Sparkling Gingerbread Loaf

December 2, 2010

Post image for Sparkling Gingerbread Loaf

I’ve taken this week of work as I was supposed to be heading up to Seattle to catch up with some friends. Long story short is I didn’t make it to the US due to a few issues Qantas were having with their planes, so I’ve put my trip on hold until the new year. Have you ever planned to do something exciting like that and had to cancel at the last minute? It’s a total bummer. But do you know what makes up for it? A whole week of nothing. Actually, a whole week of organizing in advance for Christmas. If you’re not into Christmas like I am then this probably sounds about as exciting as a stomach ulcer. But me, I’m in holiday planning heaven right now.

I started yesterday by baking this spiced gingerbread loaf to get me in the mood for putting up our Christmas tree. I’m a huge fan of gingerbread and its warm, spicy scent that snakes though the house as it bakes. This recipe has a gorgeous blend of cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, mustard, applesauce and two gingers: powdered and candied. I topped it with a lemon glaze and homemade candied orange peel, the recipe of which will follow shortly.

If you’re not a glaze person don’t worry – this loaf holds up very well on it’s own. I also made another one of these without the glaze, and gave it to my dad. He loved it.

Sparkling Gingerbread Loaf Recipe

As you can see in the photos, I chopped the orange peel into large pieces. I think next time I will mince the heck out of them and sprinkle them more liberally. Then it will be really sparkly. I made my own orange peel. Store bought is fine too.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1¼ stick / 5oz / 140g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup unrefined cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ cup candied ginger, cut into tiny cubes
½ cup water
1 cup applesauce or 2 apples peeled and finely grated with microplane
zest of one orange
1 cup icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup candied orange peel, minced

Preheat oven to 350F / 180C, fan forced. Grease a 9×4-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and candied ginger.

In a small mixing bowl, mix together the water, finely grated apple, and orange zest.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl, then quickly beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.

Mix half the flour mix into the egg mix, then add half the wet mix. Repeat.
Bake until a toothpick or thin knife comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes.

Mix the icing sugar with the lemon until smooth and loose enough to drizzle easily.  Wait until cake is completely cooled and drizzle over. Sprinkle with candied orange peel.

Makes a 9″ loaf.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Thetreadmilldiaries December 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm

This bread & icing look fabulous.

sally December 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Looks like a wonderful combination of spices and citrus. A perfect bread for the holidays!

Joe December 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Thanks for your kind words, Sally :)

Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul December 2, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I LOVE your blog!
I also LOVE this recipe! I just made a Guinness Stout Ginger Pear Bundt (which I’ve posted on my blog), and now I’m really in the mood for constant Ginger Breads until the end of the holiday season, at least. With that said, this Ginger Bread is top on my list to bake!
I’m particularly interested in what the mustard powder adds : )

Joe December 2, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Thanks Jenné – Guinness? and Molasses? I love dark, complex flavours so that sounds like my kind of cake. The mustard powder in this gingerbread loaf works really well – it lifts the spice level a notch or two without overwhelming any of the other flavours.

Emm December 2, 2010 at 9:41 pm

mmmm, looks lovely Joe :-) We’ve just put up our tree after 2 weeks of the kids wingeing at me! I’m slowly getting into christmas mode…slowly.

Jennie @ Oh, Sweet Day! December 3, 2010 at 12:49 am

GORGEOUS!!!! I love how it really does sparkle with the candied ginger!

Joe December 3, 2010 at 9:11 am

Emm, that sounds like me… I had to beg my room mate to help me get the tree…. I even threw a mini tantrum. Guess I’m still a kid when it comes to Christmas!

Jennie – thanks!

Anna Johnston December 4, 2010 at 12:13 am

Having to cancel a long awaited trip would be a total bummer, I’d be heartbroken.., but wow the smell that this beautiful ginger loaf would permeate the house and give off the best of aromas, nice one.

Natalie December 8, 2010 at 11:18 am

just found your blog and all the food youre making looks delicious! i liked reading your story too

when i get back to my own kitchen (currently abroad in italy) i will definitely be making this sparkling ginger loaf! thanks for sharing!

Joe December 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Hey Natalie, thanks! Yes, the only thing that sucks about being abroad is not having your own kitchen… although I’m sure there is no shortage of good food in Italy :)

Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum December 16, 2010 at 1:41 am

I am going to make this to give to my coworkers! Do you think the icing would hold up if I wrapped it in plastic wrap?

Joe December 16, 2010 at 7:59 am

Hi Lindsay – yes the icing will hold up, just make sure it is not too runny when you make it. Start by adding the lemon juice, a tablespoon at a time, until it is thick like peanut butter. That way it should set and dry quickly.

Laura March 8, 2011 at 8:22 am

Hey Joe! I couldn’t find candied orange peel here in the states stores (a aussie lost in a american supermarket) so decided to add cranberries and complete it with your lemon glaze! WONDERFUL! :) Yum 5star

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