This spiced vegan Gingerbread Loaf with cream cheese icing tastes just like the holidays! Light, fluffy, and with a wonderfully warming gingerbread flavor, this is a must-have treat for the holiday season and it’s so easy to make.

This loaf was inspired by Starbuck’s gingerbread loaf. Want more vegan Starbucks copycats? Be sure to check out my Vegan Pumpkin Scones, Vegan Cranberry Bliss Bars, and Lemon Loaf recipes as well!

a sliced Gingerbread Loaf decorated with cream cheese frosting.

The legendary Starbucks gingerbread loaf is a classic holiday treat but, unfortunately, is not vegan. That’s okay, because this homemade vegan Gingerbread Loaf is even better! Warmly spiced, moist, and decorated with vegan cream cheese icing, it’s an easy festive cake you’ll absolutely adore.

Why this is the best gingerbread loaf

  • Perfect for the holidays – Just like my Ginger Crinkle Cookies, this loaf cake is perfectly spiced and deliciously moist. You can even customize it with mix-ins, like dried cranberries, candied ginger, or chopped nuts.
  • Topped with cream cheese icing – A generous layer of vegan cream cheese icing on top is a sweet and creamy complement to the warmly spiced bites.
  • A foolproof dessert or snack – Simply whip the batter together, bake the cake, then make the icing. Decorate the loaf when it’s cool, then slice and enjoy!
  • Better than Starbucks – Finally, you can enjoy a slice of vegan gingerbread loaf with your vegan hot chocolate, eggnog, or pumpkin spice latte!
using a fork to eat a slice of a gingerbread loaf on a beige plate.

How to make a gingerbread loaf

To start, mix the soy milk, ground flaxseeds, and apple cider vinegar together in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Set it aside to thicken and curdle.

Meanwhile, whisk the molasses, melted vegan butter, brown sugar, orange zest, and vanilla together in a large bowl.

using a metal spoon to stir a milk and flaxseed mixture in a glass measuring cup.
the wet ingredients for a Gingerbread Loaf in a large white bowl.

Stir the flax-milk mixture into the wet mixture.

Next, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt to the bowl with the wet mixture. Gently stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until just combined.

Do not overmix the batter! Overmixing will make the loaf dense or gummy rather than light and fluffy. Avoid this by gently folding the dry mix into the wet until no dry flour remains.

Want mix-ins? At this point, you can gently fold dried cranberries, chopped nuts, chopped candied ginger, or chopped candied orange peel into the batter. Yum!

whisking the wet ingredients for a gingerbread loaf in a large white bowl.
using a spatula to stir batter for a gingerbread loaf in a large white bowl.

Pour the batter into a parchment-lined loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set it aside to cool completely.

an unbaked gingerbread loaf in a metal loaf pan.
a baked gingerbread loaf in a loaf pan.

Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating the vegan cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until creamy and smooth. Thin the consistency with a tablespoon of milk if needed.

Vegan cream cheese tips: I like to make vegan cream cheese frosting with Trader Joe’s, Tofutti, Miyoko’s, or Kite Hill vegan cream cheese. My Tofu Cream Cheese (omit the nutritional yeast) might work as well but I haven’t tested it. I don’t recommend Daiya because it has a strange aftertaste.

using a spatula to stir orange zest into vegan cream cheese icing.

Spread a thick layer of frosting on top of the cooled loaf.

Decorate the top with chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, orange zest, or any other festive toppings you love. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

close up on a sliced gingerbread loaf.

Frequently asked questions

Can it be made gluten free?

Yes! Just replace the all purpose flour with a quality gluten free flour mix (I like Better Batter) to make a gluten free gingerbread loaf.

What can I use instead of cream cheese frosting?

You can decorate the cake with vegan buttercream instead. If you want to keep the decorations simple, add a drizzle of orange juice-infused vanilla glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar on top. Or feel free to omit the icing altogether and serve the slices with dollops of vegan whipped cream.

