Chocolate Gingerbread Bars: A Unique Taste to Mix up Your Holiday Baking

During the holiday season, we are surrounded by pairings we know go together perfectly:

Vertical image of squares of brownies on a white plate with white text on a red background.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Christmas music and carolers, presents and a parent’s quickly dwindling bank account…

And the baked goods we make during this time of year reflect that, as well, like milk and cookies, bourbon and eggnog, and apples and cinnamon.

But chocolate and ginger? Huh?

Don’t turn up your frostbitten noses just yet!

Vertical image of a white tray with alternating cake squares with and without powdered sugar.

It’s a unique and festive combination that certainly deserves to be on the nice list, along with everything else you can’t wait to eat this time of year.

With these chocolate gingerbread bars, I know you’ll love to use these two ingredients together for your holiday baking.

They are a fresh and tasty take on the traditional Christmas gingerbread. They have the same cozy combination of warming spices you remember, but with the delicious addition of rich cocoa and chocolate chips.

Vertical closeup image of a squares of chocolate cake on a white tray.

And can we please take a moment out of respect for this amazing creation, and talk about its intoxicating aroma?

Baking this recipe will fill the whole house with a drool-worthy scent of cocoa and warmed cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

And since they only take less than an hour (and no mixer required!) to make, you can enjoy a big square of these cake-like goodies faster than Santa squeezing down your chimney.

Vertical image of a dessert square dusted in powdered sugar on a stand over a white napkin, assorted Christmas decorations, and pinecones.

Make something different and delicious for the holidays – bake these chocolaty delights now!

Print
Horizontal image of cake squares with chips on a tray in front of mini Christmas tree decorations.

Chocolate Gingerbread Bars


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 small squares
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Description

Nothing fills the house with more Christmas cheer than the smell of these spiced chocolate gingerbread bars baking in the oven.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, and spray with a nonstick cooking spray on the bottom and sides. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, sour cream, and egg. Whisk just until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk together just until combined. Don’t overmix. Add the chocolate chips and stir lightly.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan and lightly smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes in pan before transferring the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle lightly with confectioner’s sugar and serve.

Keywords: Christmas, gingerbread, chocolate, bars, cake

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Combine the Dry Ingredients

Horizontal image of a white bowl filled with dry ingredients next to a metal whisk, pine cones, red ribbon, and a white towel.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

For an easy flavoring alternative, use two teaspoons of homemade pumpkin pie spice instead of the other spices in this recipe!

Step 2 – Combine the Wet Ingredients

Horizontal image of a white bowl with a wet orange mixture next to molasses, pinecones, red ribbon, and a white towel.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, sour cream, and egg until combined.

Be sure the butter is slightly cooled before mixing into the other ingredients. No one wants scrambled eggs in this dessert!

Hard and brittle brown sugar? Learn how to keep it moist and fresh to prolong its shelf life in your kitchen cabinet to last all holiday season.

Step 3 – Mix Everything Together

Horizontal image of a white bowl with a dark brown batter and rubber spatula next to pinecones, red ribbon, and a white towel.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk together just until combined. To keep the cake light, delicate, and fluffy, don’t overmix.

Step 4 – Add the Chips

Horizontal image of a white bowl with dark brown batter and chocolate chips next to pinecones, a red ribbon, and a white towel.

Gently fold in the chips, being careful to not overmix.

Step 5 – Pour in Pan

Horizontal image of a square pan with dark brown batter and chips next to pinecones, a red ribbon, and a white towel.

Pour the batter into an 8-inch square pan lined with parchment paper and lightly covered in cooking spray. Gently spread the top of the batter with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with more chocolate chips on top if desired.

Step 6 – Bake and Cool

Horizontal image of a metal square pan with a baked cake next to pine cones, a red ribbon, and a white towel.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. The cake will look fluffy and the chips will be slightly melted on top.

Remove from the oven, and let cool for 20 minutes in pan. Remove the cake from the pan, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 7 – Cut and Serve

Horizontal image of chocolate gingerbread cut into squares on a wooden cutting board next to pinecones and a red ribbon.

With a sharp knife and large cutting board, cut into 16 small squares, or 9 large squares.

Sprinkle lightly with confectioner’s sugar, if using. Serve and enjoy!

Horizontal image of bars neatly lined on a cutting board, with half dusted in powdered sugar.

A Unique Combo for Christmas

This season, don’t limit yourself to using chocolate only in that one batch of chocolate chip cookies you’ll be whipping up for Santa. Try something new and fun!

Horizontal image of chocolate gingerbread bars on a white tray with some dusted on top with powdered sugar.

Combine chocolate with ginger for a deliciously unique treat, like in these rich and fluffy chocolate gingerbread bars.

They’ll make a wonderful gift for Santa, as well as for your friends, co-workers, and teachers. And they’ll be a great choice for bringing to a holiday party.

Need some extra help with your baking list for the holidays? Learn your ear this way, and we’ll share all of our Christmas recipes with you.

Horizontal image of cake squares with chips on a tray in front of mini Christmas tree decorations.

What do you think of this recipe? Will you serve this alongside all of your sugar cookies this year? Let us know in the comment section below, and rate the recipe!

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on December 13, 2012. Last updated: November 17, 2018 at 12:47 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best grub, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

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