Gingerbread Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting

Northern California is starting to cool off and that is a good excuse to turn on my oven and bake Christmas goodies. This gingerbread loaf is perfect for a chilly morning. When my husband had a bite of this bread, he told me that it was better than the Starbucks one. I mean, I like Starbucks stuff, but I think when you make stuff at home, they can be a little healthier and fresh. This loaf does not have molasses like other recipes, but I added crystallized ginger chips which makes the bread more tasty!

There is no trick for this recipe. Just one thing to remember : Use cold cream cheese not room temperature. Using cold cream cheese will make your frosting perfect and not runny.

I know many people from Facebook asked me for this recipe! So if this is you, leave me a comment! Sorry it took me so long to post!

Let’s start baking!

Ingredients

For the bread

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup white granulated sugar

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg, room temperature

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/3 cup ginger chips, I used “The Ginger People” brand.

For the frosting

4 oz cream cheese frosting, cold

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp orange extract

orange zest from one orange

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

For the bread

1.- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Butter or spray a 9×5 loaf pan. Set aside.

2.- In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.

3.-Using a mixer, cream butter for about 2 minutes. Then, add the sugar and mix until fluffy for 2 more minutes. Add in the vanilla and egg. At this point the batter will curdle but don’t worry, it will all come together again.  Add the apple sauce and mix .

4.- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix until well combined but don’t overmix. With a spatula, fold in the candied ginger pieces.

5.- Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If the top of your bread gets dark too soon but the inside is still wet, grab a piece of foil and cover the top and continue baking until is all fully cooked.

6.- Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting

1.- In a bowl beat the cream cheese (cold) for about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, orange extract and orange zest, beat for 30 seconds. Then, add the powdered sugar in small ammounts 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 bread. Sprinkle some chopped walnuts on the top.

Enjoy!!

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