Spiced Gingerbread Loaf

Spiced gingerbread loaf that's soft, moist, and intensely flavored like the holidays with molasses and ginger! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Thanksgiving week. We made it. Have you already started prepping? We had friends over this weekend for a Friendsgiving party. I made plenty of pie crusts the day before (I made this apple slab pie and 2 pumpkin pies) and a few more yesterday for Thanksgiving. I’ll make 3 more pies tomorrow (salted caramel apple pie, apple cranberry pie, another pumpkin pie!).

So much pie, you’d think that’s all we’re eating this week.

Spiced gingerbread loaf that's soft, moist, and intensely flavored like the holidays with molasses and ginger! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

While we’re all in full Thanksgiving mode right now, I want to share something you can make over the weekend and the weeks leading up to Christmas. This spiced gingerbread loaf will make your home smell completely divine as guests come and go, not to mention put you in a completely festive holiday state of mind. Even more festive than Buddy the elf! Smiling’s my favorite.

What I love about this loaf is that it’s breakfast, snack, and dessert all rolled into one. Orange icing and all. You can make the loaf as muffins (see my notes!) or serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Have a slice with coffee in the afternoon or top with homemade whipped cream and fresh cranberries.

The possibilities are endless and if you have a few minutes to spare, you can whip up this gingerbread batter.

How to make spiced gingerbread loaf on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Pretty standard batter here with 1 bowl for dry ingredients and 1 bowl for wet. We’ll cream butter and brown sugar together, then add an egg and vanilla. Brown sugar for extra molasses flavor and moisture. To thin out the molasses and provide some liquid for the gingerbread batter, mix it with equal parts HOT water before adding. About the molasses? There are varying intensities of molasses on store shelves from lighter molasses to blackstrap molasses. Go for a dark molasses, also sold as “robust” molasses.

A few I favor: Grandma’s Robust Molasses, Grandma’s Unsulphured Molasses, or Wholesome!’s Organic Molasses (this stuff is potent and delicious! It’s what I used in the pictured loaf.)

This loaf is a deeply spiced gingerbread. There’s plenty of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. The three spices I use the most this time of year! Also: I add black pepper. I KNOW. I love it so much in my pumpkin pie, I figured why not?? in gingerbread too. There’s not much– only 1/8 teaspoon– but just enough to make this a suuuuper spiced gingerbread, unlike any other’s I’ve ever tried.

How to make spiced gingerbread loaf on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Son of a nutcracker! This gingerbread is dark!

Spiced gingerbread loaf that's soft, moist, and intensely flavored like the holidays with molasses and ginger! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The gingerbread is quite moist and awesomely impressive left plain, BUT when there’s an opportunity for icing we never skip it. Right?

I made a simple and quick orange icing for drizzling on top of the soft and spicy gingerbread. And highly suggest the citrus! It’s a light and fragrant contrast to the richer, more intense flavors in the gingerbread. It’s just 2 ingredients: orange juice and confectioners’ sugar. You’ve got both on hand, so why not pour on top? You won’t regret this.

Cranberries for color. You can even sugar them if you’d like!

Spiced gingerbread loaf that's soft, moist, and intensely flavored like the holidays with molasses and ginger! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is any busy cook’s holiday favorite because it’s so simple. I will definitely be making this spiced gingerbread loaf, oh I don’t know, FOREVER.

Spiced Gingerbread Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) unsulphured or dark molasses
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) hot water (about 100°F (38°C))
  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature1
  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Orange Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) orange juice

Directions:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper together until combined. Set aside. In a separate bowl or dish, whisk the molasses and hot water together.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed for 1 minute until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. On medium-high speed, beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the hot water/molasses and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Avoid overmixing. Batter will be thin. Whisk out any big lumps.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for around 50-60 minutes or until the gingerbread loaf is baked through. All ovens are different and your loaf could take a little more or less time. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the gingerbread loaf. If it comes out clean with only a couple moist (not wet) crumbs, it is done. Allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before removing from pan.
  5. Make the icing: Whisk the confectioners' sugar and orange juice together. Drizzle over cooled loaf.
  6. Leftover loaf keeps well covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The flavor gets even better after a day or two!

Make ahead tip: The loaf can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Loaf can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Soften butter quickly with this microwave trick!

Muffins or cupcakes: Simply pour batter into muffin liners or a greased muffin pan. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20-22 minutes.

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SHOP THE RECIPE


Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Wholesome! Molasses (what I used here)| Kitchenaid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | 2-cup Glass Measuring Cup | Melamine Mixing BowlsNonstick Loaf PanEat Dessert First Fork

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Spiced gingerbread loaf that's soft, moist, and intensely flavored like the holidays with molasses and ginger! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

67 comments

  1. THANKS for all your amazing recipes!

  2. it’s so dark and rich looking that it almost seems like it’s chocolate! the orange glaze sounds amazing with all the spices, too (:

  3. This is such a gorgeous loaf! Just what I need to nibble on post-Thanksgiving while decorating the house. 🙂

  4. This loaf makes me all ready for Christmas! I love how the molasses turn the loaf into such a gorgeous dark color. Can’t wait to give this a try.

