Christmastime for most of us is filled with traditions. Traditions are a big part of what makes the season so special to me. Many of those traditions revolving around food. When the kids were small, we always baked cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. They are older now but I still bake cookies on Christmas Eve. Christmas candy is something my mama always made, and I have continued that tradition at my house.
My kids decorated a gingerbread house every year when they were younger. Wes stopped doing helping with that in his early teens, but Savannah continued, and we had a gingerbread house in the center of the table every year. That is, until last year. With Savannah’s busy schedule she just could not find the time to decorate one last year. I’m not going to lie. The table looked a little lonely and sad.
This year I have decided to change up the tradition a bit. We will have gingerbread at the house but in a different form. I will be making this delicious gingerbread loaf to snack on during our time together. This loaf fills the house with a wonderful aroma as it bakes. It’s perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or as a snack, or even for dessert. It also makes a great gift for neighbors and coworkers.
In testing this recipe I used 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup sorghum syrup. Sorghum is not quite as strong as molasses, and therefore a better choice for my family.
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- ¼ c. packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ c. molasses
- 2 lg. eggs
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. confectioners' sugar
- 1 tbsp. milk (more if needed)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice,and cloves.
- In a separate mixing bowl whisk together melted butter, molasses, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined. (Mixture may look curdled.)
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- For glaze: Whisk together the milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled loaf.
- If desired decorate the top with chopped nuts, dried cranberries, or whole fresh cranberries.