Spiced Chocolate Cake

This cake started out life as something different. In it’s original form it took inspiration from Bejamina Ebuehi’s “Hidden Pear Cake” from her book The New Way To Cake (which I thoroughly recommend). I loved the idea of having the pear fruit cheekily peaking though the ginger cake loaf, inviting you to dig in and explore what lies beneath. In one of my typical left of centre epiphanies I found myself reminiscing about a favorite childhood dessert- Pear Belle Helene. There always seemed to be something so refined and regal about this desert in my mind. Even now it conjures up images of sophistication and elegance- ivory pears poached to sweet, glistening tenderness slick with silky, warm chocolate syrup swirling hypnotically with pear syrup and melting vanilla ice cream.- each bite a sweet, sandy indulgence. So? could I create this in a cake? Well check out my IG feed for more details.

The resulting cake was good enough that I wanted to make it the feature on it’s own- fudgey, rich chocolate cake with a warming spiced undercurrent. For those of you in Ireland and the UK it has more than a passing resemblance to the infamous McVities Jamaica Ginger Cake. Here however the spicy ginger it is pared down a notch so it works in tandem with the rich chocolate flavor of the cake. Allowing this cake to sit for a day allows the texture and flavors to really develop. I would recommend making the cake and let to sit for at least a day in an airtight container at room temperature and bam! you’ll hit that sweet spot.

Now I’m somewhat of a puritan when it comes to eating cake. Not for me the silky adornment of cream or the smooth chilly sensations of ice cream- I like mine sliced pure & simple and this cake is a treat as such. However I do know that it tastes just as awesome when gently heated adjacent to a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or tenderly enrobed in smooth custard. The choice is yours.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup Canola oil
  • 1/2 cup fancy molasses
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp chocolate extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk


  • In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk to combine and set aside until needed
  • Combine the oil, molasses, juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Set it on low heat and stir till the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes
  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ square cake pan with oil or line it with baking parchment and allow the edges to overhang for easy removal
  • Transfer the cooled molasses mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in the eggs, vanilla and milk. Whisk well until smooth and well combined
  • Fold in the flour mixture gradually into the liquid until incorporated. Make sure the there are no pockets of dried flour mixture. The final batter may look a little lumpy- this is okay
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin, level the top and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top is darkening quickly, cover the tin loosely with foil and continue baking
  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Store in an airtight tin for about 3-4 days at room temperature, or refrigerate, tightly wrapped, for a week

One thought on “Spiced Chocolate Cake

  1. Pingback: Midnight Ginger Cake – Mr. Mom's Kitchen

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