Gingerbread is not just for Christmas anymore. I also find it necessary to pooh-pooh all those who cringe at the mere mention of gingerbread. I know there are many of you out there, and yes, in the past even I have made the “yuck face” when the word gingerbread has entered into a conversation. In general, I’ve found that gingerbread cookies suck. I’m not going to even try to pretty up that statement. Gingerbread cookies deserve no love. They are usually hard, have a cardboard-like texture, and would be better off used as a coaster. Sorry to all those gingerbread men and women out there, but you will not find a happy home in my house; move along. Gingerbread cake on the other hand is an entirely different story. It’s moist, flavorful, and when covered in cream cheese frosting who can resist it. Certainly not me, and remember I don’t do cake. This cake changes all of the rules though.
This recipe is yet another from the classes that I have been taking at The Boutique Bakeshop from Maria O’Rourke. I didn’t change a whole lot, because her recipes are pretty much fantastic without being tampered with. However, I felt this overwhelming need to add mini semi-sweet chocolate baking chips into the batter, as well as swapping orange zest into the frosting recipe in place of lemon zest. That last one was because I just happened to have an orange sitting around. You know me, always trying to use what I have on hand, because I hate throwing things away, and I am not the type of person who usually just eats an orange as is. Fruit is just so inconvenient, always needing to be washed, dried, peeled, and such before it can be eaten. So much work on its part, and so much laziness on my part. Just in case you’re wondering what happened to the orange after I zested it, I forced B.O.B. Bob to eat it. Quite frankly I’m a genius. He still hasn’t caught on that usually when I’m offering him something, it’s because I don’t want to eat it. He makes a wonderful garbage disposal. Yes, I know I’m going to regret that statement. He always chooses the days I talk about him to read Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck. Oh well, sorry honey, but thanks for polishing off that orange for me.
- 1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Sea Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
- 1 Egg, Room Temperature
- 1/3 Cup Molasses
- 3 Tablespoons Milk
- 1/3 Cup Miniature Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips
- 1 (8-oz) Package Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Curd
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon; set aside.
- Using a mixer, on medium speed, cream the butter for 3 minutes.
- Add the sugar, and cream on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Add the egg, and mix for 1 additional minute.
- On slow speed, gradually add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
- Add the molasses and milk, and mix for 15 seconds.
- Add the miniature chocolate chips, and use a spatula to make sure everything is fully incorporated.
- Spray a 9×13 metal cake pan with cooking spray, and then dump the gingerbread mixture into the pan.
- Use a spatula coated with cooking spray to spread the batter out evenly.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the gingerbread to cool completely before frosting.
- Beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon curd and zest; mix 1 minute.
- On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar; mix until smooth.
- Frost the gingerbread and refrigerate until serving.
- I didn’t change much in this gingerbread recipe. I added an additional 1/4-teaspoon of salt and chocolate chips in the gingerbread batter, and I swapped orange zest in place of lemon zest in the frosting.
- If you want to serve this gingerbread in pre-cut squares, spray the pan with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, and then spray the parchment paper. It will help you remove the gingerbread easily. I was taking mine to work for co-workers, so it was easier to leave it in the pan.
- Sifting the powdered sugar before making the frosting will ensure a non-lumpy and silky smooth texture.
- Add vanilla to the batter and the frosting. A 1/4-teaspoon is not enough to alter the consistency of each greatly.
- Use orange marmalade in lieu of lemon curd.
- If you use lemon zest in place of the orange zest, you can use the lemon to make vodka tonics. Then you won’t need a B.O.B. Bob to be your fruit garbage disposal system, and you’ll get a nice little buzz as a bonus.
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: Gingerbread Squares with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting by Maria O’Rourke
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