|Gluten Free Ginger Loaf|
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup softened, unsalted butter
3/4 cup honey
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Gluten Free Flour
4 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp crystallized ginger, finely diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs, separated
zest of 1 blood orange
Blood Orange Icing
juice of 1 blood orange
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
Preheat your oven to 335˚F. Prepare a 9x5in loaf pan by greasing the bottom and sides and lining with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream brown sugar and butter together with the paddle attachment. Add honey and egg yolks and mix.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and baking soda. Add dry mixture, crystallized ginger, salt, and blood orange zest to the stand mixer bowl and mix until batter is smooth.
Whip eggs whites in a small bowl until light and foamy. Fold in to stand mixer bowl completely. Scoop batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes.
While ginger loaf is baking, prepare the icing.
In a small bowl, whisk together blood orange juice and sugar. Icing will be thick, so add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk to loosen it to the appropriate consistency. Once the loaf has completely cooled, pour icing over the top and allow to set for a few minutes. Slice and serve!
Who’s ready for some spice?
This ginger cake has a powerful kick of warm ginger with a smooth and sweet (and cute) layer of pink icing on top. A loaf cake is such a warm, no nonsense dessert, and when you pop on a couple bobbles on top, you can make it look pretty posh. Who wants to try?
First of all, this is a ginger cake, not a gingerbread cake. Although there is cinnamon and cloves in here, it doesn’t have the sweet molasses pack that a gingerbread does. This is going to be a bit more fiery!
Since we’re using a lot of ginger, I recommend checking out your nearest Indian grocer. I live pretty close to Patel Brothers and I was able to find toooons of ginger products way cheaper than anywhere else.
You can, of course, use plain oranges in place of the blood oranges as well, since they aren’t super common. But if you can find them, they’re just so cool, right? I found mind at Patty’s Farm Market in Aspinwall. The oranges were what inspired this recipe actually. I always want to make something new when I spot blood oranges. My husband loves the flavor, and I love that they’re kind of weird and turn your icings pink. Win-win.
So, let me explain the baking temperature on this one. Usually, you bake nearly all cakes at 350˚F. However, when I baked this cake at 350, it cooked too quickly on the outside and not enough on the inside. So by the time the inside was done, the edges had burned. I’m also trying to get used to my new oven. We have a gas stove, which I’ve heard can be tricky for baking, but we’ll see how it goes. I have my temperature gauge in there, and it seems to fluctuate 15-25 degrees several times throughout baking, so I’m a little concerned that this is going to make things hard when developing recipes. So, my recommendation is to bake at 335˚F, but if your cake doesn’t rise in the middle, go ahead and increase the temp to 350˚F and let me know that it’s just my oven!
So here goes. Start by prepping everything. Turn on the oven, prep your loaf pan, and grab all your ingredients. I like to start by separating the eggs, but don’t whisk the egg whites yet because if you let them sit there too long, the foam will die and be useless. So just separate and set aside for now.
Next, peel and grate the ginger. You want roughly a tablespoon of fresh ginger so you want a nice big chunk. The piece I got for this was about 2 inches long so that’s a good place to start. Now, everyone says that the best way to peel ginger is with a spoon. I’m not going to say they’re wrong, but I prefer to peel with a knife. Everytime I’ve used the spoon method, there’s like 3 seconds where I’m like, “this is cool and so easy and wow so little waste!” but then the 4th second starts with the, “auuugh ginger in my eye!”
So, I’m gonna leave it up to you. Then, grate ginger into a bowl and you can measure out a tablespoon from there.
Then, chop up your crystallized ginger. This is the real good stuff. It packs a hit and remains in these chunks throughout the baking process, so make sure they’re pretty small pieces. Go ahead and chop up a little extra to sprinkle on top of the loaf to garnish and make it real cute.
Now you’re ready to go.
Cream together butter and sugar, and make sure to scrape the bowl so you get everything. Then, add the honey and egg yolks and mix. This is going to look disgusting. The eggs won’t 100% combine with the sugars, so it’s going to be a little lumpy. Just keep mixing while you work on the other stuff, and even then it won’t be totally smooth. No problem. It will all come together after we add more ingredients.
So now you can go ahead and sift together your dry ingredients and spices. Sift. Always sift. That way there aren’t any gross lumps in your batter. The kosher salt, orange zest, and various gingers can just go on top after since they won’t be able to get through the sifter.
Mix all that up and the gross, kind of curdled looking batter will finally come together smoothly. Nice!
From here, you want to whip up those egg whites. Since this loaf cake is gluten free, we want to pop in a little more air to give it some height. I found that folding in the egg whites after everything helps. This is another kind of gross looking process. It’s going to take a minute to fold the eggs whites in completely and until then, they’re going to just look all wet all over the batter. So, just be patient and keep folding and eventually it will come together.
Time to bake! Pour or scoop the batter into your loaf pan. It’s quite a thick so you’ll probably have to do a combo of scoop and pour. Smooth out the top of the batter in the pan with a spatula and then go ahead and place it in the oven. I like to put this loaf on the lower rack of my oven to keep the top from cooking too quickly.
At 55 minutes, check your cake with a skewer. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready to come out! But if it’s still a little gooey, leave it a bit longer.
To make the icing, you can use the same orange that you zested earlier. Cut in half and squeeze out the juice over a sieve to catch any seeds or fibers. Toss in some powdered sugar, whisk whisk whisk, and add milk a little bit at a time. Seriously. A LITTLE BIT. You can test the consistency by running a spoon through the icing and lifting it up. You want the icing to eventually pool back into itself, but you want this to happen slowly. Nailed it.
Once the loaf is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool. DO NOT try to take it out of the pan until it’s totally cool or you will risk breaking it. Just hold on. But, when you do eventually take it out, plop it on a cooling rack or plate and pour the icing on, sprinkle with chopped, crystallized ginger, and you’re done! Not bad, right?
I hope you like this cake!