Adorable gingerbread angels and elaborate gingerbread houses are a beloved Christmas tradition. But gingerbread isn’t just for decoration, it’s delicious. And it’s not just for Christmas.
Ginger is a tropical rhizome (not a root, a rhizome) so fuss-free and hearty, even I can grow it. Fresh ginger is used all over the Caribbean to punch up flavor, and it’s in this Christmas gingerbread, along with powdered ginger and crystalized ginger.
The correct name for a harvested clump or cluster of ginger is a hand. Fresh ginger should be firm— not woody, not mushy — fragrant and a little juicy. Older ginger dries out and gets fibrous. I suppose the same thing happens with humans. But let’s not go there, let’s enjoy the moment and enjoy the gingerbread. It’s magically light in texture, bright in taste and swings tropical and not so much Grimm’s fairy tales. It leave the meh gingerbreads you’ve had (come on, you know you have) in the dust.
I do not peel fresh ginger, but if you want to fuss, peel the brown skin away with a paring knife. Some people swear using the edge of a spoon works well, too. Good on them.
How to Serve Caribbean Gingerbread:
Gingerbread is best at room temperature. It’s delicious just by itself, or glamour is up for the holidays;
- Dust with powdered sugar.
- Finish with a powdered sugar glaze — 2 cups sifted powdered sugar mixed with 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice or plant-based milk of your choice and stirred until smooth and satiny. Drizzle all over the cake.
- Play up the Caribbean gingerbread accent with a dollop of coconut cream.
More Holiday Treats to Try
Christmas Gingerbread | Caribbean Gingerbread
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon clove
- 1/2 cup grape seed or other neutral oil
- 1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup coffee hot
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
- 1/3 cup crystallized ginger chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Oil a 10-cup bundt pan, making sure all the crannies get lubed. Give it a light dusting of flour and knock out any excess.
- In a large bowl, sift together unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda and dried spices.
- In a separate bowl, whisk oil, sugar, molasses, coffee and applesauce until thick and well-combined.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until you have a thick, dark and fragrant batter. Then gently add the fresh and crystallized ginger and give one more stir.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until gingerbread puffs, smells like a fairytale fantasy, and springs back when gently prodded with a finger.
- Allow cake to cool completely, then gently unmold.