Gingerbread Loaf Recipe

More than the holiday drinks, I am a sucker for the Starbucks holiday treats! Pumpkin scones in the fall, and gingerbread loafs and cranberry bliss bars in the winter are what I live for.  In an attempt to save some cash-o-la, I decided to look for a recipe to make the gingerbread loaf at home.  And by golly I think I found it!  I used the recipe found here but made a couple of changes.  First, I ran out of white sugar so I reduced the amount, and made up for what I was lacking by adding a bit of brown sugar.  Seems to be fine.  Second, I don't know if you've noticed, but this year Starbucks has little chunks of ginger in the loaf (at least I hope that's what it is...).  So I added some of the chopped candied ginger to the batter before baking it.  Third, as I just mentioned, I topped the loaf off with candied ginger.  The original recipe said to grate fresh nutmeg on top, and I'm sure that would be super tasty, but to keep this as close to the Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf as possible, I used ginger.



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup applesauce 
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups confectioner's sugar


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan lightly with cooking spray, and then, if you like, line it with parchment paper leaving the ends long so you can lift it out when it's cool. 
  3. Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the egg.
  4. Blend in the applesauce.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices and then add it to the bowl slowly. When everything is incorporated, turn the batter into your pan and smooth it out.
  6. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until it is risen and a toothpick comes out clean. Loaf pans and ovens can vary greatly, use your common sense to tell you when your cake is done. Check it early.
  7. Let cool completely on a rack before frosting.
  8. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with the vanilla and then add 2 1/2 cups of the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Add a little more sugar if it's not as thick as you like.
  9. Spread a thick layer of the frosting over the gingerbread. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg.