Homemade gingerbread loaf from scratch made with sour cream, brown sugar, molasses, and warm spices, and drizzled with a creamy vanilla glaze. It’s perfect for the holidays!
Gingerbread in a Loaf Pan
The texture of this gingerbread is very similar to that of quick breads and muffins. It is not cake-like. It’s a little dense, soft, fluffy, and moist. And instead of being made in a cake pan, it’s made in a bread pan.
Gingerbread is usually made when Christmas rolls around but I like to make it all winter. Spiced baked goods are so warm and comforting which makes them ideal for when it’s cold outside. The last time I made this molasses loaf I served it for breakfast and dessert. We just couldn’t get enough!
When it comes to molasses recipes the first thing that usually comes to mind are cookies but loaves are really great too.
Why so much Ginger?
The amount of ginger in this recipe may look alarming and seem like a lot but it’s just the right amount, along with the cinnamon and nutmeg. I tried the bread with less spices and it was just too bland and lacking in flavor so I urge you to take a chance and try the recipe as written.
That being said, I know that we all have different tastes so if you’re unsure about this, feel free to add the amount of spice that seems just right for you.
How do you measure ¾ teaspoon of salt?
½ teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon.
Sour Cream Gingerbread
The sour cream contributes to the flavor, moisture, and density of this bread. It also provides a slight tang that you can’t really taste but would notice if it were missing. Due to the sour cream the crumb is softer and more compact therefore resulting in a fluffy texture.
Tip: The sour cream can be replaced with greek yogurt!
What type of Molasses should I use?
Please keep in mind that the type of molasses you choose to use will have a great impact on the flavor and sweetness of this bread! The darker the molasses, the less sweet and stronger it is!
For this recipe, I think it’s best to use medium, dark, or fancy molasses. If you prefer a really subtle flavor use light molasses; the sweetest and least flavorful of the bunch.
I used fancy molasses because it is not too sweet, adds flavor without being overpowering, and has a hint of bitterness.
Black molasses is quite strong and very bitter and is the least sweet variety so I don’t recommend using it unless you’re accustomed to the taste or used to baking with it.
Can I use Black Treacle instead of Molasses?
Yes, you can. It is very similar to dark molasses.
Gingerbread Loaf with No Butter and No Buttermilk
This recipe calls for oil instead of butter. Although butter is great for flavor it doesn’t keep the bread as moist and tender as oil does. But because of the sour cream, spices, brown sugar, and molasses, it’s plenty flavorful!
You can replace the vegetable oil with melted coconut oil or pretty much any type of neutral flavored oil.
Instead of buttermilk, this bread is made with plain ole milk. Since the sour cream adds acidity and creaminess, the milk here is just for the purpose of thinning out the batter so that the end product isn’t too dense.
Gingerbread Loaf with Icing
I had to play around with the recipe for the glaze until I got it just right. The first version was too runny and way too much. The bread pretty much drowned in the glaze and although that tasted as yummy as it sounds, it was overwhelming and too sweet.
The second version was just the right amount but still a little too runny and it tasted like it was missing something. So I reduced the milk, added a tablespoon of butter, and upped the powdered sugar just a bit. And to ensure that it was the right consistency, I used softened butter instead of melted.
Oh. my. goodness. I love everything about this glaze. It’s rich, creamy, perfectly sweet, and doesn’t pool at the bottom like the previous versions. It stays put on the bread, right where it should be! It’s the perfect topping for this gingerbread loaf.
How to tell when the Bread is done
The bread is done when the center is fully baked through and a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs.
How to store Gingerbread Loaf
I find that the best and easiest way is to leave it in the pan and cover it tightly with foil, slightly tenting it at the top so that it doesn’t touch the glaze. This has always worked for me.
If you don’t have foil paper, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. You can also slice it up and store it in an airtight container.
How long does this Gingerbread Loaf last?
Because of the milk in the glaze it will only last at room temperature for about 2 days before it begins to spoil. After that, I highly recommend refrigerating it.
But to ensure that there’s absolutely no chance of it spoiling, store it in the fridge after 12 hours.
Can you freeze Gingerbread Loaf?
Yes. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap then place it in a resealable plastic bag (freezer bag) or in an airtight container. If stored correctly it should last for 2 – 3 months.
If you make this recipe let me know what type of molasses you used, what you think of the glaze and the spice amount in the comments below!
Glazed Sour Cream Gingerbread Loaf
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- 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons milk or cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease with oil, or line with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until evenly combined.
- Add the sour cream and molasses and mix well.
- Beat in the eggs and oil.
- Stir in the milk and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour and gently mix until fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into the baking pan in an even layer.
- Bake for 44 – 46 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes then remove to cool completely.
- In a small bowl combine the butter, milk/cream, and vanilla extract.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix well until smooth and creamy.
- Drizzle over the fully cooled bread.
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