There is nothing more holiday than the flavors of gingerbread! Warm spices and sweet molasses come together in this soft, moist cake. It tastes and smells amazing! With a dusting of powdered sugar, this Vegan Gingerbread Cake Recipe is Christmas perfection!
If you want your house to smell ah-mazing this holiday season, this Gingerbread Cake Recipe is what you need!
With spices like ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves paired with sweet molasses and pure maple syrup, you’ll have everyone running to the kitchen before it’s even out of the oven.
And once it is, you won’t be able to stop eating it!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Flour ~ All purpose flour works great. It’s light and fluffy and readily available.
Spices ~ This gingerbread cake recipe is heavily spiced. That’s what makes a good gingerbread if you ask me! Ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves are all represented here. A tiny pinch of salt brings out the flavors.
Molasses ~ This is another ingredient that makes gingerbread what it is! It has a deep, rich, sweet flavor and there really is no substitute that mimics this flavor well. Use dark molasses, sometimes called robust molasses, for the best gingerbread flavor.
Do not substitute for the molasses! You may use light molasses in a pinch, but it won’t be as flavorful as the dark (robust) kind. Do not use blackstrap molasses as that will be too strong and bitter and not sweet enough.
Sweeteners ~ White cane sugar keeps this cake fluffy and add sweetness to balance the strong flavors of the gingerbread.
Apple cider vinegar ~ This will help the cake bake up nice and fluffy. Don’t skip it!
Oil ~ A little bit of neutral flavored oil helps to keep this cake moist and fluffy. I like grapeseed oil, but canola oil or vegetable oil will also work.
You could also use melted coconut oil, but I suggest choosing a refined oil so the coconut flavor doesn’t come through.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
This recipe is so easy to make! A couple mixing bowls and a whisk is all you need. It’s a smooth, runny batter that is easily mixed by hand.
Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, place the wet ingredients and whisk well until smooth.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk to incorporate.
Whisk the batter until no white flour is visible. A few lumps, however, are fine. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into an 8×8 baking pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Once the cake is cool, cut into squares.
This cake is so flavorful, it’s perfect as is. But, a little dusting of powdered sugar takes it up another notch and my kids say it’s a non-negotiable.
Storage and freezing
We love this cake so much, we can almost eat the whole thing in one day!
Room temperature: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container on the counter for 1 to 2 days.
Fridge: If you still have leftovers after 2 days, you can transfer it to the fridge for about a week.
Freezer: You can also freeze this gingerbread cake recipe. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap or parchment and place in a freezer safe plastic bag for up to two months.
If you use powdered sugar on the top of the cake, it will absorb into the cake when storing. Feel free to dust with more when serving!
Pro tips and tricks
~ First and foremost, make sure your spices are fresh! Old spices lose their potency and won’t bring as much flavor.
~ Measure your flour using the spoon and level method. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level off with the back of a knife. I do not recommend substituting another kind of flour for all-purpose.
~ Whisk the dry ingredients well so they will be evenly distributed throughout the cake.
~ Do not substitute for the molasses! It has a unique sweet, robust flavor that makes gingerbread what it is. Use dark molasses, sometimes called robust molasses, for the best gingerbread flavor. Do not use blackstrap molasses as that will be too strong and not sweet enough.
~ Use hot water when mixing the liquid ingredients. It will help thin the cake, keep is super moist, and make it light and fluffy.
~ Whisk the dry ingredients with the wet only until just combined. Do not over mix! Over mixing will cause the gluten in the flour to activate and will result in chewy, rubbery cake.
~ Get the cake in the oven immediately after whisking the batter.
~ Let the cake cool before dusting with powdered sugar.
Gingerbread spice is typically made of a blend of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Some brands contain cloves, others do not. Personally, I think cloves are a must in gingerbread.
It tastes sweet with warm spices and robust molasses.
Gingerbread often refers to hard cookies, but gingerbread is really just a flavor – a certain mix of spices and molasses. Gingerbread flavor can be infused in many different recipes like, pancakes, muffins, cakes, donuts, oatmeal, etc.
Ginger cake may refer to any cake made with ginger spice or ginger flavor.
This gingerbread cake recipe tastes like all of your favorite gingerbread flavors in a soft, fluffy, moist cake!
Make sure you use the spoon and level method of measuring the flour. If you scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup you will often end up with too much flour which can cause your cake to be dry.
Also, make sure your oven is at the correct temperature. Some ovens run hot. Using an oven safe thermometer you can check to see if yours is actually running at the temp you set it for.
More vegan gingerbread recipes
- Gingerbread Cookie Butter (great as a spread, dip or frosting!)
- Gingerbread Granola
- Chocolate Molasses Cookies
- Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal
- Oat Milk Gingerbread Smoothie
Browse all of my vegan Christmas recipes here.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Vegan Gingerbread Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup molasses dark or robust for best flavor, light molasses may be used in a pinch, but not blackstrap!
- ⅓ cup organic cane sugar
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil or canola oil or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup hot water
- organic powdered sugar optional, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, letting the ends overhang, and set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the molasses, sugar, oil, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, and hot water until smooth.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. It's ok if there are a few lumps, but don't leave any white flour showing. Do not over mix or the cake may come out dense and rubbery.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Using the ends of the parchment paper that are overhanging the sides, pull the cake out of the pan and place on the cooling rack to continue cooling.
- Once cool, dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.
~ Nutrition facts calculated without optional powdered sugar.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.