Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

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?

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf and a fresh cup of coffee are the perfect combo.

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

Ingredients for 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.

Mixing Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf using applesauce to keep it moist.

Next, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, and then add it to your mixing bowl a little at a time.

Sifting the dry ingredients for Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf
Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf in progress

Turn it into a greased loaf pan, and place it into an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf ready for the oven

Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, checking often for doneness. Be careful not to overbake, so the loaf will remain moist.

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

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.

Making the cream cheese frosting for Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

Frost the loaf when it is completely cool. The vanilla-orange cream cheese icing is the perfect complement to the gingerbread spiced loaf.

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf frosted with cream cheese and orange zest frosting.

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.

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

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

Niky @ The House on Silverado
Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf is seasonal, and only around for a short period of time. Because of it's popularity, I often find it sold out at Starbucks. 😟 By making it home, you can ensure a slice is on hand when you're ready for your coffee break!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Quick Bread
Servings 10 slices


  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 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.
Keyword copycat, Starbucks
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

Let me leave you with this fun meme, that describes my feelings about coffee perfectly…

Coffee cups up!

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More Starbucks Copycat recipes:

Links clockwise from top: 1. Copycat Cherry Mocha 2. Copycat Gingerbread Loaf 3. Copycat Sugar Plum Danish

28 thoughts on “Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

  1. I love the look of this recipe and it smells delicious! But I too had the same issue as Valerie. I had to bake mine a full 65 minutes for the middle to have a toothpick come out clean. Perhaps where I live, the humidity is high in East Texas? But it finally cooked all the way through!

    1. 5 stars
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the bread, Robbie. I agree about how wonderful it makes the house smell! Your comment about the humidity is interesting and makes me wonder if that could be the issue. I baked mine in Iowa in the winter when there is not much humidity.

      1. 5 stars
        I have an update on the turnout. I baked 3 loaves and neighbors raved about this recipe!! Will be making again. I wondered if you might have suggestions for the baking time if I want to make “mini cupcake” bites for parties? Thank you

  2. for some reason I could not get my loaf to cook all the way thru. I have baked it for an extra 30 min and it still gummy inside. Is this because there was no baking powder in the recipe?

    1. Hi Valerie. I’m so sad your loaf did not turn out. The recipe does not call for baking powder, because it uses a full teaspoon of baking soda. Did you include the soda in yours?
      I can’t think of anything that would cause the problem you’ve described. I make this recipe regularly, including just yesterday, and I’ve never had a problem getting it to bake through. 🙁

  3. 5 stars
    I made it today for the wife who is missing this. Her comment was that it was very good, but was missing the crystallized ginger that the original had. Next time I make it I’ll add a tablespoon of crystallized ginger and see if that gets it closer.

  4. I don’t know how to do pingbacks or connecnt posts, but I made this today to give to some friends for Christmas. I made mini loaves. Did not do the orange, but that would be good. I posted my picture on my Facebook page and just shared this one to my page as well, I will add the credit to my post. I also made a lower carbv version by using a Splenda blend for white sugar and no icing. It is good too, but the one I posted today I used regular ingredients. Great job! And thanks for sharing. Michele

  5. 5 stars
    Congratulations! Your awesome post is featured on Full Plate Thursday,515 this week., and we pinned it to our Features Board. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and thanks so much for sharing your talent with us!
    Miz Helen

  6. Hello, this is one of my favorites for Encouraging Hearts and Home, this week! I hope you stop by and say hello, this post has been pinned! Thank you for being a part of Encouraging Hearts and Home, we appreciate all that you share. Have a great week ahead!

  7. I am baking one of these this week! Can’t wait to try it! I am making one regular, and one gluten free so I can have some too! Thanks for posting this recipe! I was linking to Happiness is Homemade linky party, and this caught my eye. So glad I saw it!

  8. This looks SO good! Every time I see it in one of those squares at all the linky parties it makes me incredibly hungry. I am not familiar with the Starbucks version but I am going to try your recipe. I love gingerbread. Thanks for sharing. Hope you are enjoying the season.

    XO- MaryJo

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