Northern California is starting to cool off and it’s 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 baked goods, 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 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.
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!
Video of this recipe and other Christmas recipes are posted on my Instagram. Click HERE.
Let’s start baking!
Yield one regular loaf pan
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 crystallized ginger chips, I used “The Ginger People” brand. Click HERE
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
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 dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix in low speed until well combined but don’t overmix. With a spatula, fold in the crystallized ginger chips.
5.- Bake 375 F for the first 30 minutes, and then turn down the temperature to 350 F and finish baking for another 20 minutes or until a toothpick 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 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 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. Sprinkle some chopped walnuts or crystallized ginger on top. Slice and Serve.