Gingerbread with Light Cream Cheese Frosting

Holiday Recipes

Strictly speaking I’m not one for following recipes. I can’t think of many times in the last few years that I have reproduced something as written. There are two primary reasons I go rogue. I either want to reduce the amount of calories and fat or I would like to use items already in my kitchen. Sometimes the later accomplishes the former and vice versa. For this recipe I made an exception.

All this month I have been enjoying mug after mug of sweet and spicy tea. With every fresh brew one little word has been nagging away at me – Gingerbread. If I were to get really serious with myself I would have to admit this tea could be bad news. It has become a gateway indulgence, weakening my resolve to exercise restraint leading up to Christmas. But denial is not a bad place to hang out as long as I know that’s where I’m spending my time. (That, by the way, is the denial talking)

I read about this particular gingerbread on The Family Fed. Before I got to the recipe I could feel little bits of moisture on the corners of my lips. The little devil on my shoulder began dancing a jig and singing, “Cake! Make that cake!”

The recipe turned out to be a really simple collection of the exact flavors I was craving – brown sugar, molasses, a pile of fresh ginger, and an all-star line up of warm winter spices. Nearly every ingredient was ready and waiting in my kitchen and a carton of buttermilk was easily obtained. Although truth be told I didn’t follow the original recipe as written. I cut the entire thing in half. It was a concession to the little food angel on my shoulder and a means to stretch my ingredients.

I have now made three batches of this delicious treat. The first batch of gingerbread was paired with the first trial of Tea Poached Pears. They were made to go together. I discovered later that David Libovits agrees. His poached pear recipe ends with a recommendation to serve them along a slice of gingerbread. I take that as a sign I am headed in the right direction.

Gingerbread with Light Cream Cheese Frosting

The recipe as written has some really great qualities. I was excited that it uses only whole wheat flour so the cake has a great heartiness. Utilizing fresh grated ginger in place of the usual ground spice brightly balances the sweet molasses and brown sugar. Also, there is no oil, just butter. Except the amount of butter and brown sugar once again sent the little angel all aflutter. I removed just a bit of both from the recipe, made the gingerbread in a 9 1/2 springform and served it in 16 pieces. Topped off with a smear of Lightened Orange-Cream Cheese frosting, this gingerbread deserves a kiss on the mouth. The little Nagging-Devil and the Voice-of-Reason Angel have been singing carols of peace on Earth and good will toward dessert all week.

Holiday Recipes

Gingerbread
Serves 16
Moist, sweet, hearty, and laced with spices to chase the winter chill away. This Gingerbread is everything you could ask of this traditional Holiday treat. The ingredients that go into this gingerbread are modest and simple but they are not inherently light. The key to making this a light dessert lies in the way you portion the servings.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
171 calories
28 g
37 g
6 g
2 g
3 g
54 g
212 g
16 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
54g
Servings
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 171
Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 3g
17%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 37mg
12%
Sodium 212mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 28g
9%
Dietary Fiber 0g
2%
Sugars 16g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
5%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
  2. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  3. 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  6. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  9. 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  10. 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  11. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  12. 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  13. 2 large eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your choose pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and brushing a little of the melted butter around the sides.
  2. Pour vanilla into the buttermilk and set aside.
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Stir in grated ginger.
  4. Use an electric stand or hand mixer and a medium bowl to combine the brown sugar and melted butter. Mix on medium speed, scraping sides as needed until butter and sugar are fully blended and the color lightens.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix at low speed and fully combine each egg before moving on.
  6. Continue on low speed and add the molasses.
  7. Increase mixer to medium speed. Alternately add the flour and buttermilk. Add the flour in thirds so it is the first and last addition. Mix until the batter is a uniform color.
  8. Pour completed batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the center is firm and a probe or toothpick can be inserted and come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning the loaf out to cool on a wrack. Allow loaf to cool completely before frosting the top.
Notes
  1. Gingerbread will keep up to a week wrapped and refrigerated.
  2. A 9.5 inch springform pan yields 16 servings. A 9 x 5 loaf pan yields 10 large slices or bisect the loaf for 20 servings.
beta
calories
171
fat
6g
protein
2g
carbs
28g
more
Adapted from The Family Feed - Gingerbread with Candied Ginger and Cream Cheese Frosting
Our Lady of Second Helpings http://ourladyofsecondhelpings.com/

Gingerbread with Light Cream Cheese Frosting

Light Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves 16
A smear of sweet cream cheese frosting is the perfect topping for a loaf of hearty gingerbread, or anything else for that mater! This recipe makes enough to cover up to 3 loaves.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
59 calories
6 g
10 g
3 g
1 g
2 g
20 g
47 g
6 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
20g
Servings
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 59
Calories from Fat 28
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
5%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 10mg
3%
Sodium 47mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 6g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 8 oz package of Neufchatel cheese (1/3 reduced fat cream cheese), at room temperature
  2. 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Allow Neufchatel to soften by warming to room temperature.
  2. Use an electric mixer to blend all the ingredients until fluffy.
  3. Smear modestly over Gingerbread and sprinkle with bits of Crystalized Gingerbread. Store extra in the refrigerator
Notes
  1. Variation: Orange Cream - Reduce vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon and stir in 1 – 2 teaspoons of fresh orange zest.
  2. For a little more creaminess and a slightly stiffer frosting – Blend 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter into frosting.
beta
calories
59
fat
3g
protein
1g
carbs
6g
more
Our Lady of Second Helpings http://ourladyofsecondhelpings.com/

2 Responses to “Gingerbread with Light Cream Cheese Frosting”
  1. Carole Dean says:
    • Rose says:

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