It doesn’t feel quite like the holidays until I’m hit with the smell and taste of fresh gingerbread. Sweet, spiced, and earthy—the classic gingerbread flavor as we know it today comes from a special combination of gooey molasses, piquant fresh ginger, and warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. And this particular gingerbread loaf cake-rendition is a celebration of Christmas in the Pacific northwest: the dried dark sweet cherries leftover from summer, a snifter of brandy warmed in my hands by the fire, the smell of douglas fir, and dark rainy evenings spent knitting by the light of the Christmas tree.

Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese GlazeI always enjoy a little extra booze in my baked goods this time of year, and as such, the cherries are simmered in a bath of brandy until the liquid is absorbed and the dried cherry bits become plump and juicy. These are then folded into the gingerbread loaf cake batter, making for a moist and delicious gingerbread loaf cake with a kick! It is very important, though, to follow the instructions in the below recipe and make sure that you chop up the dried cherries into small pieces, otherwise the cherry bits will be too heavy and they’ll all sink to the bottom of the pan when the cake is baking. And if you’re using a decorative molded loaf pan, then those big pieces mean that your loaf won’t unmold properly and keep its design. Long story short—smaller is better when it comes to dried cherry chopping.

Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese GlazeAnd for a little sweet and creamy contrast to the warm and boozy cake, there’s a cream cheese glaze that goes on top. Consistency-wise, I’d rate this glaze as  medium-thickness, but if you prefer your glaze thinner or thicker, just add more or less milk accordingly and stir until smooth. I also really love the contrast in flavor and color that fresh red fruits bring to the mix, so I have some raspberries and pomegranate jewels on top. There’s also some raw cranberry—but that’s really just there for decoration (you don’t want to eat them raw…they’re pretty intense uncooked). I hope you enjoy this simple and flavorful little cake, and that it brings as much holiday cheer into your home as it brought into mine 🙂

Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Brandy-Soaked Cherries and Cream Cheese Glaze

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gingerbread
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 483 kcal


Brandy Soaked Cherries

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Gingerbread Loaf Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk room temperature
  • 3- inch piece of fresh ginger finely grated
  • Brandy-soaked cherries

Cream Cheese Glaze + Fruit Garnish

  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 2/3 cup cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate jewels


Brandy Soaked Cherries

  1. Bring the chopped dried cherries, brandy, water, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid is absorbed by the cherry pieces/evaporated from the pan, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Gingerbread Loaf Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and lightly flour a small 6-cup capacity loaf or bundt pan (if you have nut flour (i.e. almond, hazelnut, etc) handy, use this to lightly flour the pan—it helps prevent sticking even better than gluten-based flour). Set it aside.

  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt until combined. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar at medium-low speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the molasses and vanilla extract and mix until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as-needed.
  4. Reduce the mixer's speed to low, and alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk in four increments until the flour is *just* incorporated. Fold in the grated ginger and the brandy-soaked cherries until evenly distributed through the thick batter. If you're using a decorative molded loaf or bundt pan, spoon in the batter to prevent air bubbles from forming within the edges of the mold. If you're using a regular loaf pan, just dump the batter in there like normal. Smooth the surface with a spatula, and place the pan in the oven.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the mold and allowing it to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Glaze + Fruit Garnish

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the powdered sugar and cream cheese at low speed until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as-needed. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until a smooth glaze forms. Drizzle the cake with the glaze, and top with the fresh raspberries and pomegranate jewels. For an extra-wintery look, you can dust the raspberries with powdered sugar before placing them on top of the cake. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Brandy-Soaked Cherries and Cream Cheese Glaze
Amount Per Serving
Calories 483 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 199mg9%
Potassium 293mg8%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 49g54%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 852IU17%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 112mg11%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese GlazeGingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese GlazeGingerbread Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Love this Post? Share It With Friends!
  • You Might Also Like
    Adventures in Cooking

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Adventures in Cooking


    Terri Burks says:
      Eva Kosmas Flores says:
    Kamiya says:
      Eva Kosmas Flores says: