Coffee Bourbon Gingerbread - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Coffee Bourbon Gingerbread

Gingerbread gets an extra kick of flavor from coffee and bourbon.

In her book, Jubilee, James Beard Award-winning culinary journalist Toni Tipton-Martin explores the history and flavors of African American cooking through recipes and stories. In her research, she found a variety of gingerbread recipes and learned that Booker T. Washington had a particular fondness for “ginger cakes.” Tipton-Martin notes that recipes can be easily adapted with different sweeteners, like maple syrup or honey, and different liquids, like coffee or buttermilk. In this recipe, which she developed with chef Joe Randall for their book A Taste of Heritage, Tipton-Martin complements the cake’s spices with coffee. Topped with lemon sauce and bourbon Chantilly cream, it becomes a dessert worthy of any holiday table.


Yield:Serves 12 to 15
  • Butter or shortening for the pan
  • 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan
  •  2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup boiling-hot coffee
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) butter, melted
  • 1⁄2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Tools:13 × 9-inch baking pan, large mixing bowl, stand mixer, small saucepan, wire rack


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 13 × 9-inch baking pan with butter or shortening. Dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. In a bowl or measuring cup, stir together the molasses and coffee.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the melted butter, brown sugar and eggs on medium speed until light. Beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the coffee-molasses mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat for 30 seconds longer.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes. Cool the gingerbread in the pan on a wire rack, then cut into squares and serve warm with lemon sauce and bourbon Chantilly cream.

Lemon Sauce:
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
2 to 3 Tbsp. butter (to taste), cut into pieces, at room temperature
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch until well mixed. Gradually whisk in the boiling water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is thick and resembles syrup, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and salt, and stir until the butter has melted. Cool to room temperature to serve. Makes about 1 cup.

Bourbon Chantilly Cream: In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer with chilled beaters, whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to soft peaks. Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of sifted powdered sugar and beat until blended, no more than 30 seconds. Add 2 teaspoons of bourbon, beating until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat.

Enjoy This Article?

Sign up for our newsletter and get biweekly recipes and articles delivered to your inbox.

Send this to a friend