A spin on my fresh ginger cake, this time with chocolate, coconut, and pecans. It's decadent, heavenly, and made with olive oil instead of butter. And if it weren't for the chocolate, this cake would also be dairy-free!
Why You Should Make this Recipe
This is an indulgent everything-but-the-kitchen-sink take on the classic fresh ginger cake! If you’re looking for a moist, indulgent cake with incredible flavor, this is the cake for you.
Cocoa powder in the cake mix adds a subtle chocolate flavor to the ginger cake, and the topping of coconut and pecans adds a complementary crunch with every bite. It’s the perfect cake to serve with tea and coffee, or just as an afternoon treat.
Ingredients & Baking with Fresh Ginger
chocolate - you can use bar chocolate or chocolate chips in this recipe. I prefer chopping up bar chocolate to a size smaller than chocolate chips. I find it melts into the dough better in this recipe.
coconut & pecans - I use unsweetened coconut and large, chopped chunks of pecans for the topping of the cake. You can also make the cake without either of these toppings, or by substituting your favorite nut.
Fresh Ginger Tips
Fresh ginger has varying levels of wetness, which makes it a tricky ingredient to keep consistent in your bakes. Here are some things to look out for:
- Dryness: Old ginger can be quite dry. Make sure you are buying fresh ginger at the store. If it is wrinkled and shriveled up, it probably isn't good anymore.
- Woodiness: Old ginger is also woody. Snap a small piece of the ginger off at the store. If it easily snaps and you see a clean, yellow, wet center, then you have found some good ginger.
- Stringiness: Bad ginger can also be stringy. If your ginger is stringy, make sure you chop it up very well or you will experience a stringy cake.
I tend to find better, fresh ginger (and at a better price) at the local Asian market.
I grate the ginger on a coarse cheese grater (link opens in new tab) and yield the best results this way. Grating on a smaller grater separates the ginger and liquid leaving the ginger dry and adds too much water directly into the batter.
Step-by-Step Recipe with Photos
Lightly oil a glass or ceramic baking dish with olive oil. I prefer to use 8x8 (link opens in new tab), but this recipe also works with 9x9.
Start with the dry ingredients. Sift your flour, spices, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside. Next, mix the wet ingredients. Mix your brown sugar, molasses, egg, olive oil and ginger in a large bowl.
Pour hot water over the baking soda and mix until the baking soda is dissolved. Stir into the wet ingredients. Then, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Finally, gently fold in the chopped chocolate.
Add the batter to your prepared baking dish. Top with chopped pecans and coconut. Sprinkle on raw brown sugar. Bake 30-35 minutes. It is ready when a toothpick comes out clean. Start checking at 28 minutes for a 9x9 pan, and at 32 minutes for 8x8.
Let cool on a rack. Best if cooled overnight. Delicious when served with whipped cream.
Ginger Cake FAQs
There are two tricks I use to keep this ginger cake moist: Use fresh ginger, and dissolve the leavener for this recipe, baking soda, in hot water before adding it to the batter.
The two are a match made in heaven in all kinds of desserts. Cake is a favorite, or you can simply dip crystalized ginger in dark chocolate for a wonderful treat.
Gingerbread is slightly drier than ginger cake, but the terms are often used interchangeably.
What Can I Make with Lots of Ginger?
I love using ginger in my recipes, and this chocolate ginger cake is a variation on my fresh ginger cake, that uses even more fresh ginger! Here are some other recipes and ideas I love that use fresh ginger:
- Hot Ginger Tea: Simple steep a few slices of peeled, fresh ginger in hot water to enjoy a cup of grounding, ginger tea.
- Fresh Ginger Cake
- Sweet & Spicy Garlic Ginger Salmon
- Ginger Scallion Noodles with Broccoli & Carrots
- Miso Ginger Salmon
- Add a knob of fresh ginger to your favorite bone broth recipe for a delicious, added flavor.
More Chocolate & Cake
Here are my favorite holiday treats and other similar recipes... or check out all my sweets recipes to find what you are looking for.
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Chocolate Ginger Cake with Coconut & Pecans
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup dark molasses
- 1 egg room temperature
- ½ cup fresh ginger grated with a cheese grater
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ cup dark chocolate finely chopped
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- ¼ cup coconut I use unsweetened, but also delicious with sweetened
- Raw brown sugar for sprinkling
- Lightly oil an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish with and preheat the oven to 350F.
- Sift your flour, cocoa powder, spices, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Mix your brown sugar, molasses, egg, olive oil and ginger in a large bowl.
- Pour hot water over the baking soda and mix until the baking soda is dissolved. Stir into the wet ingredients.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed.
- Fold in the chopped chocolate.
- Add the batter to your prepared baking dish. Top with chopped pecans and coconut. Sprinkle on raw brown sugar.
- Bake 30-35 minutes. It is ready when a toothpick comes out clean. Start checking at 28 minutes for a 9x9 pan, and at 32 minutes for 8x8.
- Let cool on a rack. Best if cooled overnight. Delicious when served with whipped cream.
I love that you have so many nourishing things in this delicious and beautiful dessert! Pecans are my favorite and they add a great flavor and crunch to this!
Thank you so much, Chandice... I'm so glad you liked it!
I love ginger. This is absolutely delicious. It vanished the moment I took it out of my I en. This cake came out so well.
Thank you, Gunjan... I am so glad to hear it!
Made this yummy cake last night and it was a success. I was intrigued by the fresh ginger and it did not dissapoint. Everyone loved it and wanted your recipe. Delish.
I am so glad to hear it, Eileen... thank you for this sharing with me!
Yumm, i lovee ginger and coconut, and the two combined together just are great! The texture of this is so good. Delicious! thank you for sharing this recipe.
I am so glad to hear it, Ramona!
Ooh this cake looks so moist! And I love that it uses real ingredients too. Thanks for the tips on ginger as well 🙂
My pleasure, Heather. Glad you liked it!
We love ginger in recipes for the flavor, aroma and health benefits - and it's a great combo with the chocolate, molasses and pecans -- just yum.
Glad to hear you liked the combo as much as I do, Beth!
Love the crumb on this cake, so moist and yum! I like the fresh ginger and coconut here.
I am so happy to hear you liked it, Neha!
I may say that this is such a promising recipe and then you added coconut and definitely made this so tasty and delicious. I love the texture it gives out plus this is such an overloaded cake, loved it!
Thank you, Amy... I am so glad to hear you loved all the fun toppings!
Oh yum, I absolutely love ginger! It’s perfect for fall and winter. And in cake form, even better! Thank you for sharing such a lovely recipe. Can’t wait to make it again!
I am so glad to hear it, Andrea... enjoy!
These are absolutely delicious! I love that you've used fresh ginger for this recipe. I'm a massive ginger fan and we always have some in the pantry. My daughter loves ginger too and she liked these for her school lunch. Thanks for the recipe!
I am so glad to hear it, Amy... and glad your daughter loved it, too!