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Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

Nothing says the holidays better than gingerbread! And this simple gingerbread loaf is full of warm cozy spices! It's made with molasses, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Then it's topped with a nutty, fluffy brown butter cream cheese icing, that's simply irresistible! Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee and cozy up by the fire.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* Make sure to read the entire blog post. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

When Christmas rolls around, gingerbread treats are one of the most popular to both bake and consume. And there’s no better aroma than warm spiced molasses and gingerbread filling your home! This loaf gives all the cozy, Christmas-y feels and is perfect to share with family and friends around the holidays.

The best part is how simple it is to make. That’s what is so great about quick breads; they are quick to make! The hardest part is having the patience for the loaf to cool completely before slathering it in brown butter cream cheese icing. But it’s worth the wait, I promise! The icing pairs with the gingerbread loaf so perfectly that you’ll wish there’s more!

Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing
Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients

Molasses

There are many gingerbread loaves that don’t use molasses but for me, that’s exactly what makes it gingerbread. Molasses adds a bold, broad and complex range of flavours as well as sweetness or bitterness (depending on the type of molasses; fancy or blackstrap). It can also make a moist and soft baked good. For all of these reasons I’m not sure why it’s not used more in recipes. Be careful of the shelf life as it doesn’t last as long as you think. The best option is to buy your molasses at your local Bulk Barn Foods store where you can buy as little or as much as you like. This will avoid extra waste and save your wallet too!

Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing
Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

What is Brown Butter?

Brown butter is simply the best thing around that will elevate your baking to the next level! You won’t believe how easy it is to make. It’s made by cooking unsalted butter on the stove top until the milk fats start to brown and any water in the butter dissipates. It takes approx. 5 minutes left alone on the stove top. And you’ll be left with a rich, nutty brown butter that’s full of intense flavour.

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How to Make a Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

Step One: In a small heavy saucepan on medium heat unsalted butter. Leave the butter to cook until the butter smells nutty, is foaming and has small flecks of brown bits, approx. 5 minutes. Remove the butter from the heat, scrape the bottom with all the brown bits and pour into a small bowl to cool. Set aside.

Step Two: Make your batter and pour the batter into a prepared pan. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

Step Three: Let the loaf cool. Meanwhile, make your icing. In a large bowl add icing sugar, cream cheese, and brown butter. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Once the loaf is at room temperature ice the entire top.

Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing
Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing
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Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

Nothing says the holidays better than gingerbread! And this simple gingerbread loaf is full of warm cozy spices! It’s made with molasses, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Then it’s topped with a nutty, fluffy brown butter cream cheese icing, that’s simply irresistible! Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee and cozy up by the fire.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Quick Breads
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fancy molasses
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Icing

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown butter, at room temperature

Instructions

Brown Butter

  1. Make your brown butter for the icing first. In a small heavy saucepan on medium heat add 1/4 cup unsalted butter. Leave the butter to cook until the butter smells nutty (you can swirl the pan a few times, but do not stir), is foaming and has small flecks of brown bits, approx. 5 minutes. Remove the butter from the heat, scrape the bottom with all the brown bits and pour into a small bowl to cool. Set aside.

Loaf

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Mix all ingredients together and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of a stand mixer add butter and brown sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and continue to beat until well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  4. Add molasses to butter mixture and beat until smooth and incorporated. Add sour cream and continue to beat.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Using a spatula scrape down the bowl and mix the rest by hand.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let the loaf cool.
  8. Meanwhile, make your icing. In a large bowl add icing sugar, cream cheese, and brown butter. Beat butter mixture until light and fluffy.
  9. Once the loaf is at room temperature ice the entire top.

Notes

Store gingerbread loaf in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice of 16
  • Calories: 298
  • Sugar: 25.2g
  • Sodium: 258mg
  • Fat: 14.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.7g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 40.2g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Protein: 3.5g
  • Cholesterol: 59mg

Keywords: Christmas, Gingerbread, Holiday Baking, Quick Bread, Loaf

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is simply the best thing around that will elevate your baking to the next level! It’s made by cooking unsalted butter on the stove top until the milk fats start to brown and any water in the butter dissipates. It takes approx. 5-8 minutes left alone on the stove top. And you’ll be left with a rich, nutty brown butter that’s full of intense flavour.

Why bake with molasses?

Molasses adds a bold, broad and complex range of flavours as well as sweetness or bitterness (depending on the type of molasses; fancy or blackstrap). It can also make a moist and soft baked good.

What is the shelf life of molasses?

Despite what people think molasses doesn’t last forever. Sealed molasses will last approx. 1 year but once the seal is broken it will last about 6-7 months. It can be hard to tell if molasses has gone bad as it’s not typical to see mold. There may be an odour or colour change, but it’s best to get rid of it and buy fresh molasses as the flavour is strong and powerful in baking.

Can I freeze a Gingerbread Loaf with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing?

Yes, an iced gingerbread loaf will freeze well. Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. Let the loaf come to room temperature before serving.

This blog post has been sponsored by Bulk Barn Canada where you can find all your baking needs! All opinions are my own and I’m so happy to work with brands I love so I can continue to share these recipes with all of you! I hope you guys get to a Bulk Barn soon and try out this recipe.

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Meet

Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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