Spicy Homemade Gingerbread Loaf Recipe… Made With Sweet Pears!
Dec 11, 2023
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Spicy, sweet, and moist gingerbread pear loaf is the perfect appetizer or snack this fall and winter. Made with juicy pears, fresh ginger, and a pecan and brown sugar topping, this homemade gingerbread loaf recipe has all the comforting flavors — with an elevated twist.
Gingerbread is one of our childhood favorite flavors when it comes to the holiday season.
So we decided to create The Produce Moms’ take on a classic recipe.
Just add diced pears for a moist, sweet, yet still nutritious and affordable surprise that’s kid-approved.
Gingerbread Pear Loaf is sponsored by USA Pears.
Even if you’re a beginner baker, the instructions are broken down into easy-to-follow steps so you can make this recipe over and over, all season long.
Remember to invite your kids into the kitchen to help you add the flour and milk as you mix the batter. It’s a little easier with an extra set of hands.
Ready, set, bake!
What Is a Gingerbread Pear Loaf?
You’ve had gingerbread cookies, made gingerbread houses, and probably had a slice or two of gingerbread from Starbucks. This gingerbread loaf recipe is just like your favorite coffee chain, but dare we say… even better. In addition to the sweet brown sugar, rich butter, and spicy ginger, the diced pears add an extra layer of natural sweetness that’s mixed right into the batter. As it bakes, the juice from the pears creates an incredibly moist loaf that pairs well with coffee and tea.
But don’t take our word for it. Give it a try for yourself!
As we near the holidays, you likely have most of these ingredients on hand in your fridge or pantry. You may need to pick up a few fresh, affordable ingredients from the store. But it’s a pretty simple, beginner-friendly gingerbread loaf recipe. Below are a few fresh and specific ingredients we suggest for bold flavor and the most moist loaf you can bake.
Let’s make sure you have everything.
All-purpose flour is an easy flour to use with a variety of baked goods, from breads to pies and cookies to pizza dough. We like to keep all-purpose flour on hand because it’s strong enough to make bread yet soft enough to make a delicate cake. Plus, you don’t end up with a variety of flours in your pantry, especially if you don’t bake often. Look for all-purpose flour in the baking aisle. You don’t need much — a small bag should be plenty to make this gingerbread loaf recipe.
Fresh ginger is a root that is light brown with textured skin and yellow flesh. Fresh, grated ginger really brings out the classic gingerbread taste in this loaf recipe. The spicy bite of ginger pairs well with sweet, juicy pears for a balanced flavor that doesn’t overpower each other. However, if you don’t have fresh ginger or you can’t find it, add one-eighth to a quarter of a teaspoon of ground ginger. Look for ginger in the produce section.
Unsalted butter is best when it comes to baking because it gives you complete control over the outcome of the flavors. This allows the natural flavor of the brown sugar, ginger, and pears to really shine through. You’ll need six and a half tablespoons of butter to help your gingerbread loaf rise properly, develop crisp edges, and have a longer shelf life when it’s done baking. Use your favorite brand of unsalted butter from the dairy aisle at your local supermarket.
All gingerbread recipes require some sort of sweetener. Light brown sugar gives your gingerbread loaf recipe the perfect sweetness. Dark brown sugar gives a deeper caramel addition to gingerbread. We use light brown sugar for a softer flavor on the topping and dark brown sugar for a more intense flavor in the batter. If you only have one type of brown sugar on hand, use all dark brown sugar for a more intense caramel flavor. Or use light brown sugar for a less intense caramel flavor.
You’ll need one red and one green Anjou pear (the colors of Christmas). However, you can choose other pears if you have a preference. We used USA Pears because they are soft, buttery, and juicy. And they’re super easy to cut into! Anjou pears are a little more on the sweeter side — perfect for balancing the zesty ginger, and they complement the caramel-like brown sugar. They are also just slightly more soft than crisp, making them perfect to withstand the baking process but still juicy enough to keep your gingerbread pear loaf moist.
For the full list of ingredients, take a look at the recipe card at the bottom to be sure you have all of the ingredients before you get started.
How to Select Pears
Pears ripen from the inside out, but there’s an easy test to be sure your pears are ready for baking. Use your thumbs and gently apply pressure to the neck of your pears, where it narrows at the top, just under the stem. If there is a little bit of give, your pear is ripe and ready to bake in your gingerbread loaf recipe.
Related: All About Pacific Northwest Pears
How to Store Pears
Store ripe pears in the fridge to prevent them from ripening too quickly. However, if you can’t find ripe pears at the grocery store, store your pears at room temperature near other fruits such as apples and bananas to speed up the process. Be sure to wash your pears with cold water for 15-20 seconds before dicing for your gingerbread pear loaf.
How to Make a Gingerbread Loaf Recipe
Step 1: Let’s start with the topping. Use a whisk to mix the brown sugar, pecans, and half of a tablespoon of flour in a small mixing bowl.
Step 2: Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and add to the dry ingredient mixture. Mix until clumps start to form, and set the bowl aside.
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the ginger, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 3: In a large bowl, beat the butter and dark brown sugar on high speed with your electric mixer until it’s light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, milk, and egg and mix for an additional minute, until well incorporated.
Step 5: Slowly add the flour mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and mix until well combined.
Step 6: Use a spatula to fold the diced pears into the batter.
Step 7: Spray your loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour the batter into it. Use your spatula to evenly spread the batter.
Step 8: Sprinkle the topping over the top and bake at 350℉ for 50-60 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when it’s done baking.
Serve warm for complete comfort food vibes.
Why We Love USA Pears
We love partnering with USA Pears because they offer so many resources to help parents and teachers get more produce in front of young ones. From their home cookbook for kids to our grazing boards our kids love, we’re on a similar mission to get your kiddos excited about eating nutritious foods. They are just as passionate as we are about introducing pears to your kiddo’s diet and getting nutritious options on the menu at schools.
We might be a little bit biased, but we think that’s a pretty darn good cause to support. So look for the USA Pears label for juicy, ripe pears to elevate your gingerbread loaf recipe.
More Pear Recipes
- Turkey Animal Pears — fun, kid-approved Thanksgiving dessert idea
- Baked Cinnamon Ricotta Pears — decadent, sweet, and creamy dessert without the guilt
- Pear and Cheddar Cheese Cornbread — pairs well with soup
- Champagne Poached Pears — serve with mascarpone cheese and rosemary
Gingerbread Pear Loaf
- loaf pan
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 2 teaspoons ginger grated
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter unsalted softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 USA Pears (red and/or green anjou) ripe, finely chopped
- Add the brown sugar, pecans, and flour in a small mixing bowl and mix with a whisk.
- Add the melted butter and mix until clumps form. Then, set aside at room temperature for later.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and spray your loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- Whisk the ginger, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and dark brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, milk, and egg and mix for an additional minute, until well incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and mix until well combined.
- Use a spatula to stir in the diced pears.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Use a spatula to evenly spread the dough into the loaf pan.
- Grab your topping mixture and spread it evenly over the gingerbread pear batter.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then remove the gingerbread pear loaf from the baking pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.