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Ginger Passion Fruit Cake Bars

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Ginger Passion Fruit Cake Bars
Gingerbread is a cake that is usually reserved for the fall baking season, but that doesn’t mean that it is the only time of year you can enjoy warm, spicy ginger. Adding a flavor that contrasts with those deep spices can turn a fall favorite into one that is perfect for spring or summer! These Ginger Passion Fruit Cake Bars are gingerbread cake bars that include fresh passion fruit puree in both the filling and the glaze for a touch of tropical flavor that pairs perfectly with bits of candied ginger in each bite.

Passion fruit puree (aka passion fruit juice) can be made using fresh passion fruits, which you can usually find at a well-stocked supermarket. It is very tart and very, very aromatic. Bottled passion fruit juices are usually combined with sugar or other fruit juices to sweeten them, so they are not a good choice for this recipe. There are, however, frozen and refrigerated passion fruit purees that you can find at some markets (specialty markets and frequently at Mexican markets) that are pure puree and those are a great alternative to the fresh fruit.

The cake itself is very easy to make. It’s a thin, square cake that cuts neatly into bars that you can eat either by hand or with a fork. Although this isn’t your typical gingerbread cake, there is still a small amount of molasses in the batter, supporting the ginger flavors that come from ground ginger and candied ginger. There is also some passion fruit puree in the mix, adding a brightness to the cake that really comes out once you add the passion fruit glaze on top.

This is a great everyday snack cake – even though you might not have passion fruit in your kitchen everyday. It’s simple and delicious, with the passion fruit adding a delightful and unexpected tropical flavor. Top the bars with a few bits of candied ginger to give them a finished look before serving.

Ginger Passion Fruit Cake Bars
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp passion fruit puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tbsp passion fruit puree

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg, followed by molasses, passion fruit puree and vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, salt and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before topping with glaze.

Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and 1 tbsp passion fruit puree until smooth, adding additional passion fruit puree to thin the frosting as needed. Pour over cake, then use a spatula to spread into an even layer.

Makes 16 bars.

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