Easy Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Gingerbread loaf cake is an easy to make quick bread flavored with molasses, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. We make ours with whole wheat flour and sucanat for added nutrition and it is our secret for getting the best flavor although we do provide substitute options.

Just Give Me The Recipe Already

It’s December which means all things with warm spices! And gingerbread loaf cake is on the top of our list. This homemade dark gingerbread is perfect for Christmas morning. The holidays should be filled with baking, sweet treats and happy memories!

There is good reason quick breads are so popular, they are easy to make, they taste delicious and we might convince ourselves they aren’t dessert because, well they’re bread haha.

If you love ginger and a little buzz on the holidays then try this classic ginger cocktail.

Iced gingerbread loaf cake with 1 slice off the end.

Call it a loaf or call it a cake, either way it is delicious. Top it with a sweet buttery icing to bring it all together. To make it even better, enjoy your slice with a homemade vanilla latte.

We took the classic gingerbread loaf recipe and made a few swaps to make it a little more healthy like our Banana Cake.

If you love gingerbread but don’t want to go through the effort of making classic gingerbread cookies then making a gingerbread loaf cake is a great alternative. You get all the gingerbread flavor with a fraction of the work.

What Makes This Recipe Special

This gingerbread loaf recipe was tested 16 times and at 3 different altitudes before being published.

We use just enough molasses to give it that classic gingerbread taste but not so much that it takes over all the flavors.

Applesauce in the batter helps keep it moist and whole wheat flour gives it a depth of flavor that you won’t get from regular all purpose flour. 

You might think gingerbread made with whole wheat flour would be dense but when you use the right kind there is only a very slight difference in texture. And it’s not a bad difference, it can actually make a softer crumb. 

What You Need to Make This Recipe

Labeled ingredients in small dishes for gingerbread loaf.

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Ingredient List

  • Whole white wheat flour (see substitutions below)
  • Baking soda
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cloves
  • Salt
  • Sucanat or Organic cane sugar
  • Organic powdered sugar
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Molasses
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Butter
  • Milk

Variations and Substitutions

Sugar: This recipe calls for Sucanat but you can also use regular organic cane sugar.

Flour: We usually use soft or hard white wheat that we grind at home. You can also use boughten whole wheat pastry flour, whole white wheat flour or all purpose flour. Amounts listed below and in the recipe card.

Whole wheat pastry flour/soft white wheat flour: 192g (1 1/2 cups + 3 Tablespoons)

Whole white wheat flour/hard white wheat flour: 192g (1 1/2 cups)

All purpose flour: 221g (1 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons)

Note: All cup measurements are scooped and leveled. (Fluff the flour a bit then scoop your measuring cup full and scrape the top off with a straight edge). Be careful not to pack the flour.


Can I make mini gingerbread loaves?

Yes, this recipe will make 3 mini loaves (3″x5″). Bake for 32-37 minutes.

Can I freeze gingerbread loaf?

Yes, wrap the completely cooled loaf tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap. You can then wrap in tin foil or place in a ziplock bag for extra protection (don’t forget to label). It will stay good for 2-3 months, after that it might start to taste freezer-y.  Note: You can freeze with or without the glaze. If freezing with the glaze wait until the top is set so when you wrap it in plastic the glaze won’t stick to the plastic.

Can I use blackstrap molasses?

Yes, because this recipe only calls for a small amount you can use blackstrap.

What is Sucanat?

Sucanat is a minimally processed sugar made from sugar cane. Cane juice is boiled and then beaten with paddles to make granules. It has a molasses like flavor so it pairs well with gingerbread. Here is a full article all about sucanat.

Extra Tips

  • The flavors of this loaf are best the day after baking, after they’ve had a chance to set (it’s still good the day of though).
  • To prevent your gingerbread from drying out wait until completely cooled to slice.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve in thick slices with icing (like the photos).

Skip the icing and serve

  • Slices with butter.
  • Warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce or extra molasses.
  • With sweetened whipped cream and toasted walnuts or pecans.
  • With a cream cheese frosting on top.

