This "Copycat" Gingerbread Loaf recipe is adapted from Starbuck's Gingerbread Loaf, so you know it's going to be fantastic, (which it is, duh!) and by making it, it costs a lot less too! We added a creamy, dreamy tangy lemon cream cheese buttercream frosting on top of this spiced old-fashioned gingerbread loaf that will get your taste-buds a-dancing. Oh My Gosh!
Throughout the years, my mom would make a boxed gingerbread cake and served with warm lemon pudding on top. I remember how much we loved it and were always excited when she made it. It was just so classic, like it was always meant to be. The gingerbread and lemon duo!
That's why this Gingerbread Loaf with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting is now a reminder of my mom's memorable dessert back in my childhood days.
Apple butter is the secret to making this bread so lusciously yummy!
A friend of mine at work made some home-made apple butter and luckily I received some and it's sooo good. Nothing like home-made apple butter right?
BTW...In this recipe, applesauce can be substituted for the apple butter, but I really like the apple butter to change it up and give it a depth of flavor.
Speaking of depth of flavors, besides the apple butter and gingerbread spices of ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, I added in some molasses. You can leave it out, but I recommend using it, along with coffee extract. YIKES! I'm addicted! 🙂
I used coffee extract in these Butter Pecan Turtle Cookies and Hearty Pumpkin Chai Spiced Oatmeal Cookies (Chocolate Chips & Cranberries included too. You really should try it!
I wish I would have had some lemon curd on hand, because I think it would look super, pretty adding some drizzles of it on top of the lemon cream cheese frosting. Next time!!
Spiced Gingerbread Loaf with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting is a wonderful addition to the holiday baking fun! If you aren't a lemon fan, leave the lemon out. If you don't want cream cheese, leave it out. It will still be amaze-balls!
Gingerbread Loaf with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon coffee extract or vanilla extract
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 cup apple sauce or apple butter
- 1 ½ Tablespoons molasses
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated or ground
Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- ½ stick butter softened
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Set oven to 350F
- Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper leaving ends long so you can lift it out when cooled. Spray non-stick spray over parchment paper/pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices and set aside
- Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and coffee or vanilla extract.
- Mix in the applesauce and molasses.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly until just incorporated.
- Add into loaf pan and level.
- Bake for about 55 minutes, or until it is risen and a toothpick comes out clean. Check it early to make sure you don't overbake.
- Let cool completely on a rack before frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- Beat the cream cheese and softened butter together until smooth, then add the lemon juice
- Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until well blended.
- Frost the gingerbread loaf.
Kim Lange says
Hi Michelle, you can use either one. I have only tried it with the applesauce, but researching I found you can also use apple butter. Hope you enjoy!
The ingredient list says 1 cup of apple butter, your instructions say add the applesauce.
I'm confused, are we supposed to use 1 cup of apple butter or apple sauce?
Yes it would Agness! You can leave off the frosting, it's just as good with or without the frosting if you want a healthier version with the green tea!
Agness of Run Agness Run says
Such a palatable treat, Kim! This cake will go just perfectly with a cup of green tea. Excellent recipe. 😉
Aww thank you Shannon! You are so sweet! 🙂
Shannon @loveatfirstbento says
Omg, gingerbread + lemon sounds like the absolute perfect combination! And adding apple butter? Sounds like pure genius to me! I am such a gigantic gingerbread fan, so this recipe is def calling out to me, loud and clear.
Btw your icing skills are seriously on point! All those angelic white swirls look so pro 😀
Same here Teresa! I hope you enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving my sweet, sweet friend!! 😀
I've been looking for a great Gingerbread recipe and this looks like it! Thanks for sharing, Kim.
Thank you Leanne! 😀
leanne | Crumb top baking says
This is so eye catching! I absolutely love gingerbread loaf with buttercream frosting. And this definitely reminds me of the one from Starbucks. Pinning this for later!
Kelly, it's so good! Yes try it! 😀 Happy Thanksgiving!!
Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats says
Oooh I have a jar of apple butter too. Now I need to make this!! Christmas bread!! Yum 🙂
That is so cool Joanne! I hope you love it! I wanted to eat it all. 😀
My mom baked gingerbread with a lemon sauce when I was young. I like your recipe with the apple butter, and plan
to bake this for the holidays.
They sure are Kelsie! Thank you so much! Happy Thanksgiving my sweet friend!!
Thank you for letting me know! Updated for 1 and 1/2 tablespoons molasses! 🙂 Hope you try it!!!
There was no amount of molasses listed in the ingredients for the Gingerbread Loaf with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I want at least five slices of this for breakfast today :). Gingerbread and lemon are a match made in heaven! This looks divine, Kim!
I haven't used it much, but I loved using it in this! Thank you Katherine! Cheers to you too!!!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
Aaah I love baking with apple butter!!! Lucky for me I have some in the back of my fridge, so it looks like this is going to go down real soon 😉 Cheers Kim!