I love Starbucks, but honestly, I gave it up for my New Year’s resolution. It is just too darn expensive! What’s my secret? I do my best to recreate that Starbucks magic at home for a fraction of the price. This gingerbread loaf is one of my favorites in the morning.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 1/4 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract, optional
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon baking soda

FROSTING
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt.
Then set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in orange extract.

Mix baking soda into applesauce and stir into creamed butter mixture.
Add flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

FROSTING:
Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and orange extract. Slowly beat in confectioner’s sugar.

Once the cake has cooled, evenly spread the frosting on top.  Decorate with chopped candied orange peel or candied ginger .

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