Black Sticky Gingerbread

This black sticky gingerbread recipe makes an outrageously dark, dense, flavorful and delicious cake. The burnt-caramel-esque crust that forms on the top of the cake is part of what makes this recipe a keeper.

Black Sticky Gingerbread

I've experimented with a good number of gingerbread recipes in the years since I highlighted Regan Daley's Black Sticky Gingerbread. There were single, double, and triple ginger gingerbreads. Cakes that were spice-kissed, and others with experience at first and second base. They're all good, really. But hers is the one I keep coming back to when it counts. And because it has been hiding in the archives for so long, I thought I'd run my updated version today complete with tweaks, and fresh insights. Please enjoy!
Black Sticky Gingerbread Dusted with Powdered Sugar
Back then, here's what I said, "...The Black Sticky Gingerbread comes together like the cake that it is - straight-forward, unfussy, with a bit of kick and attitude. Melt the butter with the sweeteners, stir in a few eggs, fold in the fragrant spices and flour, spike it with some freshly grated ginger, and pour the batter into the prepared pan. The cake is outrageously dark, dense, flavorful, and delicious. Not the prettiest cake you'll ever make, but one of the tastiest. The burnt-caramel-esque crust that forms on the top of the cake is outrageous, and that was the first part of the cake to go."Black Sticky Gingerbread Dusted with Powdered Sugar

What is the Best Gingerbread Pan?

I've baked this gingerbread cake in a range of pans over the years. Honestly, it's hard to go wrong. You might have to adjust the baking time depend on what you're using. Less time if you're baking in muffin or cupcake tins, or longer if you're using a sheet pan or large bundt pan. There is guidance in the recipe notes. This is just a long way of saying, experiment!

Black Sticky Gingerbread

Your Gingerbread Suggestions

A number of you have left insightful comments over the years, and I wanted to highlight a few here. Kelly noted," I made this for Christmas dinner this year with homemade lemon curd and it was fabulous!" There has been success swapping in gluten-free flour for the flour. And Haruspex loaded it up saying, "I halved the recipe, made it in a loaf pan, added a fistful of sherry-soaked chopped dates & raisins and another of chopped walnuts, and brought it to a New Year’s Eve party." Have fun, I'd love to know if any of you give this a try over the holidays, or if you make any other personalized tweaks to it! xo -h

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Black Sticky Gingerbread

4.25 from 24 votes

ust a quick mention that I like Wholesome Sweeteners or Plantation Organic Molasses, both are unsulphered organic, blackstrap molasses. Pan choice: My version of the recipe calls for a 13x9x2 inch pan. I suspect it is a size many of you have, and it's a nice choice because you get lots of the caramelized top. That said, loaf pans also work beautifully, but don't fill them more than ~2/3 full, and line them as noted below. In this set of photos I used a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan, which means no parchment lining, and 50/50 odds for getting the gingerbread out of the pan in one piece - butter and flour well.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup / 8 oz / 225 g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml water
  • 3/4 cup / 180 ml unsulphured blackstrap molasses
  • 3/4 cup / 180 m flavorful, real honey
  • 1 cup / 5 1/2 oz / 155 g tightly packed dark brown / Muscovado sugar
  • 3 cups / 13 1/2 oz / 385 g whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml milk
  • 1 packed tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream, to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F / 165C, with a rack in the center. Butter and line a 13x9x2-inch (33x23x5-cm) baking pan so the parchment hangs over by a couple inches. This will help you remove the cake from the pan later on.
  2. Combine the butter, water, molasses, honey and brown sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan and place over low heat. Stir the mixture frequently until the butter is just melted, and all of the ingredients are well blended. Remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, all-spice and cloves, and set aside. When the molasses mixture feels just warm to the touch, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the milk and stir to combine. Fold the dry ingredients into the batter, and don't be overly concerned if you can't get every lump out. Stir in the grated ginger.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for ~45-60 minutes. Start checking for doneness after about 45 minutes. When the top of the cake springs back when touched you're good. For me this is usually ~55 minutes, but the baking time will depend on your oven and the shape of your pan.
  5. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then, using the overhang of parchment (if you're using a rectangular pan), lift the cake out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. If refrigerated, the texture becomes dense and sticky - in a good way, just let it come up to room temperature before serving. And, as I'm sure you can imagine, this cake is particularly nice served with boozy whipped cream.

Notes

Serves 12-16.

Adapted, quite a bit over the years, from Regan Daley's In the Sweet Kitchen.

Serves
14
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
42 mins
Total Time
57 mins
 
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

Yum! And I love the bowls, are they vintage?
HS: It is!

Elsa

Beautiful looking cake! I'm in a huge gingerbread making phase at the moment (no surprises, as it's December!), and often make a cake similar to yours, except I like to sneak in some dark beer to replace the water content in the recipe :)
HS: Great call! A friend just mailed me to suggest swapping stout for the water called for. Sounds perfect.

Y

Beautiful!

Maureen

This sounds so delicious!

Katarina

I love this cake. I usually make one bundt cake (I have a teeny tiny little bundt cake pan) and a loaf. I try not to use bakers joy a lot, but this cake seems to come out a lot easier when I do use it.

Deanna

I've been waiting for that "perfect" gingerbread recipe to come my way. Crispy crusts are to die for. Will definitely be trying this recipe out soon. Thanks for sharing!

Calantha @ piecurious

I've eaten three different types of gingerbread over the same number of days - everyone seems to be making it at the moment! But yours looks like the recipe I really want to try - dark, sticky and totally delicious.

thelittleloaf

How wonderful, and perfect for the time of year. I love ginger, but am not a fan of hard, overbaked ginger cookies!

Yosef - This American Bite

This looks amazing! I've been looking for a special gingerbread recipe and I think I've found it. Thanks! If it works out ok I may add it to my blog too. Cheers. x

FS

This looks amazing. It's always fun to unearth old recipes. I am looking forward to trying this at the holidays. Happy Holidays!

Dena

Those are fantastic pictures :) I'll have to keep this recipe in time.

Mary

I cannot wait to give this a try (looks like a perfect office, holiday treat)! Thanks. Like so many others, I am interested in your bowls. Where ever did you find them? Also, what is on your kitchen holiday wishlist? -KD

Kristen SRSLY

I just read a book about blogging and they referenced the 101 Cookbooks blog quite often. I especially like how the author talked about how you took your photographs over and over until the publishers were happy enough with the professionalism to include them in your cookbooks. Good job in sticking to your values and using your own photos!

DeskSnacker

This is in my oven as we speak.Nothing more to say.

Jacquie

Looks yummy. I would love to try this recipe as cupcakes. Any idea how long to bake them?

Lois

    Definitely less time, just keep a close eye on them, and make note. I'd start checking after 12-ish minutes?

Dont like Gingerbread but I love your bowls :-)

kitchenvoyage

This looks so yummy ! and what a pretty bowl!

Monica @ Soirees & Such

This looks so yummy ! and what a pretty bowl!

Monica @ Soirees & Such

I made this a couple years ago and it was delicious! I had forgotten about it so thanks for re-posting it. I'll have to make it again soon. I especially like the idea of baking it in a bundt pan.

Kate

I made this Gingerbread tonight and OH MY!!! This is a keeper :)

Maria

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