I did it! I nailed the Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf! Finally, after all these years! And even better…I veganized it!
I have never had luck with quick breads. Mine always turn out flat. Concave actually. I blame the high altitude. But I know plenty of other people who live at this same altitude and they don’t have problems with their quick breads going flat so I don’t know what I do wrong.
I have learned to tweak a couple things when I bake muffins or quick breads and it has really helped. First, I have to bake at 10-15˚ hotter than the recipe calls for. Then I have to cut the sugar by about 10-25%, and sometimes I add 1-2 extra tablespoons of flour.
Now the issue at hand is…how do I not eat a whole loaf of gingerbread! I mean geez! At least when I buy a slice at Starbucks that’s all I get. A slice! But now I have an entire loaf of this stuff staring me down. This is precisely the reason I don’t bake. I love to bake but I also love to EAT what I bake.
Here is the Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf in it’s glass cage. Sad.
And here is my version! I couldn’t find those little candied orange pieces but who cares, right?
Oh, and wedding dress shopping was a total bust this weekend. The store I went to that supposedly carried the dress I’m after didn’t have anything even remotely close for me to try on. Instead the gal working there made me try these beaded, lacey, ruffled, mega-train, 40 pound, built-in corset dresses. Yeah, let me just cram that in my suitcase for my destination wedding.
Then I went to the mega-chain wedding dress store (you know the one) just to get that bad wedding dress taste out of my mouth. They kicked me out because I didn’t have an appointment. Fine, I won’t buy a dress from you if that’s what you want. Super smart business practice. You will make a lot of money that way. Wait, what?
It’s all good though because the dress I really, really want isn’t available at the mega-chain wedding dress store anyway. It’s from a really smart company and they have a really brilliant program. You pick out the dress you want online, then you ORDER A SAMPLE of the dress in the size you want. For $35 they mail you the dress AND a pre-paid return shipping label. So you try it on, and if you love it, you just keep it. If you don’t love it, or you want a different size, you just send it back. And you get to keep it for 2 days to try it on all you want. Oh and they deduct that $35 from the total price of the dress if you end up buying one. Risk free shopping. Now we are talking! I love the internet :):):)
Ok, here is the recipe for that delicious Gingerbread Loaf!
1 1/2 cups all purpose baking flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 1/4 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 8oz package vegan cream cheese (yes, it exists! I used toffuti and it REALLY is better than cream cheese)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt and baking soda.
In a separate mixing bowl cream together the sugar and shortening. Then mix the applesauce and orange extract in. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until smooth but do not overmix or it could make the bread tough.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. My batter was very light and fluffy and didn’t look like any quickbread I have ever made before.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Side note: Those are the real instructions for normal people. Since I struggle with concave baked good syndrome I only used 3/4 cup sugar, turned the oven up to 365˚ and baked for 40 minutes.
After the bread is COMPLETELY COOLED make the frosting. I will never forget the first cake I made. I was so excited to frost the cake (I have always loved frosting) that I took it out of the oven, let it cool for about 30-45 seconds then frosted it. I learned the hard way that frosting will melt right off if the cake isn’t cooled.
Frosting: Cream the cream cheese and extracts together then cream the sugar in. I ended up having to add waaaaay more sugar than the recipe calls for so I could have halved this recipe because I had way too much frosting. Huge problem 🙂