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 like heaven! 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.
I did trial this recipe with oat flour and a gluten free flour blend and I do not recommend it. The flavor was good, but the texture wasn’t great. It was denser and didn’t rise as well. For this reason, I do not recommend substituting the all-purpose flour for another kind of flour.
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 ~ Pure maple syrup and coconut sugar gives a lovely caramel like flavor that complements the strong flavors in this gingerbread cake recipe well.
Apple cider vinegar ~ This will help the cake bake up nice and fluffy. Don’t skip it!
How to make the recipe
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 (1) and whisk until thoroughly combined (2).
In a separate mixing bowl, place the liquid ingredients (3) and whisk well until smooth (4).
Pour the dry into the wet and whisk until just combined (5). It’s ok if there are a few lumps. It’s important to not over mix!
Pour the batter into an 8×8 baking pan (6) and bake 32 to 36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (7).
Once the cake is cool, cut into squares and marvel over those sticky tops!
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.
We love this cake so much, we can almost eat the whole thing in one day!
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container on the counter for 1 to 2 days. After that, you can transfer to the fridge for about a week.
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 for success
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 scoop 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. Heaven!
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 Cashew Butter (great as a spread, dip or frosting!)
- Gingerbread Granola
- Chewy Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
- Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal
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!
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 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, maple syrup, coconut sugar, 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!
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 32 to 38 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.