Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is an easy little baking project to get you in the holiday spirit ~ it’ll make your winter mornings (and afternoons and evenings!) a little brighter, too.
WAY better than coffee shop gingerbread loaf cake
If you aren’t able to get out to your local coffee shop for those occasional indulgent treats this year, try making this gingery cake yourself, it’s fresher and all around better. This richly textured and spiced loaf cake is slathered with the thickest layer of cream cheese frosting imaginable, because you deserve it.
What you’ll need:
When I say this batter is rich, I mean it, but hey ~ it’s the holidays! Two sticks of butter and 3 eggs make for an indulgently moist loaf that’s rich and dense. A generous amount of molasses and spice mean that you won’t miss that classic gingerbread flavor.
- cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice
- baking powder, baking soda, salt
- cream cheese
- confectioner’s sugar
Oh that layer of cream cheese frosting, lay it on thick!
I made my cream cheese frosting right in my food processor, which made a super silky frosting in no-time. There won’t be a lump in sight, promise. It’s my preferred way to do make frosting, but you can also easily make it in a stand mixer or with a pair of electric beaters. Just make sure if you use another method that your ingredients, especially that cream cheese, is at room temperature.
The complex flavors of gingerbread develop over time
I actually liked it even better on the second day. The intense flavors of the molasses and the spices meld and bloom overnight. If it works for your schedule, I’d recommend making the loaf one day ahead of when you’d like to serve this bread, wrap the cooled loaf in plastic, and frost when you want to serve it.
Gingerbread freezes beautifully
- Let the loaf cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic, then in foil.
- Frost the cake after thawing.
My pretty mismatched red holiday plates were sent to me by Caskata
It’s an artisanal tableware company out of Massachusetts that I’ve recently discovered and love. They make clean lined, modern dishes, glassware, and table linens. These cheery red dessert plates set such a festive mood and put a smile on my face. I’ll be styling some of my holiday recipes with their dishes this season, so keep an eye out for them.
- Homemade Gingerbread Ice Cream
- Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- Gingerbread Crumb Cake
- Gingerbread Snickerdoodles
Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp clove
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
for the cream cheese frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 inch loaf pan, and line with parchment paper if desired for easy removal.
- Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and beat for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the molasses and beat briefly to combine.
- Add the salt, spices, baking powder, and baking soda, and mix briefly to combine.
- Finally, add in the flour, and mix just until everything is incorporated. I like to finish mixing by hand with a silicone spatula to make sure everything from the sides and bottom of the bowl is well incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 60-65 minutes. This cake doesn't rise into a domed shape like some pound cakes, but it should be a deep gingerbread-y color when done. If the top of the cake is getting too dark before it's done cooking, cover with a small piece of foil.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool partially in the pan before removing to cool fully on a baking rack.
- While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by adding all of the frosting ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and blending until smooth. If you'd like a thicker/stiffer frosting, you can add more powdered sugar. If you'd like a tangier frosting, you can add a bit of lemon juice.
- When the cake is fully cool, frost with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. You'll have enough frosting for a very generous layer that will fall down the sides of the cake a bit. You can use less if you'd like it to just stay on top of the cake, or even make a half recipe of the frosting if you'd like a thinner layer.
Questions and Reviews
My husband loves this cake, I’ve been making lots of mini loaves to give as presents and it is lived by all. Is there a way I can make this as a round cake, would I need to double the amounts or just increase by half and how long would I need to bake
Well, the seasonings are delicious and it is a very moist cake. Unfortunately it sank an incredible amount in the middle (DEEP V, almost touching the bottom). It also burnt around the edges, which is totally my own fault. I just left it I’m hoping it would rise back up in the middle.
If you don’t mind triangular pieces, it’s delicious! It made for a giggle and an overall wondering of what I did wrong. I can’t fault the flavors or texture, but it’s unfortunate about the sinking. That’s ok, I like to experiment ?
I made this on Christmas Eve because I love gingerbread and wanted my kitchen to smell wonderful. Success! My husband said: “This is one of my favorite cakes!” I said: “I thought you said you didn’t like gingerbread?” Husband: “I didn’t! But this is awesome!!” Double success!! 🙂 Thanks for another winner, Sue!!
Oh! The details: The only change I made was to use Measure for Measure gluten free flour and to add 3/4 tsp. Xanthan gum. The cake turned out beautifully. I didn’t cover it with foil when it started to darken because we like the crispy edges. As others mentioned, the loaf fell VERY SLIGHTLY in the middle when I removed it (so easily!) from the loaf pan using the parchment paper sling, but that’s what the frosting is for! 😉 Actually, I stored the frosting and the cake separately and frosted pieces as needed. There are only two of us and I find this allows us to extend the lives of our cakes because they don’t get overly soft from the frosting. This was a delicious, easy recipe, and the frosting is my new cream cheese frosting go-to. It couldn’t be easier!!
Hi. I have a question. Do you use syrup molasses or powder?
Liquid molasses ~ hope you enjoy it!
I’m going to make this for Christmas dinner. Will be making it ahead to save time and freezing it. I’ll have to defrost it the night before, then frost it Christmas morning. I always go to my best friend’s house for appetizers & wine in the afternoon. I live in Florida, and it’s warm all year . I’m thinking I should put it in the refrigerator till dinner to keep the cream cheese from melting – is that right?
Thanks! This recipe looks delicious!
Yes, cream cheese does have to be refrigerated ~ technically it should only stay at room temp for 2 hours. Hope you enjoy, and Happy Holidays 🙂
Has anyone tried it gluten free? And did it work? Thanks!
I think it should be fine using a good quality gf baking mix Alene. Hopefully somebody will chime in.