Gingerbread is usually one of those cakes that tastes a lot better than it looks. The dark molasses-colored cake, whether baked in a loaf pan or in another type of cake pan, tends not to be quite as pretty to the eye as, for instance, a brown golden sponge cake. Fortunately, that dark coloring hints at the rich flavor and spices inside every bite of the cake and few people will turn down a plain looking slice of gingerbread because they know how exciting that plain looking cake can taste. One way to dress up your gingerbread is to package it in a prettier pan, such as Nordic Ware’s Gingerbread Loaf Pan. This lovely little loaf pan is adorned with a festive ribbon, as well as a gingerbread girl and boy and will dress up any loaf cake – especially a gingerbread one.
The pan is made of heavy duty cast aluminum for even baking and has a nonstick interior to help your baked goods slide right out without losing any detail of the cake. I found that the pan performed very well in both these respects, and the cake even came out cleanly without greasing the pan. Still, greasing and flouring the pan is highly recommended when working with a pan that has as much detail as this one, and if you do, be sure not to get excess flour in the detailed gingerbread faces (which I did on one of my loaves, marring their happy faces slightly). Also, make sure to tap the pan firmly to release any air bubbles trapped near the bottom of the pan before baking.
The only downside to this pan is that it holds 6 cups of batter, which is less than a standard 9×5-inch loaf pan. This means that you’ll either have to scale down your recipes slightly or you’ll have to fill up the gingerbread pan part way, then bake the remaining batter in a muffin cup or three. I highly recommend the latter option for ease, and if you don’t, your loaf pan is very likely to overflow in the oven. One other small criticism is that the recipe included with the pan is not scaled for the pan, either, and it would have been nice for the pan to come with one recipe that needed no adjustment to work with it (I simply removed some excess batter). That said, I’ll be using that recipe and the pan quite a few more times this holiday season. The pan is a particularly nice way to dress up gifts of homemade baked goods.