I was not a fan of gingerbread flavor, but I changed my mind after I made this delicious cake that screams Christmas in every bite! Texas is starting to cool off (a bit, not much really) and it has been a good excuse to turn on my oven and start making Christmas treats to enjoy my favorite Christmas movies. This gingerbread loaf is perfect for a chilly morning. This cake does not have molasses like other recipes, but I added candied ginger which makes the bread tastier!
There is no trick for this recipe. Just one thing to remember when you make the icing/frosting: Use cold cream cheese not room temperature. Using cold cream cheese will make your frosting perfect and not runny.
Video of this recipe and other Christmas recipes are posted on my Instagram. Click HERE.
Let’s start baking and if you make this, let me know!
Yield one loaf pan
For the cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg at room temperature
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used granny smith, but you can use any other you prefer)
1 and 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 uncrystallized candied ginger, chopped into small pieces. I got it at Trader Joe’s.
For the frosting
4 oz cream cheese frosting, cold
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp orange extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
You can use sprinkles. I bought my mini gingerbread men at Home Goods.
For the cake
1.- Preheat oven to 350 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 egg and keep mixing. Add vanilla extract and mix. Now, add the apple and keep mixing in medium-high speed, you will notice that the batter will curdle but don’t worry, it will all come together after you add the dry ingredients.
4.- Add dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix in low speed until well combined but don’t overmix. With a spatula, fold in the chopped candied ginger.
5.- Bake at 350 F for about 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the top of your bread gets dark too soon but the inside needs more baking time, grab a piece of foil and cover the top and continue baking until is 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 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 sifted powdered sugar.
2.- Spread a THICK layer of this frosting on the bread. Add sprinkles or nuts or more ginger on top!
Note: About what kind of sprinkles to use. Be careful if you get super cheap sprinkles because they might “leak” or “bleed” into the frosting, and you do not want that. If you are not sure what kind of sprinkles you are using, I recommend that you add the sprinkles before serving!