If you rush to Starbucks every winter to get a slice of their gingerbread cake, you’re going to love this copycat recipe. Here’s a fresh and delicious Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf recipe that you can make right at home any time of the year.
CopyCat Starbucks Gingerbread Cake
This moist cake features all the customary flavors of the season: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. It’s topped with a simple, three-ingredient cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans.
When you pop this loaf in the oven, your entire house will smell like Christmas! If you’re expecting guests, bake it an hour or so before they arrive and the aroma will make them feel warm and toasty no matter how cold it is outside.
Ingredients You Need
To make your the copycat Starbucks gingerbread loaf you’ll need a handful of pantry staples you’ve probably got and a few things you may need to grab from the grocery store. Make sure you don’t skip any of the ingredients (except perhaps the pecans) because they all are super important for the best flavor.
- Butter: Unsalted sweet cream butter at room temperature.
- Sugar: Regular, granulated sugar.
- Vanilla Extract: For the loaf and the icing. Pure tastes much better than imitation if you’ve got it.
- Flour: All-purpose.
- Baking Soda: So the loaf will rise.
- Egg: Just one.
- Applesauce: This is the secret weapon to a moist loaf.
- Spices: Ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
- Chopped Pecans: Totally optional if pecans aren’t your thing.
- Cream Cheese: The base of the frosting.
- Powdered Sugar: To sweeten the frosting.
How to make a Gingerbread Loaf just like Starbucks
1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray your loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. Make batter. Start by mixing the butter and sugar together. Continue by mixing in the egg and vanilla, slowly. Next, add in the applesauce. Separately, stir together the dry ingredients and then add them to the butter mixture.
3. Bake. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 55 minutes. Let it cool while you make the icing.
4. Make frosting. Beat the cream cheese with vanilla until it’s creamy. Start adding in powdered sugar a little at a time until complete and the frosting is ready. Frost the cooled loaf and enjoy.
Tip! Use the Right Pan
If you don’t happen to have a 9 x 5 loaf pan, you can get a disposable, aluminum pan. They are super cheap and you can grab a bunch and make more than one Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf to give as gifts.
If you don’t have the loaf pan and don’t have time to pick up some disposable ones, you can get away with using a different size in a pinch. Just remember, if the baking pan you use is shallower than the loaf pan, you’ll need to reduce the baking time a bit. Try knocking off about 10-15 minutes or so, but definitely check it frequently to be sure it’s not too hard or too soft.
More Gingerbread Recipes
Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf
- ½ C unsalted sweet cream butter room temperature
- 1 C sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 large egg room temp
- 1 C applesauce
- 1 ½ C flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- chopped pecans
- ½ block cream cheese room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ - 2 C powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick baking/ cooking spray.
- Add the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until it is fluffy. Add in the vanilla and egg while the electric mixer is still beating. Slowly blend in the applesauce.
- Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Add this mixture to the butter, egg, sugar mixture blending until it is mixed.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes. (Or until it has risen and a toothpick comes out clean.)
- Set aside the loaf until it slightly cools. Transfer to a cooling rack before frosting.
- Add the cream cheese and the vanilla in a mixing bowl.
- Beat the cream cheese and vanilla together. Add the 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar beating 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 loaf. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.