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Gingerbread Recipe – Classic Gingerbread Loaf Cake

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Kick off your holiday baking with this delicious gingerbread recipe! A gingerbread loaf is a Christmas classic. Make this easy quick bread for breakfast, snack, dessert, or a delicious edible gift!

Moist, spiced, gingerbread loaf cake is a mouthwatering way to start the Christmas baking season! This recipe makes the house smell amazing!

Last year, a girlfriend asked me if I had a good recipe for gingerbread. She wasn’t referring to a gingerbread cookie. She was looking for an actual gingerbread recipe. The kind of gingerbread one slices to serve with coffee or cocoa.

And you know what? I didn’t have a gingerbread recipe, and I was so swamped that I just didn’t get to it until this year. I think it was worth the wait. I’m planning on making a loaf to enjoy the day after Thanksgiving when we will eschew the Black Friday shopping and instead decorate our Christmas tree!

I’m really excited about Christmas this year. Last year was so hectic with it being Princess A’s first Christmas, us traveling to see family, planning her first birthday party, etcetera. I just didn’t feel I had the opportunity to stop and enjoy the season fully. This year we are home, just the four of us. I’m looking forward to quiet festivities with lots of hot cocoa, local adventures, and family time.

Moist, spiced, gingerbread loaf cake is a mouthwatering way to start the Christmas baking season! This recipe makes the house smell amazing!

This gingerbread recipe is adapted from another posted on Chowhound. I wanted a little stronger flavor, so added more spices. And I had to adjust a few other ingredients so that the loaf wouldn’t sink in the middle! Gingerbread loaf cakes make great neighbor gifts, but no one wants to gift a sunken cake!

It also doesn’t work so well when it comes time to add the glaze… an optional addition. For the first few rounds of this cake, I didn’t glaze. I didn’t like the sunken middle. And alternative to the glaze is to dust the gingerbread loaf with a little powdered sugar. Still tastes amazing.

Bake this bread in a glass loaf pan if you have it, or a metal pan. A stoneware pan makes the loaf develop a crunchier crust. The Godfather didn’t like as much for this particular bread. Gingerbread is really more of a pound cake sweet bread and not at all a sandwich bread.

Top view of the gingerbread loaf to show the wrapping at the top of the glazed gingerbread.

You can have this gingerbread recipe in the oven in under 10 minutes, and then the house smells heavenly during baking, just like Christmas. I’m not sure why it took me so long to work on a gingerbread loaf recipe, but I can’t wait to make another to kick off the Christmas season! I hope you enjoy darlings!

Moist, spiced, gingerbread loaf cake is a mouthwatering way to start the Christmas baking season! This recipe makes the house smell amazing!

Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Moist, spiced, gingerbread loaf cake is a mouthwatering way to start the Christmas baking season!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup full fat buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp neutral-flavored oil

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream or milk

Instructions

  1. Butter and flour a large loaf pan, and preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Stir in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Then stir in the buttermilk, molasses, vanilla, and oil.
  5. Add the dry ingredients all at once and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until a tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Be careful not to over-bake.
  6. Allow the loaf to set in the pan for 5-10 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. While the bread is cooling, make the cream cheese glaze by combining all ingredients in a small bowl with a fork until the desired consistency is reached. Spread over the still-warm cake or drizzle.
  8. If you choose not to use the glaze, wait until the cake is completely cool and sprinkle with a light dusting of powdered sugar

Notes

If you'd like to make this cake in advance and freeze for later, don't glaze the cake. As soon as it's cool, double wrap in plastic and place in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight when ready to use, then glaze or dust with powdered sugar. The glaze will crack when you thaw if you glaze and then freeze the cake. If you'd like to freeze a glazed cake, just plan to throw another layer on the cake after thawing for a beautiful, smooth finish.

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Moist, spiced, gingerbread loaf cake is a mouthwatering way to start the Christmas baking season! This recipe makes the house smell amazing!

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    pam schuck
    December 22, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    I just put the loaf in the oven. It smells so good in my house. I am a big fan of ginger. I was out of vanilla so i used orange extract instead.

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      December 22, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Hooray! I hope you enjoy the gingerbread. I bet the orange extract was a delicious substitution. Great idea!

  • Reply
    Paige @ Where Latin Meets Lagniappe
    December 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Mary this is such a beautiful loaf! I could totally see myself enjoying this with a cup of coffee…and it would also be so beautiful as a gift!

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      December 11, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you! It’s definitely perfect with coffee. 😉

  • Reply
    Brian Jones
    December 2, 2015 at 5:12 am

    This sounds wonderful, I’m not a sweet type of person but I love gingerbread!!!!

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      December 11, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Because it’s not too sweet. 😉 As much as I love to bake desserts, I’m not one for cloying sweetness

  • Reply
    Whitney
    November 30, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Beautiful cake, Mary!

  • Reply
    Chellie
    November 27, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    All of my favorite spices together in one spot! This looks delicious…thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Erin
    November 24, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I have a confession to make, I am ADDICTED to the gingerbread loaf at Starbucks and this looks exactly like it!! I am definitely going to have to try this loaf of deliciousness!

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      November 24, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      YAY! I forgot they have a gingerbread loaf. In college, the Godfather’s favorite was the iced lemon pound cake. But then I think they changed the recipe or something

  • Reply
    Nicole @Little Blog on the Homestead
    November 23, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    This is definitely a Chrstimas-y recipe! I bet the house smelled so amazing!

  • Reply
    Tara
    November 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    This looks so wonderfully delicious. I love how quick and easy it looks. I can’t wait to try this recipe this holiday season!

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