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Gingerbread loaf on a white plate

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf Recipe

Featuring a classic homemade cream cheese icing and crunchy caramelized pecans, this easy Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf is just what you need to get into the holiday spirit.
Course Breakfast/Dessert, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gingerbread loaf, gingerbread loaf recipe, Starbucks Gingerbread, starbucks recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 232kcal


  • Loaf pan: Try this Large Loaf Pan or Mini Loaf Pan
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • Icing spatula or spoon; we like this Icing Spatula
  • ⭐ Optional: Electric mixer for beating cream cheese frosting; you can use a whisk if you do not have one! This 6-speed electric mixer works well.


Gingerbread Loaf

  • cup Cooking Oil (I use Canola oil)
  • 2 Eggs
  • cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Applesauce
  • 1 ½ cup Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 pinch Salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • cup Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Orange - zest only (optional)

Candied Pecans (optional)

  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Water
  • ½ cup Pecans


How to Make Gingerbread

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a loaf pan. Dust it with flour or line with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, whisk 2 eggs and ⅓ cup brown sugar until frothy. Add ⅓ cup cooking oil, 1 ½ Tbsp. maple syrup, and 1 cup applesauce. Stir well.
    Mix plain 1 ½ cups flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon, 1 ½ tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cloves, 1 tsp. ground nutmeg, and a pinch of salt, then sift into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Quickly mix with your whisk until fully combined.
    Pour the gingerbread batter into the loaf pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The tip of a knife or toothpick should come out clean when it’s ready.
    Gingerbread Loaf in the Loaf Pan

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Allow 8 oz. cream cheese to come to room temperature first by letting it sit out for at least 30 minutes before making the icing.
    When ready, beat the cream cheese until smooth, using a mixer or whisk. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and stir well.
    Slowly whisk in ⅓ cup icing sugar until combined. Add orange zest from half an orange and fold the frosting together.
    Once the bread cools completely, spread the cream cheese frosting over top.
    Putting cream cheese frosting on the loaf

How to Make Candied Pecans (Optional)

  • Add ¼ cup brown sugar and ¼ cup water to a small pan on low heat. Once the sugar dissolves, add ½ cup pecans (chopped or whole).
    Leave to caramelize for 2 minutes or until all the liquid evaporates. Stir occasionally to evenly coat the pecans.
    Transfer to a plate and allow to cool before adding over the frosting on your gingerbread loaf.
    Caramelised Pecans over the Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. The perfect center: To get the perfect 'center crack' in the loaf, remove it from the oven mid-baking and use a sharp knife to cut a straight line in the middle of your loaf before placing it back in the oven. It will help it open evenly.
  2. Refrigerate after frosting: After adding the cream cheese, you will need to keep the gingerbread loaf refrigerated.
  3. Spread out the pecans: When done cooking the caramelized pecans, make sure to spread them flat and not on top of each other, otherwise, they will stick together.


Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg