Fresh ginger, ground ginger and lemon juice make these Mini Gingerbread Lemon Loaves packed full of undeniably delicious flavor and charm! They are perfect as gifts for the holiday season!
Every Christmas I usually make about 10 different kids of cookies to give away as gifts. This year however I was not feeling as motivated to do that much baking but still wanted to give home baked gifts. One of Matty’s favorite German Christmas cookies is the Zimtsterne… a star shaped cinnamon and gingerbread cookie topped with a lemon glaze. This cookie is what inspired me to make these gingerbread loaves!
I knew I wanted to incorporate lemon and ginger into the recipe and there’s no better way to do that than by using fresh! I peeled grated a big piece of ginger root and pressed it into the granulated sugar before creaming it with the butter. Pressing the root into the sugar releases all the oil and flavor creating a fluffy ginger sugar that packs a big flavor punch in the bread.
Fresh squeezed lemon juice and candied lemon peel add the perfect amount of tart acidity and texture to the glaze. The candied ginger came from a small shop in Nuremberg, but I’m certain you could find it at a local candy store or specialty market like Trader Joes.
If you love the Starbucks gingerbread… then you’ll definitely love this! The flavor is spot on… if not better than the Starbucks loaf and the texture is insane. LOVE this bread, so much!
I’ve never used paper baking pans before these loaves. I wasn’t quite sure how they’d bake, but I am surprised to say that I love them! It was great to be able to give gifts of bread loves instead of cookies or cupcakes… something new and fun is always a joy to give to others! I really only wish I would have bought more of them when the PX carried them last month! They’re a great investment if you love sharing your baked goods! I’m giving these loaves to friends and teachers of Emily for the holidays!
The only downside of this recipe was that it didn’t make enough for me to keep a loaf for myself! Next time, I’ll make the recipe twice so I have enough for me!
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp roasted ground cloves
- 2 Tbsp ground nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup freshly grated peeled ginger root
- 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp orange extract
- 3 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 8 free standing paper baking pans (4.5in long x 2.5in wide x 2.25in high)
Lemon Glaze & Garnish
- 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 lemon, zested/peeled and juiced
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- candied ginger strips
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Arrange the baking pans on two baking sheets, 4 on each sheet.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, salt and baking soda.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the grated ginger root and the granulated sugar. Using the back of a rubber spatula, press the sugar into the ginger releasing the oils and flavor from the ginger into the sugar. Continue for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar is fluffy and fragrant. Add the brown sugar and mix together on low speed.
- Add the softened butter to the sugar and ginger and cream together for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl several times. Add the orange extract and beat 1 more minute.
- Pour in the apple sauce and mix on medium until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again. Don't worry, the mixture will look curdled, but it will fix itself once the flour has been added.
- Add the flour in three parts and mix on medium-low until each addition is just combined. Finish the batter by folding until all the flour has been incorporated.
- Separate the batter evenly into the 8 baking pans. About 1 overflowing cup of batter per pan.
- Bake both sheets of batter on the same shelf for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the bread is a deep brown color. If both trays will not fit on one self, bake them one at a time. You may need to reduce the baking time by 5-10 minutes if only one tray is baked.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Glaze & Garnish
- Zest/peel the lemon into long strips of rind then cut the strips into small pieces. Toss lemon pieces in granulated sugar until covered. Once covered, spread out on wax paper until ready to use.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth. Mix in the salt.
- Add the juice of the lemon mix until combined. Glaze should be thick enough to spread without running but still loose.
- Spread or drizzle glaze over the cooled loaves. Garnish with sugared lemon peels and candied ginger pieces.
This recipe makes 8 medium sized mini loaves. If you want fuller loaves, make 6-7 instead of 8.