Can you use this recipe to make muffins or cupcakes?

Yes, you can adapt the gingerbread loaf recipe to make muffins or cupcakes instead. Make the batter as normal, pour it into muffin liners, and bake at 350ºF for 20 to 22 minutes.

Can you freeze it?

Yes, the ginger cake loaf freezes very well! After it’s baked and cooled, wrap the loaf in a layer of plastic and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.

close up on cream cheese icing decorated with nuts, dried cranberries, and orange zest on a gingerbread loaf.
close up on a sliced Gingerbread Loaf decorated with cream cheese frosting.
5 stars (7 ratings)

Gingerbread Loaf

This spiced vegan Gingerbread Loaf with cream cheese icing tastes just like the holidays! Light, fluffy, and with a wonderfully warming gingerbread flavor, this is a must-have treat for the holiday season and it's so easy to make.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 slices


Gingerbread loaf

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or other plant milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 cup molasses I used Grandma's brand
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 orange, zested 1 tablespoon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream cheese frosting and toppings

  • 4 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy milk if needed
  • zest from half an orange optional
  • chopped walnuts or pecans optional
  • pomegranate seeds or dried cranberry pieces optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, add the soy milk, ground flaxseeds and apple cider vinegar. Whisk vigorously with a fork to combine, then let sit for 2 minutes to thicken and curdle.
  • In a large bowl, add the molasses, melted vegan butter, brown sugar, orange zest and vanilla. Whisk very well to combine. Now whisk in the milk mixture.
  • To the wet ingredients, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Stir with a large wooden spoon or spatula until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • Make the frosting – Add the vegan cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar to a medium sized bowl. With a hand mixer, beat everything together starting on low speed and increasing to high until creamy and smooth. Add the tablespoon of milk if needed to thin.
  • Spread a thick layer of frosting on top of the cooled loaf and sprinkle with chopped walnuts, orange zest, pomegranate or cranberries, if desired. Slice, serve and enjoy!


  1. Optional add-ins – chopped candied ginger, dried cranberries, nuts or chopped candied orange peel would all be yummy additions.
  2. You can leave the frosting off and keep it plain, if desired. Or serve slices with a little vegan whipped cream instead.
  3. Gluten free – Substitute a quality gluten free flour. I like Better Batter.
  4. If you don’t like a lot of spices, cut them in half.
  5. Oat, almond, coconut or any other plant milk should work as well.
  6. Nut free – Leave off the nuts on the topping.
  7. Muffins – You can make this bread as muffins instead. Fill liners and bake for 20-22 minutes.


Serving: 1of 10 slices | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 489IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. Hi Nora! Thanks for all the good recipes you share. About this one, I was wondering if I can subtitute the molasses? This is not easy to find in my country… Gracias!

    1. For baking, tofutti hands down. For eating on a bagel or anywhere else, I love Violife or Trader Joe’s brand.

      1. Nora, what about for cream cheese frosting? Would TJ’s, vegan Philly, or Violife work, since it’s not being heated?

        1. I haven’t tried it with TJ’s newest cream cheese, but Philadelphia brand does work. I think Violife will too, it just might not be as thick.

  2. Very excited to try it. How do you recommend storing the loaf? Airtight container or paper bag? Fridge or room temp? Love all you recipes, whenever I’m making something from your page I always know it will be delicious. Thank you!

    1. I like to have the loaf on a bread plate and then just keep it covered with some kind of wrap, or even a clean tea towel. Or in a container. Room temperature, unless you want it to last for longer, then I’d store it in the fridge. I’m so happy you love my recipes, thank you!

    1. Hi Kevin. I hope the cake turned out well for you! I’ve not tested it I a bundt pan to know exactly how long to bake it, however, I’d keep an eye on it after 40 minutes. Happy holiday baking!

  3. I would like to make this ahead and freeze it. Do you know if the icing would freeze well or should I ice after?
    By the way I LOVE your recipes.

