Orange Gingerbread Loaves with Cream Cheese Frosting

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The Scoop:

Have you found yourself slipping in and out of sugar-induced comas over the last few days?

Or is that just me?

It can’t just be me, right?  The sugar coma things happens to everyone post-Christmas right?  Seriously though, it is killing me.  But not.  But kind of.  Killing me in a good way I guess.  Does any of that make sense?  Ummmmm probably not.

What I’m trying to say is I’ve been eating so many sweets lately that my brain is starting to do funny stuff.  And things are getting dangerous over here in Spatularette world because the season of baked goods sure isn’t over yet, but I really cannot have one more chocolate covered anything.  Look, I’m not even writing coherent sentences anymore.  I blame it on the sugar.

If you find yourself suffering from the same medical condition, we’ll call it Type H Sugaritis (H for holiday) and you need a breakfast, dessert, snack, we’ll just call it a baked good, that’s not so sickeningly sweet, these Orange Gingerbread Loaves are where it’s at.  I’m not saying they are healthy.  I’m just saying they aren’t sickeningly sweet.  I’m also saying they’re delicious: pungent seasonal spices balanced out by a powerful zip from the orange zest and perfectly complimented by a sweet (but not too sweet) cream cheese frosting.

Because cream cheese frosting is definitely what I need right now…

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The Goods:

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c plus 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 3/4 brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 3/4 c warm water

Frosting:

  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 stick (1/2 c) butter, at room temp
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

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The Deets:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 4 mini loaf pans, 1 full sized loaf pan, or an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and baking soda.  In a separate larger bowl, combine the oil and brown sugar and mix until well combined.  Add the eggs, molasses, honey, and orange zest, continuing  to mix until things are nearly smooth.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet  ingredients, all at once, and keep mixing  until they have been fully incorporated.  Finally pour in the warm water and mix, mix, mix until the batter is silky smooth.

Pour into the prepared baking pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let the gingerbread cool for about 20 minutes then remove from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

While the cake cools, make the frosting.  Beat 1 package of room temperature cream cheese in a  stand  mixer until very smooth.  Add the butter and keep beating until light and fluffy.  Add  1 cup of powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once.  Add the vanilla and 1 more cup of powdered sugar and beat to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl again before adding  the final cup of powdered  sugar and continue beating until a light and smooth frosting is formed.

Frost the loaves generously.

**Disclaimer: the original recipe calls for the 8×8  baking pan and I used the mini loaf pans (because you know me and know that I love all things mini), but I’ve never actually tested the recipe with the full sized loaf  pan.  Given the volume of the full sized pan in relation to the 8×8, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work though… you might just have to adjust your baking time a bit so keep an eye on it while in the oven.

The Inspiration:

Adapted from Joy the Baker’s Orange Gingerbread Cake.

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You need this one in your life.  Trust me.

XOXO,

Tall One

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