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A baked loaf of gingerbread cooling in the pan.

Gingerbread Loaf

Filled with all the warming winter spices, this gingerbread loaf recipe is versatile, goes easy on the sugar, and is naturally dairy-free. It works with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. And with three forms of ginger, it's chock-full of the star ingredient and a quick, easy, and festive treat!

  • Total Time: About 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 8" or 9" loaf or 12 muffins 1x



Dry Ingredients

  • 10 ounces or 2 cups of all-purpose or gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup of apple cider or milk
  • 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses
  • 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons of avocado oil (or your favorite cooking oil)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger root
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar (any kind),  or granulated sugar, honey, or maple syrup (see Notes)


  • 2 - 4 tablespoons of crystallized ginger, chopped small, optional

Vanilla-Apple Cider Glaze

  • 1 cup of confectioner's sugar, sifted or whisked to remove lumps
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of spiced apple cider (or even orange juice or milk)
  • Pinch of salt (⅛ of a teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Gingerbread Loaf

Before you begin gather and measure out all of your ingredients. Then preheat the oven and grease your pan of choice. 

  1. Prep your ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch or 9-inch loaf pan. Peel the skin off a couple of inches of the fresh ginger root with the edge of a spoon. Then grate about two tablespoons worth using a microplane or on the small holes of a box grater.
  2. Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients except for the crystallized ginger. 
  3. Combine the wet and the dry until just smooth. Mix the wet and dry ingredients in one of the bowls. If baking with all-purpose flour only mix the batter until it's just combined. If baking gluten-free gingerbread, whisk well until the batter is smooth.
  4. Spread into the pan and bake. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top with your spatula or a spoon. Or portion the batter into a cupcake pan, filling each one about halfway. Sprinkle the small pieces of crystallized ginger on top and press them in a little. If baking gluten-free, let the batter rest in the pan for 30 minutes before baking.
  5. Bake and cool. Bake the loaf for about 40 minutes (muffins for 14 to 20 minutes) just until the top springs back when gently pressed. Or for gluten-free when an inserted toothpick comes out with dry crumbs. Cover the pan loosely with foil if it begins to brown before it's done baking. Cool the loaf in the pan, then turn it out onto a plate.
  6. Storage. Store the gingerbread loaf covered tightly at room temperature, or seal it airtight to freeze.

For the Glaze

  1. Sift the confectioner's sugar into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add one to two tablespoons of spiced apple cider, orange juice, or milk, and whisk until the glaze is smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract and any spices, if using. Adjust the consistency as needed to create a thick but pourable glaze.
  3. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled gingerbread loaf (I like to set the loaf on a cooling rack with parchment underneath for easy cleanup). Sprinkle more crystalized ginger pieces on top, if you like. 


On the Sugar

While the recipe calls for only a small amount of brown sugar, it's still refined sugar. For a sweeter loaf, use up to ¾ cup of any sugar. If you don't want any processed sweetener, replace the sugar with half of a cup of honey or a third of a cup of maple syrup. Coconut sugar is also a great, slightly less processed substitute.

On Different Baking Pans

Any quick bread batter can be baked successfully in a variety of pans. And this gingerbread is no exception. I often bake the batter in a gingerbread house village pan around the holidays. Depending on the volume of the pan you use, you may end up with a bit of extra batter that you can bake into a few muffins. Adjust the baking time for the pan(s) you choose. For muffins, begin checking for doneness after 14 minutes. If you bake the gingerbread in 6", 8", or 9" cake pans, fill them halfway with batter and begin checking for doneness after 18 minutes.

Chef's Tips

  • Bake the loaf just enoughThe rule of thumb I learned in culinary school and experience is cakes and quick bread are done when the top springs back when lightly touched. If you prefer to use the toothpick method, don't wait until it comes out clean to take your gingerbread out of the oven. By then it's too late. Baked goods experience carry-over cooking in the same way meats do. So they continue baking after being removed from the oven thanks to heat retained by the pan.
  • On the liquid. I created this recipe to be naturally dairy-free by using apple cider as the liquid. But it's just as delicious and contains a bit less sugar when made with milk or plant-based milk. Use what you have on hand and what you like. 
  • Author: Christina
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • Serving Size: 1-inch slice of gingerbread
  • Calories: 136
  • Sugar: 11.8 g
  • Sodium: 168 mg
  • Fat: 7.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.8 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 62 mg

Keywords: gingerbread, gingerbread loaf, gluten free gingerbread, dairy free gingerbread