P&Q Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

Post your problems, questions and comments here.

Quick note from Dorie about this cake:

I just saw that TWD will be making the chocolate gingerbread cake next.   I just wanted to say that you’ve got to use a TRUE 9-x-9 pan or else you’ll have too much batter.  Sadly, these days it seems as though the pans that are marked 9-x-9 are really only 8-x-8, sometimes even smaller.  Short of buying a new pan, the best thing to do is to fill your pan just 2/3 or 3/4 full (if your pan is smaller than 9-x-9) and to make mini-cakes out of the leftover batter.



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58 thoughts on “P&Q Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

  1. Beth, I don’t see why not – I tend to mini-size everything, and haven’t had a problem yet. That said, I didn’t mini this one, so take my past experience with a grain of salt.

    Also, one note – gingerbread is meant to be eaten the day after. This was sooo much tastier after it had sat for a day; the ginger really came through a lot better.

  2. I made a half batch yesterday and it fit perfectly into my 8 x 8″ square pan. I agree with Caitlin, this does need to sit overnight for the flavor to develop. Of course, that didn’t stop me from eating a piece yesterday! I didn’t ice it, only because I didn’t want to. We ate it with a shot of whipped cream and it was aammmaaazzzinng!

  3. I used my 8×8 pan like Megan and my cake batter fit perfectly. The taste is much better the day after…my family actually did not like it 30 min. after it baked. My husband thought the ginger was way to overpowering and I did not use the tbsp of finely chopped stem ginger in syrup. Im hoping today after school they will try it again and like it! It sure looks good!

  4. Wow, you all are prepared! I haven’t even purchased the ingredients yet.

    BTW, has anyone had any luck finding the stem ginger? We do have an asian market BUT when I’ve been in there nothing has English on the labels and the proprietor’s don’t speak the best English either, so I’m a bit worried that I won’t be able to find it within the store. (I also have no idea what stem ginger looks like!)

  5. Hi,

    I have just been added to the group and I am very excited to be baking along with you all.

    I have also not been able to find the stem ginger in syrup, and wonder if crystallized ginger would work insread.

  6. Welcome Michelle.

    Good to know, (THANKS DORIE) I don’t have a 9×9 pan, but I have other pans that would work.

    Beth-I don’t see why you couldn’t make it into cupcakes…

  7. Jennifer, what you are seeing at the Asian shop is stem ginger. it often comes in a beautiful shaped bottle and is much cheaper to buy at an Asian shop than at a deli

  8. I used crystallized ginger. Anyone else think the instructions were a little off? I think the two ginger additions (not powder) were mixed up. Anyway, I can only imagine how great it’s going to be tomorrow, because it was fabulous tonight.

  9. hey beth! yes, i think you can make cupcakes, but just know that this bread is much more dense than a typical cupcake. they’d be closer to a dense muffin if you made them into cupcakes.

    hiya leslie! you can ice the cake in advance and still keep it covered, in the fridge or freeze it. the icing isn’t the kind that smudges–rather, it turns hard. it’s really tasty :)

    hi jules! i used crystallized ginger too…and i agree, something was off with the recipe. in the ingredients, the only thing dorie lists as “optional” is the stem ginger…but in the directions, she says “if you’re using it” to the sugared ginger. i thought the sugared ginger was imperative to the recipe–it’s what gave it the “fresh” aspect, no?

    and finally…this recipe says it makes 9 servings…but i think each serving would be ginormous! i cut mine into 15 pieces, and they were just right.

  10. The frosting gets better after a few hours, imo. I actually disliked this cake, and the reactions of my (many) testers were very mixed. It made far more than 9 servings – unless you cut each serving 3″x3″, which is a LOT.

  11. I used a 9″ round pan and didn’t have any trouble with the batter, baking times, etc. I did not even bother to look for stem ginger, but found this to be plenty gingery anyway. I thought the frosting was the best part of this.

  12. I seriously doubt that where I live will have crystallized ginger let alone, stem ginger.

    What could I use instead?
    _____________________________________________________

    Do you have any natural food stores or health stores near you? I imagine that they would sell some type of ginger product, as it’s useful in treating nausea and stomach upset. Maybe some type of ginger candies, chopped up? Ginger ale? Just kidding…

  13. I often find crystallized ginger in the supermarket where they keep the “fruitcake” fruits, in little plastic tubs. Sometimes this is in the produce section, sometimes in the baking section. If your supermarket sells those red and green candied cherries for fruitcake, there is probably crystallized ginger there too.

