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  1. For the cinnamon custard, bring the milk and cinnamon up to a simmer over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch, brown sugar and vanilla. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until all of the milk has been added. Return the custard to medium heat and whisk until mixture thickens and becomes glossy, about five minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter to melt. Strain and cover the surface of custard directly with plastic wrap and chill completely.
  3. For the chocolate sauce, heat condensed milk and chocolate over low heat, stirring until melted. Whisk in the water and set aside.
  4. When ready to assemble, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold half of the whipped cream into the custard and stir one tsp of the sugar into remaining half and chill for topping.
  5. To assemble, slice the gingerbread in half, and make ½-inch slices from each half. Arrange a layer of sliced gingerbread at the bottom of a 12-cup trifle dish. Pour a third of the chocolate sauce over the gingerbread and spread. Dollop a third of cinnamon custard over chocolate sauce and spread. Cover custard with a layer of gingerbread and repeat process two more times, ending with cinnamon custard. Chill until ready to serve.
  6. To serve, spread the reserved whipped cream over trifle and garnish with cinnamon and chocolate shavings.


This recipe features a classic proportion of spices. You can take this ratio of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, make a larger batch and then you have it on hand for pumpkin pie, spiced muffins or even to add a pinch to the coffee grounds when brewing a pot.

  • Makes one 8-inch square pan
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup fancy molasses
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, so that the paper comes up the sides of the pan.
  2. Beat the butter and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in molasses and lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, baking powder and baking soda to blend. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the hot water then add in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake to room temperature and then slice and serve. Gingerbread keeps for up to five days in an airtight container or frozen for two months.