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Glazed Guinness Gingerbread

12 Servings

1¾ hours 30 minutes active, plus cooling and drying

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This spicy, fragrant gingerbread with an especially moist, plush crumb is our adaptation of a recipe in “Soframiz” by Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick, chef/owners of Sofra Bakery and Café in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The molasses and Guinness (you can use another type of stout, if you prefer) share smoky, roasty, bittersweet notes that are further deepened by the addition of espresso powder. A simple powdered sugar glaze made with some of the molasses and stout left over from the cake adds sweetness and shine to the surface, and bits of crystallized ginger scattered on top offer an extra hit of spice and texture. If you can, make and glaze the cake a day in advance—its flavor and texture improve overnight. Covered tightly, leftovers will keep for up to three days at room temperature.




Don’t use robust/full-flavored molasses; the flavor will overpower the other ingredients. This also is true of blackstrap molasses, which is extremely potent. If you’re measuring the stout by volume, after pouring it into the measuring cup, be sure to allow the foam to subside in order to get an accurate measurement. Be sure to use a large saucepan to heat the molasses and stout. When the baking soda is stirred in, the mixture bubbles vigorously and will flow over if the saucepan is too small.

1¾ hours

30 minutes active, plus cooling and drying

For the gingerbread:

  • 425

    grams (1¼ cups) light/mild molasses


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Donna S.
March 9, 2024
Best dessert I've ever tasted!
The gingerbread is moist and very flavorful without being too sweet. I think I ate 3/4 of the pan!
Victor W.
January 3, 2024
Wonderfully spicy
This was the spiciest gingerbread I've ever had. We used Stone's Xocoveza, which has an additional layer of chocolate and spice backbone. Just a wonderful recipe for colder months.
John M.

Made this yesterday and I do believe that this is the best gingerbread recipe ever! Not for the faint-at-heart as some of the ingredients show, but if you choose to try it you'll be amply rewarded. Made it as written here, even though I had to buy the light molasses online. It was worth it! Highly recommended for the adventurous palate.
I did find that the glaze recipe didn't provide enough to cover the entire cake, so I halved the ingredients and made some more. Next time I'll double the glaze recipe for complete coverage. One bottle of beer will still be enough for everything here. Thanks again Milk Street & Ms. Richmond!

Mary B.

Delicious! I had to substitute 1/2 honey and 1/2 sorghum due to a last-minute ingredients shortage, but the results were still outstanding. The ginger tastes are intense, but even the toddler loved this one!

Also, I lined the pan with parchment because I hate oil + flouring, and that worked great.

Todd W.

Already made this twice and everyone who tasted said it was the best ever. How would this work for baking in a bundt pan?

Lynn C.

Hi Todd -

We haven't tested this particular recipe in a bundt pan, but the general rule with converting recipes is that a 9x13 cake will yield about 6 cups of batter. A 10-cup bundt's baking capacity is usually around the same, a 12-cup is about 1 1/4 cups more. You want to fill the pan and leave about 1 1/4" from the top of the pan so, for the 12 cup pan, the amount of batter may not fill it as much. Baking time in a 10-cup bundt may be up to 30% longer and in the 12-cup close to the same as the 9x13. Lastly, make sure to copiously grease and flour the bundt pan. This cake is very moist and in danger of sticking. Hope that helps!

The Milk Street Team

Nicola B.

I'd love to make these as cupcakes with a bundt pan shape - 12 cupcakes in the shape of a bundt that holds about 1/2 cup each. I've heard that converting a recipe to bake this way results in a drier outcome. Should I alter the recipe?
Thanks for some guidance Milk Street.

Lynn C.

Hi Nicola -

This sounds like a great idea! First, make sure to really butter and flour the pans so the cakes won't stick. Second, fill the pans about 2/3 full (or leave 1 1/4" from the top). I always find when you make something big into something smaller, the chances for overcooking are higher. Which is probably why you've heard it will yield a drier cake. Cupcakes usually take between 15-20 minutes to bake. For these, I'd start checking after 10 minutes, just to gauge how much longer they may need. This is a really moist cake so I think it will actually do pretty well. Lastly, you may find you need more glaze since you're essentially going to be glazing more surface area. Good luck and let us know how it goes! These sound adorable.

The Milk Street Team

Jessica E.

So I would love to make this, but unfortunately I don't have any mild molasses. I have full-bodied and I have dark corn syrup, any chance you have any suggestions for some type of mild molasses substitution? Thanks!

Lynn C.

Hi Jessica -

Unfortunately this really needs the light molasses. Full-bodied molasses would be too strong and dark corn syrup lacks the flavor profile and would be too sweet.

The Milk Street Team

John M.

I had to order some from Amazon, and believe me it was well worth it!

Roger S.

Is Grandma's Molasses unsulfured considered a light molasses? If not , what brand did you you for the recipe?

Alicia S.

None of my local stores had mild molasses, so I used 3/4 cup blackstrap & 1/2 cup dark honey, and I reduced the cup of white sugar to 3/4 cup. Turned out great. Moist enough and sweet enough, but not too sweet.

Diana C.

So delicious. Ginger lovers of the world, unite!