This deliciously spiced Gingerbread loaf makes the perfect festive bake. Ultra-soft with irresistible flavour and texture, this bake tastes just like the legendary Starbucks Gingerbread loaf. This classic cake Topped with a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting, is one of my favourite holiday bakes.
I love the aroma of this loaf while baking, so comforting bringing out all the festive holiday vibes. It is such an easy bake too. I can tell you that the most difficult part is waiting for it to cool before frosting, but believe me, it is definitely worth the wait.
INGREDIENTS USED IN THE GINGERBREAD LOAF
FLOUR: Use all-purpose or cake flour
BAKING SODA / BICARBONATE OF SODA
GROUND GINGER POWDER: I love using a little extra ginger spice to this loaf and that is the reason why my recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of this spice. However, if you feel this is too much, then please feel free to cut down the amount according to your preference.
GROUND CINNAMON POWDER
MIXED SPICE OR PUMPKIN PIE SPICE: I just add a teaspoon of either mixed spice or pumpkin pie spice to the recipe. This spice is basically a blend of ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger and is also referred to as allspice.
BUTTER: The butter should be cold for this recipe. It is diced and rubbed into the flour.
MOLASSES AND CORN SYRUP: This contributes to the rich flavour and dark colour of this loaf. Don't worry If you do not have molasses or corn syrup because I have some great alternatives or substitutes for you to use.
BROWN SUGAR: Adds a rich taste and moisture to the loaf
BUTTERMILK: This contributes to the flavour and soft texture of the loaf. If you do not have buttermilk then make your own by adding 1 Tablespoon/ 15ml lemon juice or vinegar to ¼ cup / 60 ml milk. Set aside for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.
MOLASSES AND SYRUP SUBSTITUTES
Molasses and syrup is the ingredient which gives gingerbread its dark colour and distinct flavour. However, if you do not have these ingredients then here are a few alternatives which work just as well.
Just a note, that because of the distinct taste of which molasses has in the recipe, substituting it with one of the following will alter the flavour. Don't worry though because It will still turn out to be an amazing bake with delicious taste and texture.
You can use one of the following. Either use it in place of the molasses or syrup or both.
• Brown sugar
• Maple syrup
• Golden Syrup
TIPS FOR THE BEST GINGERBREAD LOAF
• Do not overmix. Overmixing will result in a dry textured loaf
• This loaf has a high sugar content and is prone to sticking. To avoid the baked loaf from sticking, grease and line the pan with parchment/baking paper.
• To avoid a dry textured loaf, place a tray of water on the bottom rack of the oven. This creates moisture in the oven and in turn, creates a softer loaf.
• If you find that the top of the loaf is browning too quickly before it has baked, then just cover lightly with foil. Ensure that the foil is domed and does not touch the batter while baking.
MAKING THE GINGERBREAD LOAF
Grease and line a 9x5 inch ( 23x13cm) loaf tin with baking paper /parchment paper
Heat the oven at 320°F (160°C). Sift the flour, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), ground ginger, cinnamon and allspice/pumpkin pie spice together in a bowl. Add in the diced butter and rub it into the flour
Measure out the molasses and syrup into a small pan and warm gently until melted and runny but not hot.
Set aside until lukewarm.
Put the sugar and milk into another pan and heat gently, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Leave to cool until lukewarm.
Then whisk the milk into the flour mixture, followed by the molasses mixture
Mix in the buttermilk to form a smooth thick batter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 320°F (160°C) for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING
Beat the cream cheese with the vanilla extract and then add the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy, adding more sugar if you prefer a thicker frosting.
Spread a thick layer of the frosting over the cooled gingerbread loaf.