    1. I would freeze the loaf, then make the icing once it’s thawed and you’re ready to serve it. Thanks for loving my recipes!

  4. Hello Nora in your coffee cake receipe u have not indicated how much coffee to add n at which stage. Could u kindly clarify. Thank you

    1. Hi Hema. The coffee cake recipe doesn’t call for any coffee 🙂 It’s called coffee cake because it pairs so well with a cup of coffee or tea!

  5. I tried several times to print the recipe on my printer. Most copy and print. This request against the Ginger loaf bread will not let me print the recipe. The ginger cookies are the same. I am really disappointed. I like your recipes a lot in most cases. Is there anything I can do to get the recipe to try?

    1. There is a print button in the recipe card. If you click on that, it will take you to a printer-friendly version of the recipe, which you can print. It sounds like you are just trying to copy the recipe, and that won’t work well. I hope that helps. You should be able to print all of my recipes this way. Thanks for enjoying my recipes!

  6. Hi Nora! I am a longtime fan. Your recipes are the absolute best. I always bake by weight, and I noticed a bit of a discrepancy in this recipe for the weight of the butter/oil- you have 1/2 cup of vegan butter, which would be ~112 g/1 full stick, but when switched to metric, it’s 56 g (which would be 1/4 cup butter/one half-stick). I went with the metric measurements but just wanted to let you know!
    It turned out delicious!! Thank you always!

    1. Thank you for catching this, I’m sorry about that error. I fixed it now; I’m not sure why it wanted to make the metric conversion 56 grams instead of 112. 112 grams is correct. Though I’m sure it worked okay with less. I’m glad it turned out delicious, and thank you for your kind words and loving my recipes. 🙂

  7. Hi! I’d like to make this but I’m allergic to oranges. Is there a replacement or can I just I just leave this out?

    1. Thanks for sharing your baking experience! I’m glad the recipe turned out wonderful as cupcakes! I appreciate your great review!

  8. Hello Nora,
    Would this work in a round cake pan? If so, what size pan or pans do you think, and what temperature and length of time in the oven?

    1. Yes, it will work in one 8 or 9 inch pan. Same temperature, but timing will probably be 30-40 minutes, or when a toothpick comes out clean in the middle. Enjoy!

  9. I have not tried this recipe yet, but it looks enticing. My question is whether I can substitute chia seeds for the flax seeds. I have a lot of chia seeds but no flax seeds.

    1. You can, but it would be best to use ground chia seeds, otherwise you will have whole seeds throughout the loaf. Hope you enjoy the gingerbread loaf!

  10. I’ve already made four loaves, three as gifts and one for me. Rave reviews all around. Dense but moist and the spices are scrumptious. Love!!!!

  11. I made this today and it came out so well! Next time I think I’ll add just a tad bit more ginger powder for more of a punch. Definitely tastes just like Trader Joe’s! Spot on recipe! Thank you.

  12. Hi Nora! Do you think this could be converted to a Bundt/have you have success with that for any of your other loaf recipes? It seems like 350 for 55-60 mins may already enough for a Bundt, but if I try it I’ll keep an eye on it.

    1. It should work, but I’d have to test it to know exactly how long to bake it as a bundt cake. I’d keep an eye on it after 40 minutes. Let me know how it goes!

      1. I did it! It was a rather deep novelty shaped Bundt pan, so it went for 65 minutes in total at 350. In a traditional bundt, the time would probably be shortened. I doubled the recipe and it came out great! Delish!

  13. Can I substitute orange juice for the zest in the cake? I really want to make this but only missing an actual orange! Can’t wait to try this…your pumpkin loaf last week was amazing! Thanks!

    1. You might be able to but I don’t know that it will add much orange flavor. You can just leave it out though, it will still be very flavorful. I’m glad you enjoyed the pumpkin loaf last week and I hope you love this one, too.

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