This moist and flavorful gingerbread brownies recipe will become a new holiday staple! This recipe is easy, filled with the gingerbread flavor you love, and of course, chocolate.
Who else gets amped when it’s time to start baking for the holidays? I’m not talking about a little bit of excitement. I mean that “just before a big game/race” athletic adrenaline rush that has you feeling all fluttered and ready to go! This year I’m there thanks to so many fabulous new ideas. There may be holiday recipes on this blog into January with no apologies.
These gingerbread brownies though? They can’t wait another minute since I’m pretty sure this idea was what kicked off this year’s flurry of inspiration!
Let’s talk about white chocolate in brownies and chocolate options…
If you’re one of the brownie purists who see the white chocolate in the pictures and plans to comment and tell me these aren’t brownies. I love you and thank you for your concern. The Godfather and I had a serious conversation about this in the process of developing this recipe.
Hear me out… this recipe is not a cookie bar, the texture is all brownie. While the batter doesn’t have cocoa powder, you now have opportunities to get creative with your chocolate!
Usually, white chocolate brownies are referred to as blondies and I could have called these gingerbread blondies except for one little thing. You can totally use milk, semisweet, or dark chocolate with equally delicious results.
Gingerbread is versatile like that, and while today I used white chocolate chips, this recipe is equally delicious with dark chocolate chips, so use what you’d like. Next time, I think I’m going to do a mix of white and bittersweet chocolate.
What puts the gingerbread in gingerbread brownies?
Gingerbread flavor in items other than cookies can be tricky. You want a nice amount of spice, but not so much that you can’t enjoy a full serving. Thankfully, I had a friend ask me for a gingerbread loaf recipe a few years ago, and between that and my gingerbread bundt cake, I’ve had some experience crafting that balance!
These gingerbread brownies are a little “follow the recipe” and a little “choose your own adventure”.
Gingerbread anything should have a distinct molasses undercurrent paired with a blend of warming spices. The most common spices in gingerbread are ginger (naturally), cinnamon, and cloves. Cardamom is also a nice option to add, but it’s not in this recipe. These gingerbread brownies are all about the classic gingerbread flavor.
To get the right flavor profile, we make these brownies with a mixture of brown sugar and molasses. I used dark molasses and light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar can also work if that’s what you have on hand. This recipe has not been tested with blackstrap molasses, which has a more bitter flavor.
The molasses and brown sugar combination creates a beautiful base for the brownies and keeps them soft and chewy. But without spices, we’re not at gingerbread yet.
This gingerbread brownies recipe uses a mix of dry spices and some candied ginger. Even if you just want a mild gingerbread flavor, keep the spices.
The candied ginger is optional, but highly highly recommended. The little bit of surprise sweet heat when you find a bit of ginger gives these brownies that little extra something. But I’m also a huge fan of ginger and the kind of person who will eat candied ginger alone.
The amount suggested in the recipe is enough to provide a little boldness, but not so much to keep my small humans from loving this recipe.
You can find candied ginger with the other dried fruits in the grocery store. The exact layout of your store determines if it’s in the aisles or in the produce section. Sometimes, around Christmas, candied ginger is moved to the special “holiday baking” display.
A few final recipe notes…
This recipe is best if allowed to rest a bit before serving. Like my pumpkin pound cake, you’ll enjoy the best flavors in the brownies after a day. I like to bake these at night, then slice the next day.
The bit of resting time makes these a great make-ahead recipe. I’ve even baked the brownies and frozen them! Thaw, dust with powdered sugar, and they taste fabulous. The molasses in the recipe helps to keep them from drying out.
You don’t have to use powdered sugar on top if you don’t want to. It does look nice, and since the brownies themselves aren’t overly sweet, a light dusting doesn’t overpower the dessert.
This year, I’m cutting the brownies into 1-inch by 2-inch rectangles, placing them in mini-cupcake wrappers as liners, and including them in the Christmas treat boxes I’m making to gift. This is a versatile recipe that works well in so many situations.
Make gingerbread brownies for gifting, pile them high on a platter for the Christmas dessert table, or just make a batch when the whim strikes because, why not?
If you’d like more gingerbread recipe inspiration, don’t forget to check out my baked gingerbread doughnuts and gingerbread eggnog cookie sandwiches along with the recipes for bundt and loaf cakes linked above.
I hope you love this recipe, darlings! Happy baking!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup molasses (dark)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (see notes)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (see notes)
- 1 ounce chopped crystallized ginger (see notes)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray or brush with melted butter. Line with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until just combined. Stir in the molasses and extract.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing to incorporate and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing on low until just incorporated. A streak or two of flour is fine.
- Using a rubber spatula (whatever you're using to scrape the bowl), fold in the chocolate chips and chopped crystallized ginger.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan and press into an even layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. A moist crumb or two is fine.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing. Cooling overnight, if possible, allows for maximum flavor development.
- Cut the brownies into 24 portions by dividing the short end into 4 equal rows and the long side into 6 equal columns.
- Dust the brownies with powdered sugar just before serving, if desired. Enjoy!
- Use vanilla extract, but if you happen to have cinnamon extract on hand, a 50/50 mix of cinnamon and vanilla extract adds a little extra depth of flavor that is very good!
- This is about 6-ounces worth of chocolate chips. You can swap out the white chocolate chips for whatever chocolate you prefer. If you don't have chocolate chips on hand, chopped chocolate is a great alternative.
- One ounce of crystallized ginger gives you about 2 tablespoons of chopped ginger.
- Most store-bought crystallized ginger can have some pretty big pieces. To help distribute the flavor evenly, chop any piece larger than a pea (or chocolate chip) down to a smaller size.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g
These nutrition values are estimates. Exact values will vary depending on the ingredients, brands, and quantities used.