Copycat Starbuck’s Gingerbread Loaf
Copycat Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting tastes even better at home! Moist, delicious with a thick, creamy frosting!
A HOMEMADE SWEET CAKE WITH CREAM CHESE FROSTING
Apparently I am all about them copycat Starbucks loaf recipes lately. I shared a recipe recently for the STARBUCK’S LEMON LOAF and I promised I would share the recipe for their gingerbread loaf. This one took a little longer to get on the blog than I initially had planned on. The truth is, I wasn’t real crazy with my first attempt. It wasn’t as moist as I had wanted. And I made WAY too much frosting for one loaf – not that I’m complaining 😉
A GREAT USE FOR APPLE BUTTER
After realizing it needed something to help make it more tender, I went back to the drawing board. It turns out that it really needed some applesauce. Actually, apple butter would be amazing if you have that on hand. It added that additional moistness without adding a bunch of oil. And I scaled back on the frosting just a bit so you don’t have a ton leftover. Again, not a problem from my perspective. 🙂 Side note: if you have fresh nutmeg – use it here. Freshly grated nutmeg has the best flavor but the pre-grated nutmeg will do the job in this.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
- salted butter
- vanilla extract
- apple butter (or applesauce)
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- ground ginger
- ground cinnamon
- ground cloves
- chopped walnuts
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
HOW TO MAKE STARBUCK’S GINGERBREAD LOAF:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray (the kind with flour in it – like Baker’s Joy.) Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla and the egg. Blend in the apple butter (or applesauce.)
Slowly add the flour, baking soda, and spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.)
When everything is mixed, pour the batter into your loaf pan. Bake for about 55 minutes until it is risen and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack before frosting. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with the vanilla and then add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Add a little more sugar if it’s not as thick as you like.
Spread a thick layer of the frosting over the gingerbread cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Then dig in!
WANT MORE RECIPES LIKE THIS? TRY THESE!
Copycat Starbuck’s Gingerbread Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the loaf:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup apple butter, or applesauce
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
For the frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 block), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
- chopped walnuts, for topping (optional)
For the loaf:
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray (the kind with flour in it – like Baker's Joy.)
- Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the egg. Blend in the applesauce.
- Slowly add the flour, baking soda and spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.) When everything is mixed, pour the batter into your loaf pan.
- Bake for about 55 minutes until it is risen and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Beat the cream cheese with the vanilla and then add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Add a little more sugar if it’s not as thick as you like.
- Spread a thick layer of the frosting over the gingerbread cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts (optional). Then slice and serve!
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Originally published: March 2017
Updated & republished: December 2021
It had good flavor but i found that the cloves overpowered the ginger. All i could taste was clove rather than a blend of spices. Very moist and easy to make.
I was thinking she mixed up the nutmeg and the clove measurements. Even that much nutmeg would be too much. I would only use 1/4tsp of cloves in a pan that size. I definitely think it’s a mix up.
Followed recipe exactly, making sure butter was completely softened, and was careful not to over-mix. I did add one ingredient-1 tbsp maple syrup. Batter was thick but extremely airy. Turned out perfectly tender and flavorful! Love this recipe since it does not have the overpowering flavor of molasses.
I so miss the Starbucks Gingerbread loaf but you hit this out of the park! This absolutely was the next best thing! So glad I found it! Thanks so much!
This recipe is EXCELLENT! I made these into whoopie pies! *funny story- husband bought me applebutter and accidentally broke it when he was carrying it in. I went to the store the next day and went to get some off the shelf and it slipped out of my hand and broke.. so be careful that’s is slippery stuff!
I’ve made this several times and it’s a huge hit. Moist, dense and flavorful. I make 2 loaves and freeze one (unfrosted) to have on hand but they both get eaten quickly. I do use an 8 oz. block of cream cheese for frosting each loaf as my husband loves thick frosting.
Add one extra yolk:
When making this the egg had a double yolk, and the extra protein did make the crumb looser but much much more tender. The family consensus is the extra yolk made this recipe that much better.
Store in the fridge, or countertop?
I would store any leftovers in the fridge (wrapped well) for about 3-4 days max.
Great adaptation recipe! The only 2 ingredients missing to make it exactly like the real deal, is 1 tsp grated orange zest and some chopped candied ginger mixed into the cake batter. As a Starbucks employee, I give it my 2 thumbs up lol
Oh nice! Thank you! I’ll definitely add that next time!
Question – just making sure there’s no baking powder in this. . .only baking soda?
In your video you added salt, however, in the directions there is no mention of salt. How much salt do you need to add? I have a loaf baking in the oven now but didn’t add salt. The smell in my kitchen is wonderful!
It’ll be fine. I ended up changing the recipe to using salted butter and removing the salt. I find most people tend to have salted butter on hand rather than unsalted. But if unsalted butter is used, then a 1/4 tsp salt can be added.
Delicious! I made three small loaves, baked about 32 minutes. I used apple butter and added about a tablespoon of molasses. Batter was thick, but turned out great. I didn’t ice, but know that would be good. Thanks!
So happy to hear that Bridget! Thanks so much!
Very easy to make and tastes delicious!
Thanks so much Lisa!
I made this as written and it turned out perfectly, absolutely love it!
FYI, I had previously pinned this and fortunately printed out a copy of the recipe because the link no longer works. When I tried to pin it again, it was blocked by Pinterest, saying that it might link to spam.
I know! I’m sorry! I have a help ticket into them. I’ve heard it’s part of a recent update glitch. Bear with me – we’ll get it fixed.
So happy you loved the recipe!!
Wonderful! The best I’ve ever ate.. Thank you for sharing!
My family loved this!
I actually made cupcakes out of this (it made 12). Don’t have a loaf pan. I didn’t have any issues at all with caving but they cooked REALLY FAST. About 15m and they were done. Good thing I was checking on then frequently! I used the apple sauce and also pieces of candied ginger in the batter. The icing recipe as is was just enough for all the cupcakes. Really tastes exactly like Starbucks!
Tastes great! I’ve made this twice and both times, mine caved in pretty badly so it wasn’t the prettiest but tasted really good!
I love the taste but all of mine sunk in the middle! Not so great looking to give for gifts and of course I made a double batch! Anyone else have the sinking middle problem and any solution?
Yes, I had the same problem with sinking in the middle. I saw your comment prior to cooking my first batch and decided to add some baking powder as well as a bit of salt (because I thought the salt would make the flavors pop). I’m glad I added both. I’m going to cook another batch and see if lowering the temp to 325 for an hour and fifteen minutes might help. I’ll update later.
Okay, I made another batch. After a little research I decided to put more flour* in the mix without increasing anything else. Reason being, I used applesauce which is quite a bit runnier than apple butter. Also, I sprayed only the bottom of the bread pans so the dough would grab onto the sides of the bread pan while rising. I’m happy to say my new loaves turned out beautifully!
*I changed the serving scale to 20 and added another 3/4 cup of flour to the 3 & 3/4 cups the recipe called for. If you’re making the regular 8 servings I’d say another 1/4 cup would be good.