Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf - make it at home. It tastes just like the real deal but better because you know exactly what's in it!

My sweet sister, Annie is guest blogging on The Café today.  I’ve never been to Annie’s house without coming home with a beaucoup of wonderful recipes and the sensation that I had been to the best bed and breakfast ……… ever!

Unfortunately, we live many miles apart and don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. It was so fun when Annie sent me this recipe for Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf along with some photos she had taken – it was almost as good as sitting down together and sharing coffee and a slice of this delightful seasonal bread. I miss you Annie!

It’s that time of year again where I can hardly wait to make a stop at Starbucks for a piece of their Gingerbread Loaf Cake. I’m actually glad that it only appears in their food case during the Christmas holiday or I would be working out twice a day every day because I so…. enjoy this sweet treat! However, I was delighted one day while perusing the Restaurant Recipe Blog site and came across THE recipe. It tastes and looks just like Starbucks. And the best part…… freezes beautifully (with or without the frosting) so….now you can have your cake and eat it too….. anytime of the year!!  ~ Annie



Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

4.6 from 5 reviews

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf – make it at home. It tastes just like the real deal but better because you know exactly what’s in it!

  • Author:


  • Ingredients for the gingerbread loaf:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract, optional
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Ingredients for the frosting:
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Grease and flour a large loaf pan (9×5″), you could also use four mini loaf pans 6x3x2″.2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt, then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in orange extract.
  3. Mix baking soda into applesauce and stir into creamed butter mixture. Add flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake at 350˚F for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  6. For the icing, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and orange extract. Slowly beat in confectioner’s sugar.
  7. Once the cake has cooled, evenly spread the frosting on top. Decorate with chopped candied orange peel or candied ginger.

50 thoughts on “Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf”

    • They were out of my cinnamon swirl coffee cake this morning, so I tried it. It had a strange texture. Do they use chunky applesauce? I didn’t realize it had orange flavored icing. Wasn’t as good as I was anticipated.

  • This tastes just like the one at Starbucks, if not better!
    I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup + 1tbsp and it still tastes great.

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  • The loaf at Starbucks has chunks of ginger in it. Can I just add some diced candied ginger to this recipe and get the same outcome?

    • I chop up stem ginger in syrup and fold in in just prior to baking – I believe Starbucks may do this as well 🙂 candied ginger is drier and tougher but I’m sure it would provide a similar effect.
      Candied orange peel would be a delicious alternative!

  • Love the Starbuck’s Ginger Bread Loaf…however, I think their recipe changed because this year it doesn’t taste as great 🙁 The bread is not have much flavor and the icing is hard and lacks the ginger candy – huge disappointment. So glad I found this recipe. Couple of questions. Do you make yours with ground ginger or chopped fresh ginger? I followed your recipe and used ground ginger. My loaf was dense and moist but did not fill an entire loaf, only about two-thirds of a loaf pan. I live in Colorado so altitude may impact, any suggestions? Also, how do you make candied ginger?

    Thx Again for sharing!

  • I really am so glad I found this recipe! However I doubled the ingredients, like another reviewer, and it still only produced 3 mini loaves…I believe without eggs it causes the bread to rise and fall in the middle so next time I will add eggs to see if it will prevent the deep indention in the middle of the loaves. I also added crystallized ginger within the bread mixture. I have had at least 4 slices of that ginger loaf from Starbucks and I remember that candied ginger being in the bread not the cream cheese. This was an awesome recipe to build upon and I will surely be making this again! So much flavor and perfect with a cup of coffee! Excited to have a slice this Christmas night!!!

  • I just took mine out of the oven and it smells wonderful. I did use half white & half brown sugar like one of the posters suggested.. I doubled the recipe and it only yielded 5 of the miniloaf pans which I didn’t understand. I used the disposable foil pans which are pretty much the size stated above. I filled them about
    2/3 full and after baking my loaves are right to the top of the pan, certainly not overfilled.

  • AMAZING!!!!!
    I just tried one of these, so good! They dont need the frosting, such great flavor on their own. I dont have a loaf pan, so I made these into muffins. Also didnt have enough apple sauce so I put in a very ripe banana. Will make these over and over again!

  • I tried the recipe as is, and i need a little help.

    1) my result for the gingerbread cake tasted great, but was a little too fluffy and as a result not as dense as i would like.
    can i add more butter or some oil to make it more dense.
    2) i used a glass loaf pan, does make any difference ?
    3) the frosting was great

    I am just critical of how my first cake turned out, my family thought it was great!

    Thank you in advance,

    mike scanlan

    • I found the loaf a little “fluffy” too. I changed the recipe to half wheat flour and half spelt flour. The loaf has a denser texture and less crumbly. I understand a dark rye flour will do the trick too.

  • I agree with Debbie. Instructions are confusing. No.1- Grease & flour a 9″ square pan. No. 5- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Picture looks like loaf style not square pan. Thanks for the recipe. I want to try it but would like to use correct pan.

  • Hi Vivi – I’m so glad you enjoyed this – I would love your recipe – thanks for getting back to me!

  • I have come just to say thanks again: I did the loaf yesterday,and it was as good as the “real” one
    it made me remember too of one I used to do some time ago, but instead of apples, i used mashed squash, and sunflower oil instead of butter; if you want to try it, let me know, I could send you the recipe
    the one you share here is more tasty,I went for more apples already, I will definitely make it again this week

  • You could definitely used cooked, smashed apples in lieu of applesauce, I would use the green variety and add a bit of sugar while cooking. As far as the cream cheese goes, I’m not sure what to tell you. Cream cheese is a bit tangy and thick and it has a consistency and flavor totally it’s own. I wish I could give you a better answer than this, sorry! You might want to try googling it 🙂

  • oh my goodness thanks for sharing.. few days ago I went to starbucks, only to have a piece of this, and the girl told me that they are not currently serving it..
    I have 2 questions: when you say “applesauce” is it the same if I cook apples, and mash them? (there is no applesauce in jar where I live) and which apples should I choose? red or green?
    oh.. there were 3 questions: the cream cheese: you would say it’s salty, or more like cream? dont want to spoil it!!
    thanks a lot!!
    vivi from argentina

  • I am tickled pink to have this recipe. I wait all year for this treat to appear in Starbuck’s pastry case. The combination of gingerbread spices and that yummy cream cheese frosting is out of sight. Can’t wait to make this.

  • Looks like Annie could start a blog of her own–she already takes blog-worthy photos of food! Great job and write-up, Annie! I’ve never had Starbucks Gingerbread loaf cake–I’ll have to try this. Thanks!

  • I want to go to Annie’s Bed and Breakfast with you the
    next time. I love gingerbread – but I’m the only one in
    my family -maybe this will entice them to join me so I don’t have to eat the whole loaf.
    I miss you and love our little morning visits over coffee or tea. I can’t look at your blog and just smell the gingerbread and keep sippin. Come see me:-)

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