Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gingerbread + A Secret Ingredient


  • Makes 2 mini loaves, 780 cal
With the Christmas season comes baked goods on top of baked goods. So what am I spending my break doing? Baking of course! It's the perfect excuse to spend even more of my time in the kitchen. I'm a sucker for gingerbread, which may be weird, since I have heard from multiple people lately how much they dislike gingerbread. The chocolate and sugar cookies can be made any time of year, but gingerbread... that's just for Christmas. I like that both the bread and the cookies have that bold molasses flavor. I like that they aren't too sweet too, since that is an easy thing to get sick of this time of year.

This bread does just that, it's a gingerbread with some bold molasses flavor and just the right amount of sweetness (it is a bread after all, not a cookie). There is also a secret ingredient: coffee. The coffee gives it an unexpected twist that compliments the spices oh so well. It also keeps the bread nice and moist, so you just keep going back for another slice. 

The first time I made this bread I didn't have any applesauce. (What house doesn't have applesauce?) So, in dealing with this issue, I replaced the applesauce with banana puree because I read somewhere that fruit purees were essentially interchangeable. Wrong answer. Applesauce has almost no flavor, where as banana has a very distinct flavor in baked goods. The end product was this awkward conglomeration of ginger, molasses, coffee, and banana. In addition, I felt like the coffee flavor overpowered the two main features of the bread: molasses and ginger. I wasn't about to give up on this one though, I really wanted this recipe to work! Take two: I used applesauce as directed, used medium roast coffee instead of dark, and added an extra dollop* of molasses, a dash* of ginger, and a pinch* of cinnamon. Perfect. The final product turned out just as I had hoped!



  • Since I baked this bread in mini loaves, the baking time was less than half that of a large loaf. This means that from beginning to end it takes less than and hour, which is impressive for a sweet bread. It also means there's no need to cover the top with tinfoil. This bread rises a significant amount too; I only filled each pan a little over halfway. 
Makes 2 mini loaves, 780 calories each

  • Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Tablespoon + a dash* ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon + a pinch* ground cinnamon
  • Pinch* ground cloves
  • Pinch* ground allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup molasses (plus a dollop* more)


1. Preheat oven to 350 F, grease 2 mini loaf pans, and brew coffee.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.

3. In a second bowl, whisk coconut oil into coffee (this will melt the coconut oil), then add applesauce, molasses and egg. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and stir just until combined. 
4. Pour batter into prepared pans, filling half full, and bake in oven for 27-33 minutes on middle rack. Bread is ready when toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack, removing bread from pans after 10 minutes.

*A dash is equivalent to 1/8 teaspoon. A pinch is equivalent to 1/16 teaspoon. A dollop is a little more than 1 teaspoon.