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GINGERBREAD LOAF

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Spread Christmas cheer with this special gingerbread loaf. Filled with tender goodness and warm aromatic spices, it rings in the holidays. So delicious. It’s a classic Christmas dessert perfect for festive holiday celebrations!

PIN GINGERBREAD LOAF

Sliced gingerbread loaf on a white platter next to glass bottles of milk and coffee.

This is the BEST gingerbread loaf recipe. It’s super versatile. With just a few minor tweaks, this recipe can be made 3 ways. As Starbucks gingerbread loaf, a vegan gingerbread loaf, or a gluten-free dessert.

STARBUCKS GINGERBREAD LOAF: For myself and my family, I make this loaf with eggs and milk. I frost it with an irresistible vanilla-orange frosting.

VEGAN GINGERBREAD LOAF: It’s perfect for large gatherings so more people can enjoy this classic Christmas dessert. The images on this page show my vegan gingerbread loaf with sparkling sugar. So tender and delicious.

GLUTEN-FREE LOAF: For gluten-free readers, see the “Recipe FAQ” section below for how to make this Gingerbread loaf gluten free.

Make it a family tradition to bake a gingerbread loaf as the Christmas tree is being decorated. Let the wonderful aroma fill the house and bring joy.

Ti’s’ the season for gift giving. Make extra loves as holiday gifts! Wrap a freshly-baked (cooled) loaf in plastic wrap. Add it to a USA bakeware loaf pan. (Grab one now through the Amazon affiliate link below.) Wrap it with a ribbon. Attach a holiday card with the bread recipe.

Serve thick slices in the morning with coffee, milk or tea. In the afternoon enjoy gingerbread as a festive snack after a long day of holiday shopping. This dessert pairs well with maple whipped coffee or an iced vanilla latte.

Seven thick slices of vegan gingerbread loaf on a dessert table with bottles of milk and coffee.

GINGERBREAD LOAF INGREDIENTS

Holiday baking isn’t complete unless you make gingerbread. These are the ingredients you’ll need for a delicious tender loaf!

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

  • 2 large eggs
  • Sweetened applesauce
  • Molasses
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Light brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Sea salt
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cloves
  • Milk (whole or 2% low-fat)
  • GARNISH: Vanilla-orange frosting (recipe included below)

Vegan Gingerbread Loaf

  • Milled flaxseed (ground flaxseed / flaxseed meal)
  • Warm water
  • Sweetened applesauce or mashed ripe bananas
  • Molasses
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Light brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Sea salt
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cloves
  • Almond milk
  • GARNISH: Coarse white sparkling sugar
Ingredients for the best Gingerbread Loaf recipe.

STARBUCKS VANILLA-ORANGE ICING

Are you dreaming of a thick slice of Starbucks gingerbread loaf? It’s crowned with luscious vanilla-orange icing. If you’d like a frosted loaf just like that, we can make it happen. These are the ingredients you’ll need.

  • Salted butter, softened
  • Powdered sugar
  • Orange juice
  • Orange extract
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Orange zest
  • Orange food coloring, if desired
Five thick slices of homemade Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf on a small white serving tray.

EASY INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

Missing an ingredient for this vegan gingerbread loaf cake? Don’t put on your shoes and head to the market. Instead, head to your fridge or pantry. Check for these easy ingredient swaps.

It’s convenient and money-saving to use ingredients you already have on hand! Especially during stay-at-home times.

  • FLAXSEED EGGS: Blooming flax seeds in warm water is a vegan egg replacement. It adds moisture that helps bind the loaf together so it’s not too crumbly. Substitute with a store-bought vegan egg replacement. If you don’t have an egg allergy or adhere to a vegan diet, use 2 real eggs instead.
  • RIPE BANANAS OR APPLESAUCE: In a pinch, use canned pumpkin puree plus more sugar to taste, as pumpkin lacks sweetness.
  • VEGETABLE OIL: The best swap is canola oil.
  • PURE VANILLA EXTRACT: Use maple syrup, amber rum or brandy.
  • LIGHT BROWN SUGAR: Use dark brown sugar instead.
  • ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR: Use pastry flour, or whole-wheat pastry flour. Both options are soft flours that will help yield a tender loaf. In a pinch, use white whole wheat flour.
  • ALMOND MILK: Replace with soy milk, oat milk, or rice milk. If you don’t have a milk allergy, or the need for this recipe to be vegan, use dairy milk instead: whole milk or 2% low-fat milk.
  • WHITE SPARKLING SUGAR: The best swap is turbinado sugar.
Homemade Starbucks gingerbread loaf cooling on a metal rack.

