I used to love ginger loaf as a child, and discovered that my husband did too. I think the last time I baked one was a good 15 years ago! So it was high time I baked it again.
Making it was thoroughly enjoyable – there is something very satisfying about mixing up the dark and spicy molasses-rich batter.
Being quite a dense texture, I used to spread a generous amount of butter on my slice of ginger loaf. Not this one though – it comes with its own creamy icing that negates the need for any buttering! The rich, citrusy cream cheese icing really breathes life into this retro bake.
For a bit of fun you could also make mini ginger loaves. They add a cute factor to your tea party, and also make a welcome addition to kids lunchboxes. I used disposable mini-loaf tins (available at baking stores). Simply bake and serve as they are!
100g brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
5ml bicarbonate of soda
7,5ml ground ginger
Orange Cream Cheese Icing:
125g cream cheese, softened
50g butter, softened
5ml finely grated orange zest
15ml orange juice
250g icing sugar
10ml orange zest, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 11 x 21.5cm loaf tin (or use 8 mini loaf tins – 10 x 5.5cm).
- Place the butter, brown sugar and molasses into a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until melted. Remove from heat and add the milk. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl.
- Make a well in the middle, then add milk mixture and stir well.
- Lastly add the egg and mix until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin/s and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If making the mini loaves, bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow cool completely while you make the icing.
- Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the orange juice and zest and mix well.
- Gradually sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Once the cake has completely cooled, ice the top with the cream cheese icing.
- Spread the 10ml orange zest for decorating onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and dehydrate in a 100°C oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool – it will become crispy.
- Sprinkle over the top of the iced cake.