  5. I do love the gorgeous dark color of this bread!! Last year I posted a cranberry gingerbread loaf and I’ve been absolutely itching to make it again this year. YES to Grandma’s and Wholesome!’s molasses!! MY FAVS!! And obviously there is black pepper is in my gingerbread too. Gingerbread is just not the same without it!

  6. Wow, I can’t believe there’s no chocolate…I’ve never seen such dark gingerbread! I can only imagine how incredible that means it is 🙂 Perfect!

  7. I’m LOVING the dark color of this gingerbread!! Definitely making this for Christmas. 🙂 The orange juice in the icing too is interesting, I would’ve never thought to use that!

  8. Oh I love turning anything into a loaf, definitely makes baking much easier.  That orange icing sounds like the perfect topping.  And seriously always loving all your bowls and props in your photos, those bowls are adorable!

  9. Yum!!! It looks and sounds SO festive! Plus it photographs beautifully 🙂 Can’t wait to try it!

  10. I LOVE gingerbread; cookies, cake, muffins, etc. I make and decorate batches of gingerbread cookies for Christmas Eve every year, but it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas yet until I’ve had a gingerbread latte from Starbucks. There’s just something about the comforting flavour of ginger-spiced baked goods which makes everything feel instantly like Christmas and hope. This loaf was so dark I almost thought it was chocolate! Chocolate & gingerbread though, never a bad thing (chocolate-dipped gingerbread cookies??) – can’t wait to make this one Sally. I think the Christmas season officially began this week 🙂

  11. Um…yes please! You had me at spiced :).

    Rachael xx.
    theteacozykitchen.blogspot.co.uk

  12. Stunning spice ginger bread loaf, Sally! Looks perfect for the holidays, I need to try! 🙂

  13. This looks so good and I normally LOVE gingerbread but my queasy pregnant self is innerly saying I don’t know….. maybe in a few weeks!

  14. Sally! This bread is absolutely gorgeous! I love gingerbread and pairing it with orange sounds heavenly!  Happiest of holidays to you!

  15. Happy early Friendsgiving, Sally! 🙂 I totally wish I was one of the lucky recipients of all your wonderful pies! This loaf is so gorgeous and beautifully shot. I love that pic on the plate! All those shades of gray and little pops of red–it’s bliss. Just wanted to say, thank you for your “what are you grateful for” post. It made me breathe a bit easier and give myself a break amidst all the pressure to be perfect this holiday season. I don’t know how many times I’ve repeated to myself (in the middle of making another batch of xmas cookies and candy), Just Breathe. Sally said to chill a bit. Focus on family and the enjoyment of the experience, not perfection. Thank you for the reminder about what really matters. <3 Sending you big hugs this Thanksgiving, xo Demeter.

    • It’s so important to remember that all the stress and frantic chaos just is not worth it. And sometimes we’re going to be extremely busy and overworked, but at least we can control our attitude! Happy Thanksgiving to you!!

  16. Any thoughts on making this in a bread machine?!
    Thanks 🙂

  17. Hey Sally! Hope you have a good turkey day! Love your pie ideas. I’m making pumpkin cheesecake with ginger snap crust and brown sugar caramel. Yum

  18. The contrast in these photos is gorgeous!!! Yum!

  19. This looks and sounds soooo yummy. I just love molasses. It is what I use on pancakes since I was a child. And it is good for you.

  20. You make me laugh! “Son of a Nutcracker”…and you are inspiring. I have no idea how I’m going to get it all done the next two days!! 🙂

  21. Hi Sally! This loaf looks amazing! can I just use blackstrap molasses because that’s what I’ve got on hand? And if I can will there need to be any changes? Thank you!

  22. Looks so yummy. As some of your other reviewers noted, you can almost take it for a chocolate cake. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  23. can i sub ulsalted butter with flavourless oil?

  24. So now I know the first thing I will make to kick off the Christmas baking season! This looks wonderful!! And you KNOW we would want the link to that adorable fork…Christmas gift ideas. 🙂

  25. Happy Thanksgiving from Australia Sally! I hope you and Kevin (and Jude and Franklin) had a wonderful day filled with family and happy moments – and delicious food (though I’m sure that one’s a given 😉 )
    This gingerbread sounds perfect to me! I love the addition of black pepper, I always add just a pinch to my spice cookies too 🙂 It’s the perfect little secret ingredient, and very European (my Mum is Danish). I’ll be baking this loaf to share with my family soon 🙂
    Thanks Sally!

  26. Hi Sally, just wondering if I could make this in a bundt pan? I just got a new nordicware one and I’m itching to use it!

  27. I made this last night to officially welcome the Christmas season; it was perfect! Delicious, even without the glaze.

  28. Just made this today and it turned out great! My roommates and I loved it. Thanks so much for this new fave!!

  29. This is a awesome Holiday cake , lovely Sally! Thanks for the muffins note , I could make it all year long not just around Christmas 🙂

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