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Tuesday 3 May 2011

Baking for Beginners: Chocolate Guinness Gingerbread

Gingerbread can seem a little wintery, but I like the fact its stickiness means it doesn't need icing. It is a pretty low effort cake that also keeps well for over a week if wrapped in foil (and you manage not to guzzle it warm from the oven). I made these gingerbread babies for my sister-in-law who has just had a little boy (the silicone moulds were £5 from John Lewis). Of course, you could just make them into regular cupcakes or a big no-nonsense slab.

This recipe is adapted from Nigella's Guinness Gingerbread, but spiced up a bit and infused with cocoa. The mustard powder may sound strange, but it gives it a little heat and doesn't taste at all mustardy. Promise.

It's important to use bicarbonate of soda, not baking powder, as it gives the liquid batter a bit of extra oompf to help it rise. And the cream has to be sour cream to react with the bicarb, so don't cheat or it'll all go wrong. The spices are less strict though, so you can happily freestyle with those.

Chocolate Guinness gingerbread (makes 12-16 baby cupcakes, or one big slab)

You'll need:
  • 75g butter
  • 150g golden syrup
  • 100g dark muscavado sugar
  • 125ml Guinness
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml sour cream
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
Make it!
  • Preheat the oven to 170c /gas 3.
  • Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake wrappers or line a 9" round cake tin (if it's loose-bottomed, line it well with foil as the batter is quite liquid and may leak out).
  • Put the butter, syrup, muscovado sugar, Guinness, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa, mustard powder and cloves into a saucepan. Melt together gently over a low heat.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat as soon as the butter has melted. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and quickly whisk in until there are no lumps.
  • Stir the sour cream, vanilla and eggs together and whisk into the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into your cupcake wrappers or tin and bake for about 20 minutes for cupcakes or 40-50 minutes for a large slab. It is ready when the tops spring back when pressed.
  • Let the gingerbread cool on a rack (or the grill pan if you don't have a rack).


  1. I am going to have to make these TONIGHT! Gingerbread is such a weakness!

  2. Yum, and so cute too.
    For more 'biscuity' gingerbread I've never failed with a Waitrose recipe that I found on their website.


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