It’s almost that time of year again where I can hardly wait to make a stop at Starbucks for a piece of their Gingerbread Loaf Cake. It always become a mid-week pick me up when my PSL just won’t cut it.
My rich, flavorful gingerbread cake has ALL the holiday spices you love. It’s paired with a smooth cream cheese frosting, and leaves plenty of room for some chopped walnuts for garnish.
Now I know homemade cakes can be a scary thing for many people. This recipe ideally skips all of the typical fuss and stress around baking a cake. A simplified cake base with a perfectly smooth frosting is all you need.
Be sure to grab the full recipe & check out the full video tutorial in the recipe card below. And if you try this recipe (I mean you totally should be), tag me on Instagram @imancake and use the hashtag #BakingWithMANCAKE.
One Bowl Gingerbread Loaf
prep time: 5 MINUTES cook time: 1 HOUR additional time: 5 MINUTES total time: 1 HOUR 10 MINUTES
- 1 stick butter at room temperature
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 & 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 or 2 teaspoons ground gloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 & 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 – 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- chopped walnuts or pecans for garnish **optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the Gingerbread Loaf
- In a large bowl, cream together your butter and white sugar until they are both light and fluffy on a medium speed with your hand mixer.
- Stir in vanilla, egg, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and applesauce on a low speed with your hand mixer. Depending on your spice preference, you can always adjust your spices here. I like extract spice so I always toss in an extra dash of ginger & cinnamon.
- At 1/2 cup at a time, gradually add in your flour while mixing on a low speed. Be mindful not to over mix.
- Pour batter into your prepared pan and let bake for 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Once fully baked, remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl, add in your cream cheese, vanilla, salt, & 1 tablespoon heavy cream.
- Beat on a high speed until cream cheese is fully whipped and starting to smooth.
- Start with adding in 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix on a low speed.
- Once sugar has been incorporated with cream cheese, and remaining 1 & 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, last tablespoon of heavy cream, and beat until fully smooth.
- Spread, drizzle, or pour the frosting over the gingerbread loaf.
- If using, sprinkle with chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
- Prepared Pan: There will always be the “next best way to prepare your pan” article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.