CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD CAKE


Gingerbread houses may have met their match last week in the form of Christmas Tree Cupcakes, but with just six days left until ol’ Saint Nick monopolizes the nation’s cookie supply, it’s time for gingerbread to have its moment in the dessert spotlight. Traditional holiday flavors take on a new shape in this kicked up Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake drizzled with vanilla glaze.

We’re all about tradition at my family’s Christmas table, which means age-old favorites like 24-Hour Salad and Veggie Bars—two recipes that have been in my family for more than 50 years—will make their standard appearances. But this year the dessert table is getting a welcome makeover with a pop of color provided by Homemade Holiday Lollipops and a punch of flavor from this deeply rich cake. In the words of Sir (Stand) Mix(er)-a-Lot, I like big bundts, and I cannot lie.


INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark molasses
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, whisked lightly
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
4 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 325ºF degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the butter, molasses, dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the butter has melted, then pour the mixture into a large bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes.

Once cooled, whisk the eggs and milk into the molasses mixture.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg into a medium bowl. Gently fold the flour mixture into the molasses mixture, stirring just until combined, and then stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. (See Kelly's Notes.) Bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool fully while still in the bundt pan.

Make the glaze by whisking together the sifted confectioners sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract until smooth.

Once the cake has fully cooled, invert it onto a serving platter, drizzle with the glaze and serve.

Notes:
Once you've poured the batter into the bundt pan, place the pan on a towel on the counter and tap it to release any air bubbles.

The cake can be made one day in advance, and the flavors will actually develop more fully if you make it ahead of time. The glaze can be prepared one day in advance and stored in an airtight contained in the fridge. When ready to serve, re-whisk the glaze, adding additional heavy cream or water to thin the glaze if necessary.


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