Y’all can keep your pumpkin spice. As the time change rolls in, I’m feeling this Gingerbread Loaf Cake filled with chunks of fresh pear. I’m not a lover of winter – or anything even close to winter – so I may rely solely on this dense and decadent beauty to get me through to spring.
I’d better get some more pears.
This Caramel Icing is TO DIE FOR
A cooked, pour-over caramel icing is kind of a southern thing – but this NY/PA girl is infatuated. It’s the perfect sweet, glaze-y topping for this spiced cake, and the texture! Because you pour it over warm, it sets up soft with a tiny bit of a crinkly crunch at the very surface.
Soooo delish – a great balance for the dark, spicy cake, and a pretty standard ingredients list, too.
That’s always a plus when a craving hits after dark.
Gingerbread Loaf Cake
Take my word: this is the holiday cake you’ll want to make over and over again throughout the season. Make it your signature fall party go-to, and you’ll never have to worry about what to bring again.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp molasses
- ¼ cup apple cider or juice (or, just toss in a pear fruit cup. That's what I do and it's perfect!)
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp gingerbread spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups fresh, ripe pears, chopped
- For icing:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spray a 9x5 loaf pan lightly with cooking spray. (Line with parchment, if desired, for easy removal.) .
- Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg, molasses and cider/juice.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add to mixture already in the bowl. Stir or mix on low speed just until fully incorporated; fold in pears. Turn batter into pan and spread lightly to even out.
- Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Check at 50 minutes. If not done, continue baking, checking in 5 minutes increments so as not to overbake.)
- Let cool completely on a rack before frosting.
- To make caramel icing :
- In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together over low heat. Bring to a boil, about 2 minutes. Stir continuously.
- Add milk, bring back to a brief boil and remove from heat. Cool slightly.
- Whisk in powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, whisking until smooth.
- Pour over cooled cake. Let sit until icing is cool and set before serving.
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