Chocolate Gingerbread with Brandy or Cognac Sauce

one 13 x 9 x 1½ inch or 10-inch diameter tube gingerbread

  • 2 ¼  cups sifted flour, divided
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup light molasses or honey
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  •   or the equivalent of ½ cup brown sugar in granulated brown sugar substitute, firmly packed
  • 2/3 cup cooking oil or butter or margarine, (see note)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or reduced-fat buttermilk or sour milk or reduced-fat sour milk (see note)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice or brandy (optional) (see note)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature and beaten (see note)
  • Hot Brandy or Cognac Sauce for garnish (optional)

Sift together the first 8 ingredients.  Combine molasses, sugar, and oil or butter in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring several times.  Cool to lukewarm.  Stir cooled molasses mixture and buttermilk into dry ingredients.  Add orange juice or brandy and eggs, stirring until smooth.  Spoon batter into a well-greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan or 10-inch diameter tube pan.   Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 30 to 35 minutes (about 45 minutes for tube pan) or until a tester inserted in the center of the gingerbread comes out clean.  For tube pan, allow gingerbread to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a metal rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature, plain or garnished with Hot Brandy or Cognac Sauce.  

Note: May reduce oil or butter to ½ cup, if desired.  May also use ½ to 2/3 cup Smucker's Shortening & Oil Baking Replacement in place of oil or butter, if desired.

Note: If not using orange juice or brandy , increase buttermilk to 1 cup.

Note: May omit eggs; use the equivalent of 2 eggs in egg substitute, IE Egg Beaters.


Hot Brandy or Cognac Sauce
about 2 1/3 cups

  • ½ cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 egg yolks or the equivalent of 1 whole egg in egg substitute, IE, Egg Beaters
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream  (see note)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons brandy or cognac

In a medium bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually add sugar, beating constantly.  Add egg yolks or egg substitute and beat until thick and lemon-colored.  Slowly add cream, beating constantly. Turn mixture into the top of a double boiler.  Place over very hot water for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in brandy or cognac and serve warm.

Note: May omit heavy cream, if desired; use 1/3cup milk or reduced-fat or skim milk. However, the flavor will not be as rich.

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