This vegan, gluten-free gingerbread cake is a gingerbread that everyone can enjoy! A perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.
Vegan, gluten-free gingerbread cake has become a part of my annual holiday traditions. I’ve given it to many loved ones as a December treat. Everyone loves it, which means that the many trials I went through to get the recipe right were worth it.
Better yet, it’s a gingerbread that everyone can enjoy, since it’s both vegan and gluten-free. It’s also nut free and optionally soy free—a win for households in which common food allergies are a concern.
Beyond that, the cake has it all: it’s moist, sweet, and spiced. The perfect thing for a snack, dessert, or to savor with a cup of tea or cocoa in the winter months.
I admit, I’m biased in favor of gingerbread, and this one is no exception.
There is no shortage of great dessert options during the holiday season. But gingerbread is probably my favorite.
I love the richly spiced fragrance, the depth of flavor, the deep golden color. I love an excuse to use molasses!
There are a few types of molasses—light, dark, and blackstrap—and you could use any of them in this recipe. I like the more mild and sweet flavor of light and regular dark molasses, and they make a golden colored cake.
For the most nutrition benefits, though, blackstrap molasses is the best choice. It’s a nutritive vegan sweetener, full of iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Molasses can be a little polarizing, flavor-wise. Some people love it, some people can’t stand the way it tastes. I love it in gingerbread, but I generally use it in small doses. Here, I use only 1/3 cup.
And I sometimes make the cake a little less molassas-y by using three tablespoons of molasses and two tablespoons of maple syrup instead. Lyle’s golden syrup and Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup are wonderful substitutes.
Just as there are competing opinions on molasses, there are many different opinions on what makes great gingerbread.
Some people prefer a dense, sticky gingerbread. Some prefer it to be lighter. There are people who go very heavy on the ground ginger, and others who use less.
This is a delicate gingerbread. I use a teaspoon and a half of ground ginger. It’s enough for the ginger to be prominent, not so much that the cake is assertively spicy.
I do, though, sometimes kick up the ginger taste by adding finely diced, crystallized ginger to the batter. It’s a fun addition, and it adds some texture contrast. Though I also love the cake in its plain, classic form.
As for texture, this is a light gingerbread. The center will feel a little moist and dense, but it’s still decidedly cake—not pudding.
The cake can take other shapes and forms, though. I’ve also made it in a 9-inch cake pan (this one is my go-to). The gingerbread also makes 3-4 perfect mini loaves, which are very cute for edible gifting.
If you make it in mini-loaves, be sure to reduce the baking time to 25 minutes.
There are so many good, all purpose, gluten-free flour blends for baking these days. King Arthur’s Measure for Measure is my favorite by far, and I always keep some at home for when I bake GF for friends or clients.
Even so, there’s nothing quite like a homemade gluten-free flour blend. Making one at home allows for use of one’s favorite GF flours (mine are sorghum, millet, and chickpea).
And I think that flour/starch blends tend to work much better than the use of a single, gluten-free flour.
All of my favorite GF baked goods, including this gluten-free gingerbread cake and these espresso brownies, call for a blend of flours. I often add a starch as well.
If the recipe as written calls for too many ingredients that you don’t have, you can use two cups of your favorite, store-bought, gluten-free flour blend.
And of course, if you don’t avoid gluten, you can use two cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour as well.
It’s best to store the gingerbread cake at room temperature for up to a few days (3-4). It’ll dry out in the fridge. If you don’t think you’ll eat it within that time, you can freeze it for up to six weeks.
I usually wrap the cake in cling wrap or store it in an airtight container to help it stay moist while I work on finishing my slices 🙂
But there’s nothing like gingerbread.
I hope you’ll love this vegan, gluten-free gingerbread cake, and that it’ll add some cheer (and some delicious smells) to your kitchen this holiday season.