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Iced Gingerbread Loaf

An old-fashioned gingerbread loaf has been a Christmas staple for generations! Finish the cake with a vanilla citrus glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar for a festive addition to any holiday spread.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gingerbread cake, gingerbread loaf
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 1 loaf (about 12 slices)
Calories 263kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • loaf pan


  • 1 ¾ cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup milk, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature

For the Icing:

  • 1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice or lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the molasses mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. (i.e., add ⅓ of the flour mixture, then half of the molasses mixture, another ⅓ of the flour mixture, the remaining ½ of the molasses mixture, and finally the remaining ⅓ of the flour mixture). Mix just until combined; do not over-mix.
  • Add the sour cream; mix just until combined.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Icing:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, 2 tablespoons of orange juice, and vanilla extract until smooth. The icing should be pretty thick. If it seems too thin, add a bit more confectioners sugar. If the icing is too thick, add another teaspoon or so of orange juice at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle the icing over the top of the bread. Rest on a wire rack until the glaze sets.


  • Properly measure the flour. Weigh the flour on a kitchen scale or spoon the flour into the cup and lightly level with the straight edge of a knife. Packing the measuring cup too tightly and using too much flour will result in a dry cake.
  • Make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature so that they blend together smoothly.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Whipping this air into the batter will help the cake rise during baking.
  • Sift the powdered sugar to avoid any lumps in your icing.
  • Don't leave the cake in the pan for too long after baking -- about 10-15 minutes is plenty. After that, condensation will start to form and the moisture will negatively impact the crust.
  • Make the cake about 1 day ahead of when you plan to serve it. The gingerbread loaf just gets better as it sits!


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 303IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg