You can’t show up to my family holiday gatherings with just any dessert. There better not be a wiff of boxed cake mix nor a hint of shortening in the pie crust. All real. All butter. This is a place where we come correct!
I come from a legacy of legendary home bakers. Am I bragging? You bet your sweet pants I am! My mom makes the best Peanut Butter Balls (you might call them Buckeyes, right?). My dad (as I’ve told you ad nauseum) is known for his Sweet Potato Pie. My grandmother makes the best Banana Bread in the entire world… she probably invented it, so.. there’s that.
Believe it or not, I’m feel like I’m still trying to find my footing in my family when it comes to legendary baking. I’m not sure what my specialty will be, so I’m looking for a bit of inspiration in the holiday season. The inspiration for this holiday gingerbread cake comes from GODIVA Chocolate. GODIVA has chocolate-legend status on lockdown (amiright?). This particular cake was inspired by GODIVA’s Gingerbread Cookie Legacy Truffle: gingerbread spices, and Speculoos mousse wrapped in chocolate. Yes… someone finally worked Speculoos into a decadent chocolate candy. Thank heavens. Seriously.
This Gingerbread Cake with Speculoos and Dark Chocolate really ups the ante. It’s perfect for the holidays. Actually… it’s perfect for most every night between now and late February. This cake might just be the one that makes a name for me. Fingers crossed (with a mouth full of chocolate).
Let’s get down to business.
We’re melting the butter, cracking the eggs, and rifling through the back of the cupboard for the molasses.
Sidenote: Would you believe that my dad (legend) puts molasses on his pancakes instead of maple syrup? I put molasses in my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies… I need a molasses buffer.
Next, let’s get at these spices!
We’re basically just going to empty out the spice drawer.
For this cake we’re going to need ground ginger, cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, and just a hint of ground cloves.
Look at those bubbles! This cake is ready for the oven.
This cake bakes up in an 8×8-inch square pan. It’s nice and thick. Dense but still moist.
While the cake is still warm, we stir up a few big spoonfuls of Speculoos spread and melt some dark chocolate.
Wait… do we need to talk about Speculoos spread? Speculoos spread is made from the Speculoos biscuit. It’s sweet and spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. If you take a spoon to the spread… you’re in trouble. Don’t even do it.
In this rendition we’re spreading Speculoos on top of the slightly warm gingerbread cake. Chocolate too! GODIVA inspired, for real.
The slightly warm cake will make the Speculoos spread and sink into the cake. Yep. We’re on the right track!
Melt the dark chocolate, we’re not done yet! I used GODIVA’s 72% dark chocolate… because, delicious!
I placed the melted dark chocolate in a small ziplock bag and cut off the tip That’s how we get these pretty lines.
This gingerbread cake is the ultimate holiday decadence. The cake is thick and spiced. The molasses adds a deep richness that is just perfect for the winter months. It’s incredible! Speculoos adds another layer of sweetness and spice. Totally decadent and over-the-top with melted chocolate.
I’m really proud of this gingerbread cake. GODIVA didn’t steer us wrong! This could be part of my baking legacy.
Gingerbread Speculoos and Dark Chocolate Cake
makes 1- 8×8-inch cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
3/4 cup hot water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup Speculoos spread
3 ounces dark chocolate, melted (I used Godiva 72% dark chocolate)
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper as well. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, eggs, and molasses. Whisk until smooth and well combined. Add the hot water and vanilla and carefully stir to incorporate.
Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to combine. When no pockets of flour remain, and the batter is entirely smooth and silky, pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 2o minutes before removing to a wire rack to prepare to frost.
When cake has cooled, but is still just warm to the touch, gently spread with Speculoos (or Cookie Butter from Trader Joes). Be gentle, as to not tear the cake. The Speculoos will begin to melt against the warm cake as it is spread. Great! When entire cake is covered and Speculoos is dripping down the sides of the cake, drizzle generously with the melted dark chocolate. I placed my melted chocolate in a small ziplock bag and cut a tiny piece of the tip off, creating a makesift pastry bag.
Place cake in the fridge to set the Speculoos and dark chocolate for 30 minutes before serving.
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