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For this post, I chose this decadent chocolate, honey and ginger squares, which is simple but very meaningful for me, full of nice memories about life in Brazil and my dance students in my former career. “Pão de Mel”, as we call it, a brownie kind of treat, with a lighter batter, fragrant with cinnamon, cloves, honey, and ginger. It is coverd with chocolate and normally packed individually. It is my treat of choice for an afternoon snack, great for a quick breakfast and coffee and even as a dessert.

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The original recipe calls for a filling of “Doce de leite“, in Portuguese, or “dolce de leite“, as known in North America. In this batch, however, I haven’t done it. Actually, if you are not a big sweet tooth, skip this step, the honey batter and chocolate topping are sweet to perfection to me.

Chocolate, honey and ginger squares (Pão de Mel)

2 cups all purpose flour (or 1 cup and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp grated cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
2 tbs butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 tsp grated ginger

225 gr bittersweet chocolate shredded to be melted

Doce de Leite* for the filling if you have chosen to do so.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Get your baking pan ready, greased with butter. I use this square muffins pan.
In a medium bowl sift all dry ingredients together. Mix in milk and honey, melted butter and egg, stirring well and pour it in the tins, filling up to 2/3.

chocolate honey ginger squares

Bake for 15 to 20 min.

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chocolate honey ginger squares

Let it cool completely. You might want to trim the tops off the squares, to get a flat surface, that will get you a prettier presentation. If you are doing the filling, at this point cut each square in half and spread out 1tbs of the “Doce de leite“.

Start melting the chocolate in a bowl immersed in simmering water and in the meantime line up parchment paper on your countertop or cookies sheet. It is always a good idea to melt 2/3 of the chocolate and leave the other 1/3 to temper it slowly. The chocolate will look shinier and more uniform after is cooled.

chocolate honey ginger squares

As you coat the squares in the chocolate, be careful to let the excess to drip off. Let it dry completely before serving.

chocolate honey ginger squares

chocolate honey ginger squares

* “Doce de Leite” is a soft milky fudge very popular in South America. My grandmother used to make it from scratch, slowly boiling a large amount of milk and sugar until the wanted fudge consistency. The easiest way of making “Doce de leite” though is cooking a can of condensed milk.
If you have a pressure cooker, just put the whole unopened can, sideways, covered with water in the pan and let it cook for 30 min for soft Doce de Leite or 40 min for a thicker consistency. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, boil in medium heat in a pan for 1 hour.

Very important Make sure to let the can cool off completely before attempting to open it, as the content would be extremely hot and would burst out of the can, in a dangerous way. It is a good idea to let it rest overnight or make it in the day before.



chocolate, honey and ginger squares


Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Topping