This moist and flavorful gluten free gingerbread loaf is a perfect combination of rich molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, creating a comforting and festive dessert. Whether enjoyed as a morning indulgence with a cup of coffee or served as a dessert, this gingerbread loaf is a classic, crowd-pleasing delight. It also makes a delicious homemade holiday gift for friends and neighbors.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- Recommended Tools
- What is Molasses?
- How to make a Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- How to store a Gingerbread Loaf
- How to freeze a Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf
- FAQ about Gingerbread Loaf
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- More Gluten Free Quick Bread Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flour: This gluten free gingerbread loaf recipe is very forgiving. I tried it with King Arthur Measure for Measure and my own gluten free flour blend. Both flour blends give the gingerbread a perfect texture and a moist crumb. I am not saying other brands will not work in this recipe. I just have not tested them in this application. Whatever blend you choose make sure it does contain xanthan gum. I do want to mention that the gingerbread loaf made with King Arthur Measure for Measure did stay moist for longer.
Molasses: Molasses is the liquid that is left after white sugar is processed from sugar cane juice. It is a thick, dark syrup, high in minerals and lower in sugar than other syrups. Make sure to use an unsulphured molasses such as Grandma’s Molasses. Blackstrap Molasses will give the bread a slightly bitter flavor.
Oil: While most gingerbread cake recipes are made with butter, my version calls for with oil. A neutral oil like canola oil, grapeseed or even avocado oil will work here. Quick bread made with oil tends to have a lighter and airier texture. The fat in oil coats the flour proteins more effectively than butter, resulting in a more tender crumb. This also makes the loaf dairy free.
Spices: I tinkered some time to find the perfect combination of gingerbread spices for my gingerbread bread recipe. I am using a mix of ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and freshly ground pepper. I decided to skip ground cloves because they tend to overwhelm the other spices. Now if you love cloves, feel free to add a small amount, maybe around ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon ground cloves. Make sure to use fresh spices. As a general rule of thumb, ground spices are best within 6 months to 1 year for optimal flavor. After this period, they are still safe to use, but their flavor may not be as robust.
This gluten-free gingerbread loaf recipe is very simple to make and doesn’t require any fancy equipment like an electric mixer. You will a large bowl to mix the gingerbread batter, a separate bowl for the dry ingredients, a whisk, a rubber spatula, and a small offset knife. As well as a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup to heat up the water. You will also need an 8.4”x4.5”x4.1 Pullman Loaf Pan but a standard 8×4 loaf pan will work as well.
What is Molasses?
Molasses is a thick, dark syrup that is a byproduct of the sugar refining process. It is made from the juice extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets. The process involves boiling down the juice to extract sugar crystals, and molasses is what remains after the sugar has been removed.
There are different types of molasses, each with varying degrees of sweetness and bitterness:
Light Molasses: This is the first molasses from the initial boiling of sugar cane or sugar beet juice. It is light in color, has a sweet taste, and the preferred kind of molasses used in baking. It's the kind of Molasses I recommend in all my recipes like my Gluten Free Molasses Cookies and Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies.
Dark Molasses: Created during the second boiling of the sugar cane or sugar beet juice, dark molasses is darker and thicker than light molasses. It has a stronger, more robust flavor and can be overpowering when used in recipes not specifically calling for dark molasses. It is often referred to as "full-flavored" or "robust" molasses.
Blackstrap Molasses: This is the thickest and darkest molasses, produced during the third boiling of the sugar cane or sugar beet juice. Blackstrap molasses has a very intense, somewhat bitter flavor and is rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. While it is less sweet than the other types, it is often used in recipes that benefit from its strong flavor and nutritional content. Blackstrap Molasses is not something I recommend using in any of my recipes.
How to make a Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf
The best part about this delicious gingerbread loaf cake recipe? You will not need a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to make it. You will need a mixer though to make the cream cheese frosting. I use a 8.4”x4.5”x4.1 Pullman Loaf Pan in all my quick bread recipes but a standard 8×4 loaf pan will work as well.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F and line loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. Make sure to leave some overhang which will help to remove the fully baked gingerbread from the pan.
Step 2: In a small bowl sift together the gluten-free multi purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, spices and kosher salt. Set aside.
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, combine the light brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract and oil. Whisk together until combined.
Step 4: Add one egg at a time to the molasses mixture. Whisk until smooth. Please ensure the eggs are at room temperature.
Step 5: Place the water in a microwave safe container, like a liquid glass measuring cup, and microwave for about ONE minutes until very hot (around 100F/38C). If you accidentally boiled the water too long, make sure to remeasure and make sure you still have 240 grams of water.
Step 6: While the water is heating up, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The batter will be very stiff. You may need to switch to a flexible spatula.
Step 7: Carefully add the hot water to the gingerbread loaf batter. The hot water not only thins out the batter but also blooms the spices, just like when you add hot water to a chocolate cake batter. Whisk together until a smooth quick bread batter has formed. It will be thin.
Step 8: Retrieve the prepared loaf pan and pour the batter into it. Use a spatula, spoon, or small offset to smooth it out evenly.
