Christmas Loaf

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Hello friends. This is my last Christmas recipe of the year. I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well.

I will have one more recipe before New Years, so stayed tune for that.

Let’s start with this recipe. Video for this recipe is on my Instagram @pastry_tales

Yield one big loaf pan 9 by 5 inches

Ingredients

For the cake

1 cup or 1 and 1/2 cups dried fruit mix ( I used cranberries, raisins and blueberries)

1/4 cup crystallized ginger chips. Here is the one I always use.

5 oz orange liqueur or any other liqueur you have at home. It can be rum, brandy, tequila.

1 cup walnuts or pecans (you can use mixed nuts too)

2 oranges, zest and juice

5-6 tablespoons honey

13 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

For the frosting

4 oz cream cheese, cold

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp orange extract

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions:

For the cake

1.- In a large pan on medium heat, add the dried fruit, rum, butter, honey, dark brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest, all the spices and cocoa powder. Stir good and let it boil making sure the butter melts. Then, take it off the heat and let it cool for about 1 hour.

2.- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour sides and bottom of a loaf pan. Set aside.

3.-  In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. This mix is going to be our dry ingredients.

4.- When the dried fruit mixture is cooled, add the eggs, dry ingredients and stir with a spatula, mix it all good making sure no flour lumps are left. Also, add the crystallized ginger and walnuts.

5.- Pour your batter on the cake pan. Bake it for about 1  hour and a half, BUT sometimes ovens are different, so I would recommend that after 1 hour you check the cake and see how is cooking. If the top is getting too dark and the inside needs more time to cook, grab a piece of foil paper and place it on the top and keep baking until is cooked. When the cake is done the top will look shiny and when you insert a toothpick moist crumbs should come out.

6.- Put the cake on a rack and let it cool for an hour or hour and a half, then take the cake out of the pan and let it cool completely.

Time to make the frosting.

For the frosting

1.- In a bowl beat the cream cheese (cold) for about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, orange extract, beat for 30 seconds. Then, add the powdered sugar in small amounts until smooth and creamy. For me, this amount of sugar gave me the thick consistency that I wanted, but if you think it’s too runny, add more powdered sugar.

2.- Spread a THICK layer of this frosting on the cake. Sprinkle some chopped walnuts on the top. You can decorate with sprinkles or frosted cranberries

This cake can last many days(without the frosting), just wrap it good!

Enjoy!!

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