Pumpkin Apple Gingerbread

I made this recipe for a demonstration at Le Cordon Bleu’s campus in Scottsdale.  An instructional video is at the bottom of this recipe.  This is a loaf-style gingerbread, with enormous depth of flavor thanks to molasses and coffee in the mix, lightened and brightened with bits of apple, earthy with pumpkin, and spicy with ginger.  Enjoy!

3 ½ cups flour
1 ½ T baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 T ginger
1 T cardamom
1 T cinnamon
½ t each cloves, nutmeg, allspice
½ t salt

In a large bowl, stir the dry ingredients together.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream:

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar

When light and fluffy, add:

½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

After fully incorporating and scraping down a few times, add:

1 can pumpkin (or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree)

½ cup molasses

1 Tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 tsp water

Beat thoroughly until light and fluffy, scraping several times.  Then add in alternating additions:

4 eggs

Dry ingredients

Add an egg and fully incorporate, then about a cup of the dry ingredients.  Once all the dry ingredients are no longer visible, add another egg, and so forth.  Remove from the mixer and carefully fold in by hand:

1 apple, peeled and grated
½ apple, peeled coarsely chopped

Pour into a large greased loaf pan, or two smaller loaf pans.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour (perhaps longer for a single loaf…a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center should come out clean.)  Cool for 10 minutes, then dump onto cooling rack to finish cooling.

This bread is EXTREMELY soft, like a cake.  It’s great hot but will crumble immediately after slicing.  It’s best to let it stale overnight, uncovered.  Reheat after it is sliced.  It’s GREAT served as French Toast if you can handle it delicately enough to French toast it.

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