  14. I think this recipe calls for way to much ginger. I did not use the stem ginger and only a little of the crystallized ginger. It does taste better after sitting over night. The mollasses combined with that bitter frosting gives it a BOLD taste.

  15. I haven’t baked mine yet but I also think there is way too much ginger in the recipe. I will leave out the stem ginger in syrup altogether and maybe reduce the amount of fresh ginger root. The gingerbread I’ve had until now has always had ground ginger in it but no other type of ginger – it was delicious.

  16. I have mine baking right now. Ooh there’s the timer…(Smells great in there! It’s still a little runny after 30 mins)…
    So I did not use stem ginger, and I did not have any ginger powder left, but I did have a fresh ginger piece in the freezer and used extra of that and added it with the sugar-ginger mix. We’ll have this tomorrow so the flavors can only get better, and served with the ginger infused whipped cream Dorie suggests.
    :)

  17. OK, here’s what I did… I used 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger (that’s all I had), all of the 2 tsp. of ground ginger and no other ginger. I didn’t add the melted chocolate (just because. I wasn’t in the mood to melt chocolate right then.) I used semi-sweet chocolate chunks and added those to the batter (just not a fan of bittersweet). And it is yummy!

    I’m anxious to see how it is with the chocolate glaze… it’s cooling now. Again, I’m using semi-sweet chocolate.

  18. Used an 8×8″ pan and it still wasn’t done after 40 minutes. Let it sit in for 5 more before getting worried about it burning and took it out. That was yesterday and I still haven’t had the chance to cut into it, but it seems fine now.

    If people are still having trouble finding stem ginger, I found plenty of it at my Trader Joe’s, and it’s a fairly small one.

  19. Garrett, I checked TJ today just to see if they’d have stem ginger, and I couldn’t find it.I know they carry fresh ginger, and I didn’t even see ginger powder (which I was out of). Our TJ is pretty small, so maybe they just don’t have the space for it. Where is it located in your TJ?

  20. I just pulled mine out of the oven. I got 24 mini-bundts and 12 mini-muffins out of the batter. I added cranberries to half and can’t wait to take them to a party tonight!

  21. I used a true 9×9 and it was gooey at 30 minutes. I let it go about 5 minutes longer and it was very dry on the outside. The middle was great though. I would like to try it with a 9×13 so the batter won’t be so deep. I didn’t read the p&q’s until after we had devoured it. I would love to have tasted it the next day.

  22. Jules, I agree there was something off with the instructions about ginger addition as she says “if using” about the fresh ginger, which wasn’t optional – must be mixed up with the stem ginger. Boy, we are a good proofreading team for Dorie’s book! I hope an editor somewhere is taking notes for the next edition.
    Haven’t tried mine yet but it looks really dark, not nearly as light as in Dorie’s photos.

  23. Does anyone know the best way to store the leftover fresh ginger and how long it will keep? I put it in a plastic bag in the fridge after I cut off a piece to use in the recipe. Thanks!

  24. Jill, you can store peeled ginger in vodka in the refrigerator or unpeeled in a ziploc bag in the vegetable section of the refrig. This info is from a Fine Cooking article.

  25. Fit Chick, thanks for the ginger tips. The vodka sounds interesting – I could make an interesting cocktail as well as preserve my ginger!

  26. I usually preserve ginger peeled & sliced, in dry sherry or rice wine (mirin). I’m sure vodka would work too. You end up with a sort of “ginger extract”–splash a little into your stirfry!

  27. Jill, ginger also freezes really, really well! In fact I always buy ginger and stick it straight in the freezer.

    I had a mis-labelled 8×8 pan and just read the P&Q 5 minutes *after* I added it to the oven. We took about 1.5 cups of batter out – hopefully it’ll still turn out okay.

  28. I JUST finished making this in a mini version. I left out the fresh and stem ginger…not a fan…but OH! How I do LOVE chocolate gingerbread now!!!!!