gingerbread loaf RECIPE STEPS

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9 x 5 (1.25 pound) metal loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with a slightly oversized piece of parchment paper (to create “handles” for lifting the bread from the pan). Lightly grease the parchment paper with cooking spray.

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

  • STEP 1: In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs well. Add sweetened applesauce, molasses, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine. Add light brown sugar. Mix to incorporate.
  • STEP 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together: flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger nutmeg, and cloves.
  • STEP 3: Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix slowly. Add milk and stir slowly to combine. Add remaining dry ingredients. Mix until JUST combined. Do not over-mix!
  • STEP 4: Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. (In humid environments, the loaf may need to bake 10 an additional 10 minutes.) Let it cool in the pan 10 minutes. Use the parchment paper sling to lift the gingerbread loaf from the pan. Transfer it to a metal cooling rack. Let it shed heat until it’s barely warm.

Vegan Gingerbread Loaf

  • STEP 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine flax seeds and warm water. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes, or until mixture has developed a gel-like consistency. This is how to make a “flax egg replacer.”
  • STEP 2: Once the flax mixture is ready, add in applesauce (or ripe mashed bananas), molasses, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Mix well to combine. Add in the light brown sugar. Mix until fully incorporated.
  • STEP 3: In a separate bowl, whisk together: flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix slowly. Add almond milk, followed by the last half of the dry ingredients. Mix until JUST combined. Do not over-mix!
  • STEP 4: Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. (In humid environments, the loaf may need to bake 10 an additional 10 minutes.) Let it cool in the pan 10 minutes.

HOW TO COOL THE LOAF: Use parchment paper sling to lift gingerbread loaf from pan. Transfer to a metal cooling rack. Let it shed heat (about an hour), or until barely warm before slicing. If frosting the loaf, let it cool completely.

How to make gingerbread loaf recipe in 4 easy steps.

VANILLA ORANGE FROSTING RECIPE STEPS

  • STEP 1: Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer). Beat until it’s light, fluffy, and smooth.
  • STEP 2: With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange extract, and vanilla extract. Raise speed to medium. As needed, scrape down sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • STEP 3: If desired, add 2 short drops of orange food coloring. Beat on low for 10 seconds.
  • STEP 4: Raise the speed. Beat until mixture is smooth and creamy, and reaches frosting consistency.

KITCHEN SMARTS: If the powdered sugar you’re using has lumps, sift it through a fine sieve. This will help eliminate any clumps in the frosting.

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf made with vegan ingredients sliced and served on a white rectangular platter.

RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions when making this gingerbread loaf, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

WHAT ARE FLAX EGGS?

Flax eggs are an egg substitute made with flaxseed meal and water. The 2 ingredients are mixed together, then set aside for 5 minutes to thicken. It has a gel-like consistency similar to real eggs. It helps bind the recipe ingredients together.

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE GLUTEN FREE?

Replace regular all-purpose flour with Bob’s Redmill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour 1:1, plus 2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum.

BEST LOAF PAN FOR BAKING GINGERBREAD?

The best loaf pan for gingerbread is either a 9 X 5-inch USA Pan metal loaf pan, or an 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. The light-colored aluminized steel produces a light tender crust with a beautiful rise. Darker loaf pans absorb more heat. They produce an unfavorable, thick dark crust. Glass bakeware delivers uneven baking.

HOW TO CLEANLY SLICE GINGERBREAD LOAF?

For cleaner slicing, use a serrated knife with a gentle sawing motion. Make the first slice in the middle of the cooled loaf.

Christmas Gingerbread Loaf on a dessert table with bottles of milk.

