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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