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  • Writer's pictureKristen Garaffo

Homemade Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Happy Christmas week!!

Holiday baking is one of my favorite parts of the season, and I’ve been waiting to start the week of Christmas. I wanted to bake something new this year, to maybe start a new Holiday tradition and gingerbread loaf called to me. We love making pumpkin loaf in the Fall, and I thought this would be a perfect way to transition our pumpkin bread to the Holiday season, haha! I’ve never made gingerbread before, and here is what I learned.

1. Molasses smells terrible, and also tastes terrible all by itself, bahaha! Why did I think it was going to be super sweet? I was so wrong. I had to move the molasses off to the side as I was mixing the dry ingredients and then the wet. I suggest you save it til the last minute, right before you mix it into the batter!

2. This gingerbread is not overly sweet! The glaze is what makes it, and the citrus is perfect. It would be easy to make a glaze with just milk and powdered sugar, but the orange juice is so lovely. I guess you could enjoy this loaf without the glaze, but it would be way more spicy than sweet, and I like that the sweetness cuts the ginger! A cream cheese frosting would also be amazing if you wanted more than just a glaze.

3. You could eat this loaf basically anytime of day. It’s perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning, a sweet Holiday snack, or dessert after dinner. This would be a great addition to a Christmas brunch too!

This recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction - and Sally’s recipes have been a bright spot of my 2020. Did anyone else go through a baking phase of quarantine? I specifically went through a cake phase, lol! I've tried many of Sally’s recipes this year, and they have all been winners. I altered it a little bit, I added a little more sugar and a little less ginger to my version of her gingerbread loaf and loved how it turned out. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Loaf Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

  • 3/4 cup unsulphured molasses

  • 3/4 cup hot water

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 23 Tablespoons (30-45ml) orange juice

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

  2. Whisk your dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl - flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. Set aside. In a separate bowl or dish, whisk the molasses and hot water together. Set it WAY to the side if you have a sensitive nose like I do, haha!

  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – I used my hand mixer. Next, add the brown sugar and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides if you need too, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Again, scrape the sides as needed!

  4. Next is adding the dry ingredients! Slow and steady, with the mixer on low speed, add about a third of the dry ingredients. Once combined, add about a third of the hot water/molasses and continue two more times, alternating between the two until it's all combined. Be careful not to over mix!

  5. Pour your batter into your loaf pan. Bake for around 50-60 minutes or until the gingerbread loaf is baked through. I baked for the full hour, but it probably could have baked just fine around 50 minutes. All ovens are different! Your loaf could take a little more or less time. To test for doneness, insert a knife or a toothpick into the center of the gingerbread loaf. If it comes out clean with only a couple moist crumbs, it's done! Allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before removing from pan.

  6. While your loaf is cooling, you can make your orange glaze! Simply add the powdered sugar and orange juice into a small bowl and whisk. Pour over the loaf once it's cooled completely, and enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

xo, Kristen

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