Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf


Starbucks gingerbread loaf is absolutely divine. The thing I love most is that it contains all of those flavors that you associate with cozy days. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, even a hint of apple! And do you know what makes it even more decadent? A thick helping of sweet cream cheese frosting. Pair that with a coffee, and you’ve got the perfect afternoon. In this secret copycat recipe, I’m going to show you how to make it and give you plenty of pointers and alternative ideas.

starbucks gingerbread loaf

How to Make Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

I make my homemade Starbucks gingerbread loaf in two parts. First, you make the loaf itself, and then you create the frosting separately before spreading it lavishly at the end of the recipe.

We start by getting the oven nice and hot. By getting the oven up to temperature, you create the ideal conditions to get a nice toasty exterior giving way to this moist and delicious cake within.

When I’m making cake batter, I prefer to use a mixer (what can I say, the easier, the better). I find that using an electric mixer gives me a much better result. It’s quicker and, dare I say, a little cleaner too. I cream butter and sugar together to start. This is the trick to getting a light and fluffy cake. Make sure it is full of air and really pale.

From there, it is just a case of folding in the remaining ingredients before baking to perfection!

The cream cheese frosting is super easy to make. If I have any leftover, I like to serve it alongside breakfast the next day. There are only three ingredients in the frosting. We have cream cheese, a little vanilla, and some powder sugar. See! I told you it was simple.


For the Loaf:

  • Salted Butter (Softened): Provides richness and moisture to the loaf, contributing to its tender texture.
  • White Sugar: Sweetens the loaf and contributes to its golden-brown crust when baked.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a sweet, aromatic flavor that complements the spices in the loaf.
  • Medium Egg: Acts as a binding agent, giving structure to the loaf.
  • Apple Sauce: Adds moisture and a subtle fruity flavor, also helps in making the loaf tender.
  • White Flour: The main structure-forming ingredient, giving the loaf its body and texture.
  • Baking Powder: A leavening agent that helps the loaf rise and become fluffy.
  • Ginger Powder: Provides the characteristic warm, spicy flavor of gingerbread.
  • Cinnamon: Adds a sweet and woody spice flavor, enhancing the gingerbread taste.
  • Ground Cloves: Offers a strong, pungent flavor, complementing the other spices.
  • Nutmeg: Adds a nutty and slightly sweet flavor to the loaf.
  • Chopped Walnuts: Provide a crunchy texture and nutty flavor, adding to the loaf’s overall appeal.

For the Frosting:

  • Cream Cheese: Creates a rich and creamy base for the frosting.
  • Vanilla Essence: Adds a sweet and fragrant flavor to the frosting.
  • Powder Sugar: Sweetens the frosting and contributes to its smooth texture.
This is 1 of 25 amazing Starbucks copycat recipes that we have available for you to recreate on our site.

Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf

4 from 3 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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Cooking time





Make this copycat Starbucks gingerbread loaf recipe at home today and skip the queues. You’ll be able to recreate your favorite recipes from the chain with these instructions.


  • For the loaf
  • 1 stick of salted butter (softened)

  • 1 cup 1 white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla extract

  • 1 medium egg

  • 5 tablespoons 5 apple sauce

  • 1 ½ cups white flour

  • 1 tsp 1 baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon 1 ginger powder

  • 1 tablespoon 1 cinnamon

  • 5 cloves ground into a fine powder

  • A pinch of nutmeg

  • Chopped walnuts

  • For the frosting:
  • 1 cup 1 cream cheese

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla essence

  • 4 tablespoons 4 powder sugar


  • For the loaf:
  • Turn your oven on and preheat to 340°F. Take a 9×5” loaf tin and line it with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, add the sugar and butter. Beat vigorously, by hand or with a mixer until pale golden and really light. Add the vanilla and the egg and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add the flour, the baking powder, and your dried spices. Continue to beat together until you have a really smooth batter with no lumps.
  • Pour the entire mixture into your pre-lined loaf tin. Place in the oven and bake for around 50 minutes. Feel free to make the frosting while the cake is baking. To check if your cake is cooked, insert a toothpick or skewer into the center of the cake. If your pick comes out clean, then the cake is cooked through.
  • Remove the cake and leave it on a wire rack until it is cooled completely.
  • For the frosting:
  • In a separate bowl, add your cream cheese, vanilla, and powder sugar. Using a fork or spoon, beat vigorously until the ingredients are well mixed. Give it a little taste and add more powder sugar if you prefer it sweeter.
  • Using a spatula (or damp spoon), apply lashings of frosting to your now cooled gingerbread loaf. As a final flourish, sprinkle with chopped walnuts before cutting into thick slices.
  • Enjoy!

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Tips and Tricks

  • If you feel like you want to ‘pimp’ your Starbucks gingerbread loaf slightly, here’s a neat trick. In our homemade recipe, we use powdered ginger. However, if you can get it, go for candied stem ginger instead. Once finely chopped and added to the batter, these sweet little shards are a welcome surprise with each mouthful.
  • It always pays to sift your dry ingredients before adding them to the batter. You’ll make them easier to incorporate and mix, and the best bit is that you won’t have any lumps.
  • As I said above, the key to amazing and fluffy cake batter occurs right at the start of the recipe. Make sure you give your butter and eggs a really good beating. You’ll be able to tell when they are ready as you’ll end up with a really pale and airy butter and sugar mix. If you are mixing by hand, it is worth spending an extra 5 minutes making sure that you get the right consistency
  • Here’s a top tip. Don’t grease your loaf tin, just line it with baking parchment. This stops your cake from sticking, and it is really easy to remove it once the gingerbread loaf is cooked. Just give the paper a little wiggle and lift on each side, and it should come out in one.
  • For the frosting, if I am being rather posh, I like to use fresh vanilla instead of vanilla essence. Vanilla pods are really easy to find nowadays. Just scrape the seeds from one pod in place of vanilla essence. Your mouth will thank you.

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The hardest part about making our Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf is deciding what you will drink with it. I don’t know why but I find a pumpkin spiced latte goes down a real treat with this cake. I guess it is all those wintery spices? What’s your favorite Starbucks drink and cake combo? Let me know in the comments.

Starbucks gingerbread


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