in the kitchen with: design*sponge

as the weather starts to cool and my thoughts turn from summer dishes to something a little cozier, i thought it would be the perfect time to share one of my favorite recipes. sadly this dish is not my own, but it does come from one of the women i most admire- martha stewart. her recipe for chocolate-swirl gingerbread (which ran in martha’s everyday food magazine) is an all-time favorite of mine and i couldn’t resist sharing it here. the magazine kindly gave us permission to re-run the full recipe with instructions so i hope you’ll all enjoy this easy-to-make treat as much as i do. [the fabric used in my photos above and below is “bellows” in black by studio bon]

just a quick note: this recipe has a distinct molasses taste that i love (it’s a really nice change of pace from all of the cinnamon-based recipes we typically see this season), but if it skews a little molasses-heavy for you, you can definitely cut back on the molasses a bit. i suggest making it according to the instructions first, and if the taste doesn’t suit you, swap some of the molasses for more chocolate. i also suggest topping it with a heaping spoonful of homemade whipped cream. this dessert fresh out of the oven with whipped cream cannot be beat.

click here for the full recipe and instructions (and more pictures) or just click “read more” below. (thanks again to every food allowing us to re-print this. click here to visit their blog)

Chocolate Swirl Gingerbread
(from Martha Stewart’s Everyday FOOD)


* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square pan. In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cloves. (Sifting these together rather than just dumping and mixing makes for a much smoother, airier cake.)

2. Melt the butter in the water in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg.

3. Pour half the batter into prepared pan. With a spoon, drizzle half the chocolate over the batter. Pour remaining batter on top, and drizzle the remaining chocolate over the batter in a decorative pattern.

*Note: to help make the decorative chocolate pattern (which is made by making straight lines and then dragging a knife through them) I poured the slightly cooled chocolate into a plastic baggy and cut a small hole at the bottom. It makes for a neater line.

4. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

5. Top with ice cream or whipped cream for extra deliciousness. (I always mix heavy cream, vanilla extract and a little sugar to make it at home in the mixer)

*Quick note: the little owl in all the pictures is from Life + Limb in Portland. It sits on the shelf above my sink while I cook and I couldn’t leave it out. It’s always there for me when I’m doing dishes and would rather be playing Rock Band.

Nikko Moy

Grace, I love the presentation. -Well composed and graphically pleasing. I am a fan of little cast iron owls too.


very fancy!!! i’m always looking for a good moist gingerbread recipe! never thought of it with chocolate! must try!


yum! grace, this looks super tasty and easy. i’m definitely going to make this. i just love fall baking.


This is one of my favorite recipes too–I’ve been making it every winter since it was first published. Always a hit and totally yummy!


This looks absolutely amazing! I guess I know what I’ll be baking this weekend. Thank you so much for sharing!

Farmgirl Susan

I adore gingerbread! I’ve topped it with chocolate frosting before (very nice), but I never thought to put the chocolate right into the cake. YUM! : )


delicious looking recipe…I am very intrigued by the ugly pillow contest – I must go check that out!


yum!! this looks delicious and i can’t wait to try it – i love the combination of gingerbread and chocolate!

Amy G

This sounds great! I recently tried a pumpkin-chocolate chip bread recipe, but since my boyfriend doesn’t like pumpkin, I will try this for him (and me!)

Island Girl

This is the very best treat ever! Most amazing bread in the world….Use fresh ginger ( a lot!) and 1/2 tsp cayenne !! Sweeeet and spicy!