I admit it...I'm hooked on Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf. I enjoyed my first slice last year by pure accident. I ordered a Pumpkin Scone with my "non-fat" latte (have to watch the calories on one end,) and the cashier stated what I never wanted to hear..."Pumpkin Scones are only available for the fall season, which has now ended." As I stood at the counter in silence, no words able to come out of my mouth, I heard him say, "Miss, Miss." "We now have our Gingerbread Loaf, would you like to try that?" I nearly said "forget about it," but instead, reluctantly mumbled, "ok, sure." The rest is history.
I had to try and create this scrumptious morning treat myself, not wanting to pay nearly $3 a slice, along with the $4 coffee! I found a copycat recipe online and tweaked it a bit, until I came up with a perfect tasting recipe, actually better than the bux loaf itself. Oh, and did I mention you can whip this up in no time at all!
Embarking lovely fragrant and spicy notes, a thick layer of perfectly sweetened cream cheese frosting, with a hint of orange, make this loaf ideal for breakfast or an afternoon snack with a cup of hot coffee or tea. Created in disposable bakeware, accompanied with a Starbuck's Card, makes it an ideal gift for the Starbucks lover; however, once you try it, you won't want to part with it!
Until next time...mangia! xox
Copycat Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf
for the loaf:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract, or 1/4 teaspoon orange oil (I used Boyajian Pure Citrus Orange Oil)
1 egg at room temperature
1 cup natural applesauce
1 teaspoon baking soda
for the frosting:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/2 teaspoon orange extract or 1/8 teaspoon orange oil (I used Boyajian Pure Citrus Orange Oil)
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
chopped candied ginger or candied orange peel for garnish (optional - see Carol's notes below)
Create the Gingerbread Loaf and Frosting:
create the loaf:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9"x5" bread pan or use baking spray. You can also use two pieces of decorative 7"x2.5" disposable bakeware, as pictured. These do not have to be greased or sprayed. Set them on a small cookie sheet to bake, and turn them around half way through the baking cycle. These are perfect for gift giving!
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in orange extract. Add egg, and mix well.
Mix the baking soda into the applesauce. Stir into creamed butter mixture. Add the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
Scoop the batter into prepared loaf pan(s).
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. If baking the 2 smaller loaves, bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
create the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla and orange extract. Slowly beat in confectioner's sugar.
Once the cake has cooled, evenly spread the frosting on top. Garnish with chopped candied ginger or orange peel, if desired.
Once frosting has set, loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. I feel it tastes so much better chilled, but this is not necessary if eating the up the same day.
Adapted with slight changes from The Restaurant Recipe Blog.
This is one of those baked goods that tastes even better the second day, as the flavors intensify.
I've reduced the clove amount over the original recipe; however, the clove flavor will get stronger the following day, so if you prefer, you can reduce it even further to 1/2 teaspoon.
Although a toothpick will come out clean and the loaf be fully baked, the center will sometimes concave slightly as it cools. Don't worry if it does, since the frosting will cover it up. I prefer it to do this, rather than over bake it to prevent it.
The frosting makes more than you will need. Depending on how thick you want it, adjust accordingly.
I found delicious Woodstock Foods All-Natural Ginger Slices at Wegmans, not strong or overpowering. I chopped a few slices into small bits for the garnish. They're incredible on the cream cheese frosting, and make the loaf look just like the real thing! Candied orange peel, which can be found easily this time of year, also works well.