and awesome! I want to faceplant that glaze.

    1. i definitely wiped the bowl clean with a spatula and ate the remaining cream cheese frosting… you’d totally approve hayley ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Gingerbread and chocolate paired together sounds wonderful! I am loving the sharp contrast of colors of the cake and frosting…although I just want to reach in and swipe all the frosting away. Frosting is always a first though when I make a cake:-) Your spice amounts are always the best ratio…you definitely know what you are doing!!!

  12. That is TOO funny Liz! I was just thinking about you yesterday b/c I am going to make a cookie recipe with CHO soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  13. i love chocolate & ginger…there’s a dark chocolate bar we have at home that has crystallized ginger in it. SO good.

  14. I love love love bundt cakes! Your combination of chocolate AND gingerbread has me swooning!! Favorite holiday pairing? Oh, yeah!

  15. Omg. This is EXACTLY what I want to make for our Thanksgiving gathering. The texture of boxed cake mixes is my fav and I am always striving to recreate it–I totally agree about using oil to get a softer, more tender texture in cakes. But I’d never noticed a difference between dark and light brown sugar–that’s good to note! And your cream cheese frosting looks SO good! Love your version of holiday gingerbread–I can’t wait to try it!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Let me know how it goes Erika – this cake is sure to impress! I lvoe the texture of boxed mix cakes too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. I know it will be a delicious one!

  16. Sally, this cake is beautiful! And I love the looks of that cream cheese frosting. I could use some of that right now at work : )

    1. Hi Ashley! This cake was made last weekend, so it is long gone! but I am right there with ya – I wish I had more of this frosting around!!

  17. This is so pretty looking!! My favorite holiday flavors are cinnamon and lots of it…oh, and white chocolate!

  18. I love, love oil in cakes more than butter. I have never found a cake (non-mix) recipe with butter that I like! And with the chocolate and molasses? Sigh. Stretchy pants here I come!

  19. I’m a huge bundt cake fan. And this one? Totally gorgeous. And the combination of chocolate and gingerbread?!?!? I bet it is phenomenal. It look so decadent and moist and PERFECT.

    1. PERFECT? You are too kind my dear friend! Yes the combo of chocolate and gingerbread is exactly as you imagine – amazing! you must try it this holiday season ashley!

  20. Oh, hi Sally. It’s me. The worst blog friend ever! Ugh, I am so behind on all my blog reading. So sorry ๐Ÿ™
    This cake caught my eye because I am on a huge gingerbread/molasses/cinnamon kick. I have a gingerbread cookie recipe I make (and will be making for thanksgiving) that is almost identical to yours. Not surprising since we have the same taste in cookies and textures ๐Ÿ™‚
    Cream cheese frosting is perfect with anything. This cake is lovely and full of festive flavors. Yum!

  21. While pumpkin is my first love, gingerbread comes in at a close second. I LOVE LOVE that you put chocolate in this bundt cake and then that cream cheese frosting, it look’s to die for!

  22. Ok, so I need to buy a bundt tin (how cool is the word ‘bundt’?!) like now ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a recipe for gingerbread made with guiness which I made try in a bundt tin!

  23. Sally it looks great and I’d love to make it myself, but I have no idea how you transform these imperial quantities into metric ones (grams, litres,…). ๐Ÿ˜
    I’ve tried before in imperial units but I failed. Obviously 1 cup of sugar is not the same as 1 cup walnuts or 1 cup milk, etc. Would you maybe be so kind and help me out a bit? ๐Ÿ™‚ Your help would be very much appreciated. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks a lot! And keep up the good work. Cheers,

    Chateebox

    1. Hi Chateebox! I am glad you want to make my cake – i love the combo of chocolate and gingerbread. Here is 1 cup of sugar = 201 grams or 7.1 oz

  24. Oh my. I so want to make this! I’ve never made chocolate gingerbread anything. And I loved your writing about this cake. Obviously, after reading all that, I need to make it. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I love the chocolate drizzle. It’s so simple but makes it look so much more interesting!

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