Last weekend, my husband and I hosted an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. I told everyone there would be a prize for the winner. After the votes came in, my husband won! However, I didn't want him to get the prize, so I gave it to his two friends tied for second. When I told them what the prize was, a loaf of delicious gingerbread, they were less than excited. Crazy talk, right?
JJ told them that it was really good, and they should at least try it. He cut them each a piece, and of course, they loved it! Silly boys - what's not to love, spicy ginger and cinnamon, tender cake all topped with cream cheese frosting and bits of candied ginger. This loaf cake is reminiscent of my favorite Starbucks loaf cake, but it's a bit less dense. Perfect to whip up with simple ingredients from the pantry and spice rack. I love it as a holiday breakfast treat without the icing, but it's a little more fancy and dessert worthy with it.
Old Fashioned Gingerbread
adapted from allrecipes.com
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 c. Guinness or hot water
Cream Cheese Frosting
(cream together 2 oz. cream cheese with 2 tbsp. butter, add 2 c. powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla, whip until incorporated, thinning with milk if necessary)
Candied ginger pieces
Preheat oven to 350*
Grease a loaf pan, line with parchment.
In a stand mixer, cream sugar and butter.
Add egg, molasses and vanilla, mix until light and fluffy.
Turn mixer off, add flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt, turn mixer on slow until flour is just absorbed, add the Guinness or water and mix until it's absorbed, do not overmix!
Pour batter into loaf pan and place in the oven.
Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool on a rack until room temperature.
Smear with frosting and dot with ginger pieces.