👩‍🍳 Let’s Get Baking

Print Recipe

Overview instructions with photos

Preheat the oven to 350°F with rack in the center.

1. Grease your loaf pan(s).

2. Whisk the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.

3. In a separate bowl combine the applesauce, sucanat (sugar), molasses, egg and vanilla extract. Then stir in the melted butter.

Tip: Mixing the butter in after you mix the other wet ingredients will ensure the egg doesn’t get cooked by the warm butter.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient and stir just until combined.

5. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake.

6. Transfer the loaf from the pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.

7. Whisk the glaze ingredients together until smooth and pour over cooled cake/loaf.

Gingerbread loaf cake on a brown cutting board with glaze dripping down the sides.

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy

If you try this recipe it would mean the world to us if you leave a star rating or review. You can find it at the bottom of the page.

Up close of a slice of gingerbread loaf.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Easy Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Soft and moist gingerbread loaf cake flavored with lots of spices and molasses. This makes a great snack, dessert or holiday gift. We make ours with whole wheat flour for added nutrition and extra depth of flavor. You can also make this with all purpose flour but the flavor isn't as deep.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Breads, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 364kcal


Cake ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (192g) Whole white wheat flour see notes for substitutes
  • 2 teaspoons Ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup (250g) Unsweetened apple sauce
  • ¾ cup (120g) Sucanat or ⅔ cup (140g) organic cane sugar
  • ¼ cup (80ml) Molasses medium/dark
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 large Egg
  • ½ cup Butter (salted) melted


  • ½ cup Organic powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter (salted) melted
  • 2 teaspoons Milk
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extratct


Cake instructions

  • Set oven rack to the center position and preheat to 350°F
    Butter an 8"x4" 9"x5" or 3 mini (5"x3") loaf pan(s).
  • In a small bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the applesauce, sugar, molasses, vanilla extract and egg. Then whisk in the butter.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.
  • Pour batter into loaf pan(s). Bake for:
    8×4 50-60 minutes
    9×5 35-40 minutes
    Mini 5×3 32-37 minutes
    Or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out barely clean or with a few moist crumbs. Transfer the loaf out of the pan to a wire rack for cooling.


  • Add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over cooled loaf/cake.
  • Slice into thick slices and serve.
    Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days or freeze (see faq for details).


Flour Substitutes
Whole wheat pastry flour/soft white wheat flour: 192g (1 1/2 cups + 3 Tablespoons)
All purpose flour: 221g (1 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons).
When using cups to measure flour make sure to use the scoop and level method (fluff your flour a bit, scoop your cup full and scrape the top off with a straight edge) be careful not to pack.

This recipe was tested 16 times before being published.

Elevations tested: 1,900′, 2,700′, 5,800′.

If you try any of our recipes we would love to see your creation!

Tag us on Instagram @thetearyonion. Or leave a review here on the recipe!

Thanks for reading and as always have fun in the kitchen!

8 thoughts on “Easy Gingerbread Loaf Cake”

  • 5 stars
    Hi Jess and Riss

    For me, my English neighbour made the world’s most iconic ginger loaf! As I was dumb enough to not note her recipe, I tried yours’ as a debut effort n a cold wintery evening. It blew my mind even though I made a few switches, yoghurt for egg, applesauce for fat and a little water. A keeper killer recipe. I don’t comment r review but had to express my appreciation and gratitude for this treasure😍Thank you ❤️💯🔥

  • 5 stars
    Hi Jess and Riss

    For me, my English neighbour made the world’s most iconic ginger loaf! As I was dumb enough to not note her recipe, I tried yours as a debut efforts on a cold wintery evening. It blew my mind even I made a few switches, yoghurt for egg and a little water. A keeper recipe. I don’t comment r review but had to express my appreciation and gratitude for this deadly bake😍Thank you ❤️💯🔥

  • 5 stars
    This gingerbread loaf is to die for. Seriously it’s better than morning sex. I’ve probably eaten a whole loaf myself . Definitely try it out!

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