When Starbucks discontinued their seasonal Gingerbread Latte last year, my heart was broken. 💔🍮 Fortunately, I can still get my favorite Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf, both through the drive-through and at home because of this easy and best gingerbread loaf recipe!
Of all their seasonal concoctions, this is hands down my favorite. I mean, nothing tastes like Christmas as much as gingerbread, right?
This season trips to Starbuck are even fewer, as a result of staying home more, so I decided to try my hand at making a copycat version.
You guys, I didn’t get my hopes super high, but this turned out to be a very close replica of Starbucks’ Gingerbread Loaf!
It’s moist, has the perfect amount of spice, is smothered in a thick cream cheese frosting with hints of vanilla and orange, and tastes like an old-fashioned gingerbread loaf.
And the best part? You can have it whenever you like, fresh-baked from your own kitchen!
How to Make Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf
Start by creaming the butter and sugar. Then add the egg, vanilla, and applesauce. The applesauce is the key to keeping this loaf dense and moist, just like Starbucks.
Next, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, and then add it to your mixing bowl a little at a time.
Turn it into a greased loaf pan, and place it into an oven preheated to 350 degrees.
Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, checking often for doneness. Be careful not to overbake, so the loaf will remain moist.
The Cream Cheese Frosting
The icing is a basic cream cheese frosting, with some vanilla, and a teaspoon of orange zest mixed in, just like the Starbucks version.
Frost the loaf when it is completely cool. The vanilla-orange cream cheese icing is the perfect complement to the gingerbread spiced loaf.
Be sure to cut it into nice, thick slices to serve.
Keep the remainder of the loaf in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
I like to warm a slice in the microwave for about 15 seconds, to enjoy with my coffee.
Another thing I love about this gingerbread loaf is that it does not require molasses.
I mean, molasses is one of those ingredients that just doesn’t get used all that often, so many of us may not keep it on hand.
No worries, the spices do all the heavy lifting in this gingerbread loaf cake, so if you’re looking for a gingerbread loaf recipe without molasses, this is the one!
Starbucks Copycat Gingerbread Loaf
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground clove
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray a 9×5 loaf pan lightly with cooking spray.
- Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the egg.
- Mix in the applesauce.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices and then add it to the bowl slowly.
- When flour is incorporated, turn the batter into loaf pan, and spread evenly.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until it is risen and a toothpick comes out clean. Check frequently, and be careful not to overbake. You want the loaf to be moist. It will dry out quickly if overbaked.
- Let cool completely on a rack before frosting.
To Make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Beat the cream cheese with the vanilla and then add 2 cups sugar and the orange zest and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Spread a thick layer of the frosting over the gingerbread loaf.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for several days. I like to warm a slice just slightly in the microwave (about 15 seconds) before enjoying with my coffee.
Let me leave you with this fun meme, that describes my feelings about coffee perfectly…
Coffee cups up!