Moist and spicy Gingerbread Loaf Cake is whipped up in just a few minutes with simple ingredients. Baked to golden brown perfection and topped with a tangy and sweet cream cheese frosting. Perfect hostess gift for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
This recipe was requested by my dad. My dad rarely requests baked goods so when he does I know I need to go all out and make it the best ever. His reason for this gingerbread loaf request was because he enjoys a slice at Starbucks. I am happy to say he thought my gingerbread loaf had much better flavor and was overall much nicer. This time of year I can't get enough of the gingerbread flavors- whether its cookie or cake form!
Lets' get to the recipe.
Of course, the star of this recipe is ginger. I personally love a strong ginger flavor- must be the English in me- loads of ginger biscuits growing up. For this recipe, I do use 2 ½ teaspoons of ground ginger- to give you that nice ginger kick. If you are not interested in a strong kick of ginger, by all means, reduce to 1 ½ teaspoons.
Also, I added molasses to this recipe-gingerbread flavor to me always includes a little bit of molasses. I actually HATE the smell of molasses out of the jar- its way to potent for me- but baked in a treat? I am all about the little hint of molasses.
Fresh lemon is also an ingredient I love using- the fresh lemon zest brings everything together so well.
Then you have butter, sugar, eggs, applesauce, flour, some more spices- ground cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg.
It's really quite easy, first start off by creaming together your butter and sugar- until it gets very light and fluffy- 3-5 minutes on medium speed- in either your stand mixer or hand-held mixer and a bowl. Then add the egg- mixing to combine.
Next comes the molasses, applesauce, fresh lemon zest. The mixture will look funny and curdled a bit, that is totally fine. Then I add the spices, salt and baking soda.
I add these first so that I can gently fold the flour in- you don't want to over mix the flour into the batter- this can create a tough gingerbread loaf- we don't want tough.
Once the flour streaks have just gone pour the gingerbread batter into a greased 9"X5" loaf pan.
What frosting should go on a gingerbread loaf?
I personally love either a cream cheese or brown butter frosting with gingerbread. I also don't want the frosting to be sickly sweet.
For this gingerbread loaf recipe, I chose a cream cheese frosting - the tang goes beautifully with the gingerbread flavors.
Again I added fresh lemon zest to the frosting- just gives it that something extra. My frosting was on the runnier side- not super runny but not super stiff either. I actually placed my loaf in the fridge for about 10 minutes to help the frosting set.
Then I added chopped up pieces of crystallized ginger.
I love the glisten of the cream cheese frosting and the gorgeous chunks of the crystalized ginger.
How long does this cake last
I stored my cake in the fridge- I tend to store most things in the fridge. Living in Southern California my kitchen is always a bit warm- so I tend to keep things in the fridge to get a longer life out of them. But I didn't have to worry about a long life for this gingerbread. You can totally store it on the counter in an airtight container- the frosting will just be very sticky.
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!Print
- 4oz (½ Cup/ 1 Stick) Unsalted Butter, at room temp.
- 200 grams (1 Cup) Granulated Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg, at room temp.
- 6oz (¾ Cup) Applesauce
- 2oz ( ¼ Cup) Molasses
- Zest of 1 Large Lemon
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Each of Ground Ginger & Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
- ½ Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 188 grams (1 ½ Cups) All-Purpose Flour
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8oz Cream Cheese, softened to room temp.
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 313 grams (2 ½ Cups) Powdered Sugar*
- Zest of 1 Medium Lemon
- Candied Ginger for Decoration
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C and grease a 9"X 5" loaf pan.
- In a large bowl or bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar creaming together until it gets very light and fluffy- 3-5 minutes on medium speed. Then add the egg and beat for another minute to combine.
- Next comes the molasses, applesauce, fresh lemon zest. The mixture will look funny and curdled a bit, that is totally fine. Next mix in the baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Then gently fold the flour in- you don't want to over mix the flour into the batter- this can create a tough gingerbread loaf. Once the flour streaks have just gone pour the gingerbread batter into a prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes- or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean with no wet batter. Invert on to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl or bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment add the cream cheese and whisk on medium speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and fresh lemon zest. If frosting is too thin feel free to add a little more powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.
- Pour frosting on top of gingerbread loaf- I put the loaf in the fridge for the frosting to set up. Add pieces of candied ginger. The loaf will last 2-3 days, I keep mine refrigerated.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 45
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: gingerbread loaf, gingerbread quick bread, gingerbread cake