There are so many things about the holiday season that I just love. The decorations, the parties, and of course, the food! From soups to stews to braised meats to spiced sauces and breads to desserts, creating recipes that use rich and aromatic ingredients not only tastes amazing but will make your home smell warm and welcoming. Gingerbread is one of those treats that just feel right to eat during this time of year.
The trick with making gingerbread loaves is to find the right balance of those intense spices like ginger, cloves and cinnamon. I think this recipe achieves the sweet spicy goal. I even added finely chopped Reed’s Crystallized Ginger to the mix. The sugar on the outside of the ginger offers a little crunch and sweetness to each slice. If you haven’t tried this before, it is a really nice touch. It is also delicious to just eat straight out of the tin. You might remember as a kid when your Mom gave you some ginger ale to settle your stomach. Well, this is the grown up version. And you may be eating it even when you feel great. It’s chewy with that crunchy sugar on the outside with a little spice with each bite. So good! Try it!
Like all bread mixes, this is nice to serve with coffee, dessert, breakfast or as a snack. I will even make a couple loaves and put them in the freezer. This comes in handy when friends and family come over as it just needs to be warmed to have something delicious to serve with coffee. It also makes for a nice treat to bring as a hostess gift.
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup applesauce or 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2-3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, diced into small pieces
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 - 2 tablespoons milk
- 350 degree oven
- Use non-stick spray or flour and butter a loaf pan
- Lightly mix dry ingredients of flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, salt, and baking soda just till blended.
- Cream butter. Add sugar, egg, applesauce (or oil) and vanilla and mix together in separate bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to applesauce mixture. Blend.
- Add the desired amount of crystallized ginger pieces to the batter. Mix to incorporate.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake 50 - 55 minutes. Test to see if done by use a cake tester or toothpick to see if it comes out clean with no batter on tester. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and then remove from pan onto cooling rack.
- Cake must be cool before drizzling glaze. Use as much glaze as you prefer. You can use whipped cream instead if you prefer.
- For the glaze, mix powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon milk. This should not be a thick consistency but easy to drizzle over gingerbread loaf. You may need to add a little more milk to achieve the desired texture.