This Gingerbread Loaf recipe is dense and moist with a rich cream cheese icing that brings out all the flavors of the holidays. It uses the spices of your favorite treats, but you can eat it any time of day!
This from-scratch recipe comes together in just 15 minutes and serves 12 generous slices, but it can be easily doubled if you need more.
Once your bread is in the oven, you can whip up an easy cream cheese frosting recipe. Ours is a classic recipe with an added pinch of salt to bring out the natural tangy flavor of the cream cheese.
If you’d rather, you can leave the frosting off the bread. It’s still a delicious treat. Either way, this gingerbread loaf is perfect to serve for your Thanksgiving or Christmas breakfast, a yummy holiday dessert, or a snack with an afternoon coffee.
What is a Gingerbread Loaf?
Gingerbread loaf is a dense, thick bread baked in a loaf pan. Using spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, it tastes similar to gingerbread cookies. Starbucks made their famous gingerbread loaf for the holiday season, and it became a classic fall and winter treat across the country. Making your own at home is easy and I think my recipe might be even better than the coffeehouse classic!
Gingerbread loaf will stay fresh for up to five days in an airtight container. It will last longer if kept in the fridge, but this can dry it out quicker, so if you’re using it within 24 hours, I recommend keeping it covered on the counter.
Yes, you can freeze gingerbread loaf. It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to four months so you can make it ahead. Make sure you take it out of the freezer at least 6 hours before you want to serve it. If it has already been cut into slices, place parchment between each one and you’ll be able to separate them easier when frozen.
While I haven’t tried this myself, I don’t see why your loaf batter won’t bake up nicely in a cake pan. If your cake pan is large, you may need to reduce the baking time so it doesn’t get too dry. You’ll want to line your cake pan with parchment and remove the cake right away after baking. Place on a cooking rack for a few hours.
- Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin making your batter, especially your butter and eggs. Room temperature cream cheese will help make sure your frosting doesn’t have any lumps.
- If you forget to soften your butter, you can microwave it in 5-10 second bursts until it’s soft. Go slowly! You don’t want to melt it.
- Many gingerbread recipes use molasses but ours doesn’t. This allows our bread to be less dense than some others, but you still don’t want to over-mix your batter. Mix your ingredients just until well combined.
This moist and dense gingerbread loaf recipe is a perfect treat to serve for breakfast or dessert, or to enjoy with an afternoon cup of coffee. The tangy, homemade cream cheese frosting is the perfect compliment to the bread’s yummy spices.
- If you’re going to freeze your bread, you may want to leave the cream cheese frosting off of your bread. While it will freeze with it on top, it will thaw better without it.
- You can make your cream cheese frosting ahead and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Press some plastic wrap on the surface of the frosting to keep it fresh.
- If you’re not a fan of cream cheese frosting, you can serve your gingerbread loaf with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or even buttercream frosting.
- Butter: You can substitute butter for margarine or other butter-like spreads. It may change the consistency of your bread slightly, but it shouldn’t make too much of a difference.
- Cream Cheese: For making cream cheese frosting, it’s best to use full-fat cream cheese. If you must use a low-fat version, expect your frosting to be lighter in texture.
- Egg: If you don’t want to use eggs in this recipe, you can add in an extra ¼ cup of apple sauce.
If you like this delicious gingerbread loaf recipe, you’ll want to try some of our other easy holiday treats! Try any from the list below.
- Classic Sugar Cookies
- Cast Iron Skillet Pear Tart Recipe
- Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies
- Instant Pot Monkey Bread
- Amazing Blueberry, Apple and Craisin Bread Recipe
- Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree
- Homemade Cinnamon Rolls