Step 9: Place the gluten-free gingerbread bread in the preheated oven and bake at 350F for 55-65 minute. Baking Times do depend on the pan you use. So please adjust accordingly. Should the cake turn too dark too quickly, cover it with foil during the last 10-15 minutes of baking. It is done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. The internal temperature should register between 200F and 205F Allow for it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove it from the bread pan, transfer it to a cooling rack, and allow it to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Topping this gluten free dairy free gingerbread loaf with cream cheese frosting is optional but highly recommended. The tang in the cream cheese pairs very well with the classic gingerbread flavor. This frosting recipe contains less sugar to bring out the cream cheese flavor in the frosting. The cream cheese and the butter need to be at room temperature, or the frosting will be lumpy.
To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the unsalted butter, cream cheese, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl, and with an electric mixer mix to combine. You may also do this in your stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Mix until light and fluffy.
Carefully add the powdered sugar (also known as icing sugar or confectioners' sugar) – I recommend doing this in two steps (powdered sugar has a mind on its own). Remember you can always add more sugar if the frosting is not sweet enough to your liking. Mix until light and fluffy.
Make sure to taste it before using it to top your gluten-free gingerbread bread with this luscious cream cheese frosting (quality control).
How to store a Gingerbread Loaf
Store any leftovers the frosted gluten-free bread in an airtight container in your refrigerator or a very cold room for up to 5 days. Because of the cream cheese frosting, I don't recommend storing it at room temperature for an extended period of time.
Just like most spiced quick breads, this loaf is actually better on the second and third day when the spices had a chance to fully develop. So feel free to make the loaf ahead of time and allow for it to rest overnight at room temperature before frosting it.
How to freeze a Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf
If you plan on freezing the bread, I recommend placing the individual slices of gluten-free gingerbread loaf on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Place it in the freezer for at least 2hrs or until the slices are fully frozen. Once frozen wrap each slice in plastic wrap, place it in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. Please be advised that the cream cheese frosting may stick to the plastic wrap.
FAQ about Gingerbread Loaf
While there are several reasons why a quick bread can collapse after baking (like adding too much leaving agents or overmixing the batter), the most common reason is underbaking. Use a toothpick or cake tester to check for doneness; it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
While this gluten free gingerbread is delicious as written, if you would like to change things up feel free to add some fresh orange zest to the batter or even the cream cheese frosting. If you don't like cream cheese, make a quick glaze with powdered sugar and orange juice and use that to finish the loaf.
No, Starbucks's gingerbread loaf is neither a gluten free or a vegan gingerbread loaf.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and easy to use. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. . For small amount under 10 grams I like to use this Precision Pocket Scale. Measuring cups are very inaccurate which can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
More Gluten Free Quick Bread Recipes
Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf
- 320 grams Gluten Free Multi Purpose Flour
- 20 grams cornstarch
- 8 grams cocoa powder, dutch processed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves (optional)
- 235 grams light molasses, unsulphered
- 100 grams light brown sugar
- 140 grams neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 240 grams hot water, around 100F/38C
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 115 grams cream cheese, room temperature
- 30 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 70 grams powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
How to make a Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. I use a 8.4”x4.5”x4.1 Pullman Loaf Pan in all my quick bread recipes but a standard 8×4 loaf pan will work as well. Keep in mind to adjust baking time accordingly. A more shallow pan means the loaf will most likely bake faster.
- In a small bowl sift together the gluten-free multi purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, spices and kosher salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the light brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract and oil. Whisk together until combined.
- Add one egg at a time to the molasses mixture. Whisk until smooth.
- Place the water in a microwave safe container, like a liquid glass measuring cup, and microwave for about ONE minutes until very hot (around 100F/38C). If you accidentally boiled the water too long, make sure to remeasure and make sure you still have 240 grams of water.
- While the water is heating up, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The batter will be very stiff.
- Carefully add the hot water to the gingerbread loaf batter. Whisk together until a smooth quick bread batter has formed. It will be thin.
- Transfer the gingerbread loaf batter to the prepared loaf pan. Use a spatula, spoon, or small offset to smooth it out evenly.
- Place the gluten-free gingerbread bread in the preheated oven and bake at 350F for 55-65 minutes. Should the cake turn too dark too quickly, cover it with foil during the last 10-15 minutes of baking. It is done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. The internal temperature should register between 200F and 205F
- Allow for it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove it from the bread pan, transfer it to a cooling rack, and allow it to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Combine the unsalted butter, cream cheese, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl, and with an electric mixer mix to combine. You may also do this in your stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Mix until light and fluffy.
- Carefully add the powdered sugar. Remember you can always add more sugar if the frosting is not sweet enough to your liking. Mix until light and fluffy.
- Once the gluten-free gingerbread loaf is fully cooled, place it on a plate or serving platter plate and top with the cream cheese frosting. Using an offset or the back of a spoon, smooth out the cream cheese frosting only frosting the top of the bread. Using a serrated knife, slice the gingerbread loaf into thick slices and serve.
Spices: Feel free to adjust spices to your personal liking but be aware some spices like cloves can be very overpowering.
Storage: Store the frosted gingerbread loaf in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days. The unfrosted loaf can be stored at room temperature.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387
Calories are a guestimate and randomly generated.