The Best Gingerbread Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
I can honestly say I’ve never made a gingerbread cake. Well, any holiday cake really. We are more cookie-people, and growing up we always made gingerbread cookies. Or linzers, or sugar cookies. Pies, too. But this is the first time I decided to go for a cake — And I’m not sure what I was waiting for! I didn’t realize the moisture molasses added to breads and cakes but WOW! This cake is super moist (sorry), and still just as moist being in the fridge for 7 days! It’s full of flavor and warm spice and close to perfection. I was inspired by new bundt cake and loaf pans I had purchased in the fall ready for holiday baking. They are so ornate and pretty, I couldn’t WAIT to make a holiday cake! I thought there’d be nothing better to bake in this pretty pan than a gingerbread cake.
I altered one of my favorite traditional family cake recipes to make it low glycemic, gluten free and dairy free, I added in molasses and warming spices, and it came out PERFECT! I mean, took a couple of tries but it was worth it. It was gone in a few days and I’ve had requests to make another closer to Christmas.
Why a gingerbread cake?
This gingerbread cake is soooo moist. It has the perfect texture, perfect amount of sweetness and spice with a lovely kick of ginger. It’s topped with a sweet icing which compliments the spices in the cake. It is one of my favorite recipes to date by far. If you are looking for an easy holiday recipe to please your family, or gift to your neighbor or friends (hello 2020), this cake would be beautiful baked in a pretty pan, sprinkled with some powdered sugar and given as a gift!
This gingerbread cake is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free!
And it’s still amazing I promise! I’ve been living with my family during this quarantine while I’m working on the east coast and my picky dad who will not eat ANYTHING that is considered a healthy alteration, has eaten this every night until it was gone. You would never know it’s a healthier cake! I use a combination of almond flour and oat flour, which is my new favorite baking combination. However, you can substitute the oat flour for Bob’s GF 1:1 flour and that worked perfectly as well. I used dairy free butter sticks and sweetened with just a touch of coconut sugar and a couple tablespoons of pure maple syrup.
What is in this gluten free gingerbread cake?
Almond Flour: This is half of your flour base. It creates an amazing moisture in your cake. I have not tried a substitute for this. I bake with almond flour because it’s the easiest on my digestion and very low in carb.
Oat Flour: This is the other half of your flour. This absorbs some of the moisture in the cake and gives it a nice texture. This can be subbed with a 1:1 all purpose GF Flour. I know Bob’s is tried and true.
Warming Spices: Ginger, Cinnamon and All Spice are the heroes of this cake! You cannot omit these.
Baking Soda and Powder: These give your cake a nice rise and fluffiness.
Blackstrap Molasses: This is the richest of the molasses, including the richest in iron and minerals. It’s a superfood! You can use any molasses here.
Coconut Sugar: My go to sweetener in all of my baked goods. It’s low glycemic so does not affect my sugar levels or feed the SIBO. It does not taste like coconut!
Maple Syrup: Just a touch to compliment the flavor of the molasses and spices
Vanilla Exract: This goes in all baked goods, am I right?
Non Dairy Milk: Any milk works here, I used oat milk
Egg: This is the binder of your cake. If you were to sub this out, I’d try an aquafaba egg (3 tbsp of chickpea brine in the can), but I haven’t tested it out yet.
Non-dairy Butter: I use Miyoko’s butter. Real butter will work too, or even refined coconut oil could be subbed
What special equipment will I need for this gingerbread cake?
A loaf pan of your choice! If you decide to use a FULL size round bundt pan, you will have to double the recipe. The bundt loaf pan I used here was roughly 9”x5” and the batter filled it up about 2/3 of the way. You can find the bundt pan I used here.
Why do eggs and other ingredients need to be room temp in baking?
This is to ensure it is all mixed evenly and well. When you are mixing room temperature ingredients with cold ingredients, certain ingredients can clump up…. Like coconut oil and butter, since they are solid at when cold. Then you will have chunks of oil or butter in your baking causing it to not bake evenly and will ultimately lead to a fail! To warm up an egg to room temp, place in a bowl of warm water for 2-3 minutes. To warm up milk to room temp, place in microwave for 15-20 seconds.
*This recipe is for one small loaf (it will fill a 9 x 5” loaf pan about 2/3 the way up, or will make a thinner cake, sheet cake style, using an 8”or 9” round or square baking pan. If you want to make a larger cake or a full size round bundt cake, double the recipe. My pictured bundt loaf pan took a little less than double the recipe*
1 cup of fine almond flour
1 cup of oat flour, or gluten free all purpose flour
2 tsp of ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of all spice**
1/4 tsp of sea salt
1/4 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 cup of coconut sugar
4 tbsp of melted non-dairy butter, or refined coconut oil
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of non-dairy milk (I used oat)
1 egg at room temp***
1/4 cup of blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup of finely chopped candied ginger (optional but recommended!)
To make vegan cream cheese icing, use the icing/frosting recipe made for my cinnamon rolls here.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare your pan by spraying it with cooking oil, or greasing it. If you are not using a bundt, line with parchment and spray the sides. You want to make sure it’s lathered up so the cake does not stick. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together your flours, ginger, cinnamon, all spice, sea salt, baking soda and powder until well combined.
In another medium bowl, mix together the coconut sugar with the melted butter thoroughly until melted and smooth. Now mix in the maple syrup, vanilla, milk, room temp egg (you can warm it to room temp by placing it in a bowl of warm water for 2-3 minutes), and molasses until smooth and combined.
Now mix the dry ingredients into the wet and stir well until a smooth batter forms. It will be more on the liquidy side. If using candied ginger, finely chop it and add it in now. Mix again until just combined.
Pour your mix into your prepared loaf pan, and bake for 40-45 minutes. If you are making a thinner cake (9x9” or 8x8” sheet cake), bake for 18-20 minutes. The top will crack and the edges will brown when finished. If you decided to double the recipe and make a larger loaf, or a full size round bundt cake, bake for 55-60 minutes. Be sure to test it out with a toothpick to make sure it’s done all the way through.
When cooled, you can prepare your vegan cream cheese icing from my recipe here.
You may also just sprinkle generously with an unrefined powdered sugar. Slice up and serve warm!
This cake should be wrapped up tightly in plastic wrap so the moisture is kept, and can be stored for 3 days on the counter top, or 7 days in the fridge. You may also store in the freezer and defrost when ready to enjoy. I’d slice up and wrap each piece individually with plastic wrap, placed inside a freezer bag or Stasher bag.
* This recipe is for one small loaf (it will fill a 9x5” loaf pan about 3/4 of the way up, or a thinner 8” or 9” round or square baking pan for more of a sheet cake. If you want to make a larger cake or a full round bundt cake, double the recipe. My pictured bundt loaf pan took a little less than double the recipe.
** If you don’t have all spice, you can use 1/4 tsp of cloves and 1/8 tsp of nutmeg in substitution.
*** To make this vegan, you may try an aquafaba egg (3 tbsp of chickpea brine in the can), but I haven’t tested it out yet
If you make this gingerbread cake, leave me comments and reviews below! I’d love to hear from you and it helps others! And be sure to tag me on instagram @gutsy_baker, and use #gutsybakes