  29. We loved this!! My pan was an 8×8 so I made 2 minis in ramekins. Didn’t use the stem ginger since I didn’t really want to make a special trip for it. Love the frosting and everything!

  30. Rachelle – sorry it took a while to get back to you. I went to the one just south of UCSD, if you exit the 5 on Nobel. It was packed with all the other random fresh veggies and fruits they have.

  31. Hi,
    I just wanted you all to know that I am down with a relapse of the flu, so – I may not take part in Tuesdays challenge. I just feel so horrible. If I do feel any better – before Tuesday – I will surely do it. Thanks a lot, and all the best to everyone. I really love ginger and is not happy about not doing it.

  32. I just finished making my cake. Mine needed about 48 minutes, and the edges were ok but a little dry. My cake was also much darker in color than the picture. I liked the frosting, but I did add more confectioners’ sugar so it wouldn’t be as bitter (it still wasn’t too sweet). I definitely agree with Nancy that a 3×3 inch piece would be too much…I’m bringing mine to share at work, and cut it into sixteen pieces instead. I liked the combination of gingerbread and chocolate more than I thought I would, tho I don’t think it would ever be a first choice for me.

  33. It is a lot of batter. I quartered the recipe and got one mini springform pan and a ramekin, which made about three servings. I used crystallized ginger instead of stem and I thought the cake was very good.

  34. I baked mine last night. It was a “happy bake.” No, seriously…. I really loved all the aroma’s of the spices and molasses and ginger. I nipped off all four corners (yes the 9 x 9 pan) so that I could store in my covered cake stand and they were delicious even though a little crispy. I think I love it. Hope you do too.
    AmyRuth

  35. I am going to miss another week. I know, I know, this is 3 in a row. Hopefully you guys wont kick me out. ;)

    Today is Jaos’ birthday and I am making his birthday cake. Im trying to lose some weight, so I dont want more than one dessert sitting around.

    Ill def be back next week!

  36. I ended up making cupcakes and thought they were good. Awesomem ginger tips. I find myself throwing out a little unused portion almost everytime I buy it. I will try freezing it now.

  37. Just finished mine this weekend. I used an 8×8 and had enough left over to fill 2 small ramikins for mini-cakes. It is DELISH!! I almost didn’t even do the glaze b/c it was so good without, but it really adds something special.
    I used candied ginger from TJ’s (not crystallized) and it was fine. Mmmm…I wish I brought some to work today.

  38. Thanks Garrett! I didn’t realize you’re here in SD too! :)

    So day 3 this cake turned on me. It became dry and crumbly when you took a bite with a fork, and day 4 the frosting would fall right off. I guess it wasn’t such a favorite if it lasted that long (and it was 9×13, so that meant more pieces I guess).

  39. Mine is in the oven right now, I kept debating about which pan to use, I have a ‘true’ 9 by 9 but after I saw the amount of batter, I went with a 10 inch springform. It smells wonderful!

  40. Mine is baking right now. I used an 8×8 and 2 ramekins. I also used fresh ginger, powdered ginger, and crystallized ginger. The ramekins are now done at 25min. and the cake is still sloshy(new baking term!!). the aroma from the oven is amazing!!!

  41. Here’s an update, this is absolutely delicious!!! The cake is so moist and tender and the flavor is wonderful. I ended up baking it for about 45min. I made the frosting too soon, it’s starting to solidify but I’ll frost the cake while it is still somewhat warm. Also if you really like ginger I would increase the Stem aka in my case crystallized ginger, I really enjoyed the little sweet crunches in the cake. I will definitely be making this again!!!

  42. Pingback: TWD: fresh ginger and chocolate gingerbread | Joanna’s World

  43. I have to say I really did not like this cake. I was so excited to make it! I love ginger. I love chocolate. I love each of the ingredients…..a lot. This is one example of the total not being equal to the sum of the parts. It was very disappointing. I did not even take the time to write about my experience on my blog. Sorry. What did the rest of you think?

  44. Finally posted my results! I like this cake, my kids and husband did too. I used the extra batter for two adorable heart spring-form pans — perfect for Valentines. I would do this again. (And thanks for the trifle tips — I plan to do that with the remainder of the cake for bookclub tomorrow night.)

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