Mini gingerbread loaves with an easy orange glaze make a fun, festive holiday treat – and a great gift for teachers, neighbors and friends!
Our first Friday in December – and I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking it’s GO TIME!
My in-laws are visiting this weekend, I’m taking M to see the Nutcracker for the first time, she’s got her first dance recital, I’ve got my annual girls gingerbread house party (for the adults only 😜) and I’ve gotta make some goodies for J’s preschool bake sale and Santa visit on Monday.
Yup, the holidays are here. 😂
But we’ve also got our Christmas tree up now, most of the decorations are done, and I caved and we’re doing the Elf on the Shelf this year. A decision I may come to regret but so far we’re keeping it low-key and fun.
The kids named our Elf, a girl, Ginger. For gingerbread. Which is all kinds of appropriate for today’s post!
These gingerbread loaves are full of warm cinnamon, ginger and clove spices and get serious richness and depth of flavor from the molasses.
I use orange zest in the batter and for an extra special treat, I like to drizzle these with a simple orange glaze — it’s just powdered sugar with some more orange zest and a squeeze of juice from the orange.
You can leave the orange glaze off to have these for a morning treat with your tea or coffee, or if you want to wrap them up as a gift.
I give these out to everyone – my kids’ teachers, neighbors, friends, even the mailman! Wrap them up in saran wrap and add some pretty ribbon and you’ve got a perfect little package!
Notes on making mini gingerbread loaves:
- I use these mini bread pans that measure 3″ x 5.75” You’ll need 4 for this recipe. (I also use them to make mini versions of my whole wheat orange cranberry bread and to help shape my raw date brownies.)
- The middle of the loaf may fall slightly as it cools. I’ve modified the recipe a few times to minimize this as much as possible but it still happens to some of my loaves. I figure it’s just a place for extra glaze to pool up 😉
- You could lighten these up a little by replacing 1/4 cup of the butter with 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce if you prefer.
- I like it with the orange glaze, but it’s optional. The gingerbread loaves are just sweet enough on their own – and make an especially lovely morning breakfast. They also pack better for gifting without the glaze.
As for storing, extra loaves can be stored at room temperature for 4-5 days or in the fridge for up to a week.
You can also freeze the loaves (without the glaze) for up to 3 months. This is great for making ahead for the holidays!
You can try baking this in one large 9×5 loaf pan. Increase the baking time to about 50-60 minutes and test it with a toothpick to determine when it’s done.
I hope your weekend is full of holiday cheer and that your baking plans include these sweet little gingerbread loaves.
P.S. You might also love these old fashioned ginger snaps; such a great holiday cookie!
- 2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
For the (optional) orange glaze:
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- remaining orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease mini loaf pans with cooking spray. (You’ll need 4 3 x 5.75 pans. See notes.)
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients — the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the molasses, sugar, butter, vanilla and egg until well combined. Stir in the orange zest.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Be careful not to overmix!
- Pour into prepared mini loaf pans - there won’t be much batter in these. Bake for 23-25 minutes.
- Remove the loaves from the pans and let cool on a wire rack.
- For the orange glaze, mix together powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon orange juice. Add an additional teaspoon of orange juice, as needed, to get the glaze to a drizzling consistency. Stir in remaining orange zest.
- Drizzle loaves with orange glaze and serve warm or at room temperature.
I use these mini bread pans that measure 3″ x 5.75” You’ll need 4 for this recipe. You can also try baking this in one large 9x5 loaf pan. Increase the baking time to about 50-60 minutes and check it with a toothpick to determine when it's done.
The middle of the loaf may fall a bit after baking. It's a good spot for some extra glaze to pool. 😊
Extra loaves can be stored at room temperature for 4-5 days or in the fridge for up to a week.
You can also freeze the loaves (without the glaze) for up to 3 months.
Serving Size:1/4 of a loaf
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 3g