Ah gingerbread. Such a classic and traditional holiday favourite. It’s a rich flavour that comes with a kick. It is definitely one of those distinct and full bodied tastes that you either love or hate. I happen to love and adore it. Gingersnap cookies, gingerbread loafs, gingerbread houses-all of it, I will take all of it.
This rich loaf recipe has been made gluten-free but let me tell you, it does not lack moisture. It does not lack flavour and it does not disappoint. I find it to be a rather spicy bite and the unsulphered molasses gives it such a bold color. I decided to incorporate fresh orange zest as I knew the sweet citrus hue would complement the strong characteristics of the loaf. The bread recipe is perfect just as is; sans icing so do not feel that it is necessary. For an alternative easy garnished look, simply sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
Orange Zest Gingerbread Loaf
*Makes 1 loaf
½ cup coconut palm sugar
¼ cup butter or ghee
¼ cup coconut oil
1 cup unsulphered molasses
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 ½ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
¾ tsp. xanthan gum (only if your gluten-free flour doesn’t have it)
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cloves
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. orange zest (and more for garnish, if desired)
1 cup hot water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, mix together the coconut palm sugar, butter, and coconut oil. Beat in the egg, molasses, and applesauce.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, sea salt and orange zest.
Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry and stir in the hot water.
Pour the batter into a greased or sprayed bread loaf pan.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Icing:
8 oz. plain cream cheese, room temperature
1/8 cup + 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp. honey
3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
Simply blend all of the ingredients together with an electric hand mixer or in a blender. Spread generously on top of the loaf once it has cooled. Garnish with extra orange zest if desired.