This Gingerbread Loaf with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting is a healthy and easy homemade version of your favorite seasonal Starbucks loaf. Tender spiced gingerbread is topped with creamy maple frosting and chopped pecans or walnuts! Perfect for a cozy breakfast, an afternoon snack or dessert. Gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo with low carb and keto sweetener options.
An Easy Spiced Gingerbread Loaf with Maple Frosting
Looking for a healthy gingerbread loaf recipe like the frosted gingerbread from Starbucks? This Easy Gingerbread Loaf is incredibly moist, flavorful and will save you all those trips to Starbucks!
This from-scratch copycat version couldn’t be easier to make! The loaf comes together in one bowl without a mixer. Plus the frosting is creamy, smooth and sweet and takes no time at all to whip up. It’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, paleo-friendy and can easily be low carb and keto friendly with just a few swaps.
Needless to say, this recipe is perfect for the holidays. It takes the classic flavor of gingerbread and turns it into a maple-frosted guilty pleasure snack. Except there’s nothing to be guilty about, because this ginger loaf is healthy too! My family is crazy quick breads and says that this one is even better than the Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf!
Why we love this Gingerbread Recipe
This loaf not only tastes delicious but uses healthier ingredients so you can feel good eating it for breakfast all through December if you’d like. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and is naturally sweetened with maple syrup making this loaf recipe paleo and refined sugar-free.
It’s especially nice during the holidays when there’s no shortage of sweets to indulge in. If you want to serve healthier holiday treats but still want to enjoy the flavors of Christmas, this gingerbread loaf is just what you need.
Plus, the batter comes together in just one bowl so you’re not left with a bunch of dishes to wash. Who doesn’t love one dish recipes during the holidays!
Many old fashioned gingerbread loaf recipes call for all purpose flour, butter, 1 cup of brown sugar and powdered sugar.
This healthy gingerbread loaf cake uses gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives that you can easily find in the store or most likely have in your kitchen pantry. Maple syrup is used in both the gingerbread and the frosting. The rest of the ingredients include gingerbread and cream cheese frosting basics. Substitutions can be made according to any dietary restrictions you may have!
For the Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf
- Eggs: holds the loaf together and help it rise. Be sure to bring eggs to room temperature for best results.
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Cashew Butter: Feel free to use another nut or seed butter of choice.
- Coconut Oil: Melt it down and let it cool slightly.
- Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Molasses: Opt for unsulphured or dark molasses.
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Superfine blanched Almond Flour + Coconut Flour: our favorite combination gluten-free flours to replace all purpose flour
- Baking Soda – a paleo and keto-friendly leavener to help the gingerbread loaf cake rise
- Spices: Cinnamon + Ground Ginger + Nutmeg
- Fine Sea Salt: just a pinch to balance out the sweetness
For the Maple Frosting
- Dairy-Free Cream Cheese: Soften your cream cheese. If you aren’t dairy-free or vegan, you can use regular cream cheese instead.
- Refined Coconut Oil: This should also be softened. You can use butter if you’re not dairy-free.
- Maple Syrup: You can substitute with Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup, if desired.
- Vanilla Extract
- Pecans or Walnuts: Chopped nuts add a tasty crunch to this gingerbread loaf!
How to Make a Moist Gingerbread Loaf
This spiced gingerbread recipe couldn’t be more simple. You just have to line your loaf pan, make the batter, pour it in and bake it! Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make!
- Prepare for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8×4 loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs followed by the maple syrup, cashew butter, coconut oil, milk, molasses and vanilla until smooth.
- Add Flours: Add a large fine mesh sieve over the bowl and sift in the almond flour and coconut flour.
- Add Remaining Dry Ingredients: Stir in the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt until combined.
- Bake: Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and the middle is set.
- Let Cool: Remove the pan from the oven and let the loaf cool completely before adding the glaze.
How to Make the Maple Frosting
The creamy maple glaze for this loaf is also super easy to make. It comes together in minutes!
- Combine Ingredients & Top Loaf: Beat together all the frosting ingredients and use an offset spatula to spread the icing over the cooled loaf.
