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Gingerbread Loaf Cake

by Holly Jade from The Little Book of Vegan Bakes

A lightly spiced, ginger loaf cake to enjoy at home during the festive season or serve up to guests as a pudding with hot dairy-free custard.

From the book

Introduction

A true classic served with a pinch of festive nostalgia. This is also one of my mum’s favourite cakes, which she describes as a subtly spiced sponge complemented by a mildly sweet creamy topping. You could turn this into a dessert by leaving off the cream cheese topping and serving a slice with dairy-free custard or ice cream.

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Ingredients

For the loaf:
200g (1½ cups plus 1½ tbsp) self-raising flour
60g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
60g (⅓ cup) dark brown sugar
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
120ml (½ cup) dairy-free milk
60ml (¼ cup) sunflower oil
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting:
2½ tbsp dairy-free butter/margarine
2½ tbsp dairy-free cream cheese
200g (1⅔ cups) icing sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
For the topping (optional):
chopped or flaked almonds

Essential kit

You will need: a 23 x 13cm (9 x 5in) loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper, and a stand mixer or electric hand whisk.

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Method

Loaf:

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and line a 23 x 13cm (9 x 5in) loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Allow the paper to hang on either side of the tin so it makes it easier to remove the loaf when baked. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix to break up any lumps.

In a separate bowl, mix the milk, oil, orange juice, golden syrup and vanilla extract, whisking thoroughly to combine. Add the dry mixture to the wet and fold together until smooth and fully incorporated – don’t over-mix!

Pour the cake batter into the lined tin. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before lifting out of the tin. Place on a cooling rack in the greaseproof paper. Allow to cool fully before frosting.

Frosting:

In a stand mixer with a balloon-whisk attachment, beat the butter or margarine, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract on high until smooth. You can use an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon instead, but it will take longer.

When the loaf is cool, remove the greaseproof paper and smooth the frosting over the top. Decorate with the almonds, if using.

This is best eaten within a few days of making. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. Leave at room temperature for 15–20 minutes before serving.

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From the book: The Little Book of Vegan Bakes

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