Chocolate Ginger Cake w/ Bourbon Butter Caramel Sauce

Back in October we went to my favorite restaurant for dinner and the dessert of the week was a chocolate ginger cake. One bite and I had to try to replicate it, it tasted like Christmas. Yes, I realize this is late for a Christmas cake, but it’s also an ideal winter cake.  The cake has a thick, fudgy texture that feels sinful to eat. What really makes this cake sing though is the bourbon caramel sauce. Serve it warm with some toasted pecans and crème fraîche and you have a highly complex, impressive dessert that is decadent and leaves you wanting more (usually because the person next to you kept stealing bites). This dessert will ruin your New Years diet resolution, so I am sorry.

The great thing about this recipe is it’s a one pot wonder. The bundt pan I used was a gift for my birthday, and gave an amazing look to the cake. I have mentioned before about the trick to use dark pans vs light pans is to turn down the oven slightly by with a darker pan to avoid an over cooked outside with a undercooked interior. So keep that in mind when making this cake the temperature will go down 25°F if you will be using a dark aluminum pan.

The caramel is a basic butter caramel I have made before with some adjustments to make it dark and rich with the amazing flavor of the added bourbon. The leftover caramel sauce can (should) be saved in a sealed container in the refrigerator, because it is simply amazing on ice cream. Give this a try for your next party, or just to warm and spice up a cold winter dinner, you will not be disappointed.

Chocolate Ginger Cake

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 2/3 c unsweetened Dutch Cocoa
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 3/4 c packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated Ginger
  • Seeds 1/2 vanilla bean (1/2 tsp vanilla paste)
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove

Prepare your bunt pan by spraying it with cooking or ‘bakers’ spray, and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 325°F

In a large 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat add the butter, cocoa, molasses, and brown sugar. Mix until butter and sugar have been melted together about 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl combine the eggs, yolk, milk, fresh grated ginger, vanilla bean and whisk to combine then set aside.

In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground clove, whisk to combine and set aside.

The mixture in the sauce pan should have cooled slightly at this point.  With a heavy whisk begin mixing the butter cocoa mixture, and slowly pour in the egg and milk mixture. Pour slowly and continue whisking while adding to avoid cooking the eggs and the mixture splitting until completely combined.

Once the egg mixture is completely incorporated keep whisking and add in 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix add in 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture and combine. Add in the remaining flour mixture and whisk well to completely combine.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place in oven for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely in the pan before inverting onto the serving plate. Serve warm (just a moment in the microwave) with the caramel bourbon sauce drizzled over/around it. Optional: top with toasted pecan peices and crème fraîche before serving.

Bourbon Butter Caramel Sauce

  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 c Brown Sugar, packed
  • Seeds 1/2 vanilla bean (1/2 tsp vanilla paste)
  • 1/4 c Bourbon
  • 1/4 c Heavy Cream, room temperature

Combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and bourbon into 2 quart sauce pan over medium high heat. Keep whisking the caramel until all the sugar has melted and the mixture is at a rolling boil. It will look almost like it is foaming. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk, add in the heavy cream. It will bubble up high once you add in the cream this is why you want a bigger pan, keep whisking. Once the mixture has calmed down, stopped bubbling and settled pour into a jar or bowl for storage. Refrigerate, and heat up in the microwave briefly before use.

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