- Add Nuts: Sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired.
Tips for Success
- Don’t Over Bake: Over baking this bread will result in dryness. This ginger loaf cake is supposed to have a moist and tender texture, so be sure to adjust the bake time accordingly if your oven tends to run hot or cold. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few loose crumbs.
- Measure Flour Properly: Avoid scooping out the flour with your measuring cup. This packs it into the cup and will result in over-floured batter. Using a food scale to measure the flour by weight is your best bet in terms of accuracy.
- Sift in Flours: Sifting the almond and coconut flours into your batter will help everything combine nicely and prevent any flour clumps from forming.
- Let Cool Completely: Before you frost your gingerbread, it should be completely cooled. If it’s still warm, the icing will melt and make a mess.
Variations and Serving Suggestions
- Top with Powdered Sugar: Not feeling the maple frosting? You can lighten this loaf up by leaving it out and opting for a dusting of powdered sugar instead.
- Make it Festive: To add some holiday spirit to this loaf, garnish it with Christmas sprinkles or dye some white chocolate with red & green food coloring and drizzle it on top!
What to serve with gingerbread loaf
- Serve with Hot Chocolate: A cup of homemade hot cocoa makes this healthy holiday treat even more comforting and delicious. Try our Vegan Hot Chocolate or Peppermint Hot Chocolate.
Can this gingerbread recipe be made into muffins?
Yes, to make gingerbread muffins, simply divide the batter evenly into muffin pans. Or you can even divide the batter into mini loaf pans for mini bread loaves.
How to Store a Homemade Gingerbread Loaf
Store leftover gingerbread loaf in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for about a week. You can also store it tightly wrapped in aluminum foil if it’s unfrosted.
Can I Freeze this Gingerbread Recipe?
Yes, this loaf is freezer friendly! You can store the gingerbread loaf cake in the freezer with or without the frosting. It’s best to store any frosted leftovers in an airtight container with a lid. For an unfrosted loaf, you can either wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then store in a resealable ziptop bag or in a resealable container.
Frozen gingerbread lasts for up to 2 months. Before you serve it, thaw it overnight in the fridge and bring it back to room temperature.
More gingerbread recipes you will love
More Holiday Desserts to Try
- These tasty Christmas White Chocolate Rice Krispy Treats are so fun, cute and easy to make!
- My Keto Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are a must-have for your holiday cookie platter this year.
- Quick and easy dessert recipes are a gift that keeps on giving! You have to try these 15-minute Peppermint Covered Oreos.
- For a downright addicting holiday snack, throw together my Reindeer Munch trail mix that you can even make in your Instant Pot!
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This Gingerbread Loaf with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting is a healthy and easy homemade version of your favorite seasonal Starbucks loaf. Tender spiced gingerbread is topped with creamy maple frosting and chopped pecans or walnuts! Gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo with low carb and keto sweetener options.
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup , sub with 1/4 cup Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup for low carb / keto
- 1/3 cup cashew butter , or sub with any nut/seed butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil , melted and slightly cooled - use unrefined if you are not a fan of the coconut flavor
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2/3 tbsp molasses , we typically opt for unsulphured or blackstrap
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups superfine almond flour
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2/3 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 8 oz softened dairy-free cream cheese (Kite Hill or Miyokos) , you can use regular if not dairy-free
- 3 tbsp softened refined coconut oil , can use vegan butter or regular butter if not dairy-free
- 3-4 tbsp maple syrup , sub with Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup for low carb / keto
- 2/3 tsp vanilla extract
- chopped pecans or walnuts for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8x4 loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs followed by the maple syrup, cashew butter, coconut oil, milk, molasses and vanilla until smooth.
Add a large fine mesh sieve over the bowl and sift in the almond flour and coconut flour. Stir in the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt until combined.
Transfer the batter into the loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and the middle is set.
Remove pan from the oven and let loaf cool completely before adding the glaze.
Beat together all the frosting ingredients and use an offset spatula to spread it over cooled loaf.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.