MORE CHRISTMAS DESSERTS

Love freshly-baked holiday treats? You’ll definitely want to try these easy Christmas desserts. Like our gingerbread loaf, they add festive cheer to the holiday season. Print out your favorite recipes or pin them to Pinterest.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friends and family say this easy recipe delivers the best gingerbread loaf. They love the versatility of this Christmas dessert. The ability to make it 2 ways: as a vegan gingerbread loaf or a Starbucks copycat.

If you agree this is a wonderful loaf, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero! Share it with a friend. They’ll want to add it to their collection of the best quick bread recipes.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Sliced gingerbread loaf on a white platter next to glass bottles of milk and coffee.

GINGERBREAD LOAF


Description

This special gingerbread loaf is worthy of any holiday table. Make it as a Starbucks loaf with vanilla-orange frosting, or as a vegan gingerbread loaf with sparkling sugar on top.


Ingredients

Units Scale

STARBUCKS GINGERBREAD LOAF

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sweetened applesauce, or mashed ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup milk (whole or 2% low-fat)
  • GARNISH: Vanilla-orange frosting

STARBUCKS VANILLA-ORANGE FROSTING

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (finely-grated) orange zest
  • Orange food coloring, if desired

VEGAN GINGERBREAD LOAF

  • 2 tablespoons milled flaxseed (ground flaxseed / flaxseed meal)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (100°F)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened applesauce, or ripe bananas (smashed)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • GARNISH: Coarse white sparkling sugar

Instructions

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9 x 5 (1.25 pound) metal loaf pan with non-stick baking spray. Line the pan with a slightly oversized piece of parchment paper (to create “handles” for lifting the bread from the pan). Lightly grease the parchment paper with baking spray.

STARBUCKS GINGERBREAD LOAF

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs well. Add sweetened applesauce, molasses, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine. Add light brown sugar. Mix to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger nutmeg, and cloves. 
  3. Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix slowly. Add milk and stir slowly to combine. Add remaining dry ingredients. Mix until JUST combined. Do not over-mix!
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. (In humid environments, the loaf may need to bake an additional 10 minutes.) Let it cool in the pan 10 minutes. Use parchment paper sling to lift the gingerbread loaf from the pan. Transfer it to a metal cooling rack. Let it cool completely (about 1 hour) before frosting.

STARBUCKS VANILLA-ORANGE FROSTING

  1. Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer). Beat until it’s light, fluffy, and smooth.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange extract, and vanilla extract. Raise speed to medium. As needed, scrape down sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. If desired, add 2 short drops of orange food coloring. Beat on low for 10 seconds.
  4. Raise the speed. Beat until mixture is smooth and creamy, and reaches frosting consistency.

VEGAN GINGERBREAD LOAF

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flax seeds and warm water. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes, or until mixture has developed a gel-like consistency. This is how to make a “flax egg replacer.”
  2. Once the flax mixture is ready, add in applesauce (or smashed bananas), molasses, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix well to combine. Add in the light brown sugar. Mix until fully incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix slowly. Add almond milk, followed by the last half of the dry ingredients. Mix until JUST combined. Do not over-mix!
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan 10 minutes. Use parchment paper sling to lift gingerbread loaf from pan. Cool on a wire rack until barely warm.

Notes

BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR WHITE SPARKLING SUGAR: Turbinado sugar.

SLICING TIPS: For cleaner slicing, use a serrated knife with a gentle sawing motion. Make the first slice in the middle of the cooled loaf.

HOW TO STORE GINGERBREAD: Cool gingerbread loaf completely. Wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap, or individually wrap slices in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Place wrapped slices in a zip-top freezer bag or an air-tight container with snap-on lid. Store gingerbread in the fridge up to 5 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Gingerbread Loaf, Gingerbread Loaf Recipe, Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf, Vegan Gingerbread Loaf

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

GINGERBREAD LOAF > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Did you enjoy this easy gingerbread recipe? Did you make your loaf vegan or non-vegan? Join the conversation. Share your thoughts in the comments!

6 thoughts on “GINGERBREAD LOAF”

  1. You can’t beat freshly-baked for taste and smell. I love that this gingerbread loaf was made with bananas! It was so delicious.

    Reply

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