This Gluten-Free Vegan Gingerbread Cake is sweet and fragrant, covered in a delicious “cream cheese” frosting and perfect for the festive season!
Having made these Gluten-Free Vegan Gingerbread Cookies the other day, I was keen to use them to decorate something, and so this Gingerbread Cake was born!
Why you’ll love this Gluten-Free Vegan Gingerbread Cake:
- it’s subtly spiced and fragrant
- it’s moist and fluffy
- it’s rich and creamy
- it’s perfectly sweet
- it’s covered in a tangy frosting
- it’s easy to make
- it’s made in one bowl
- it’s refined sugar free
- it’s easily customisable
- it’s perfect for Christmas!
How to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Gingerbread Cake
Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Mix together the ingredients for the sponge in a glass mixing bowl, using a measuring jug to measure out the plant-based milk.
- Transfer the cake batter to two 18 cm / 7 inch sandwich baking tins – line them with greased baking paper to make the sponges easier to extract afterwards.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a cooling rack to cool down before applying the frosting.
- Use an electric whisk to whip up the coconut cream to make the frosting – see full instructions and tips in the recipe below.
- Use a palette knife for frosting to apply the frosting.
- The fluffy frosting works well to look like piles of snow, which you can use to stand up the gingerbread men! Obviously the cookies are optional and the cake is still delicious without them, but they make it look really cute and are fun to make too.
- And if you’re not looking to make the cake completely refined sugar free, it looks extra festive with a little dusting of icing sugar (powdered sugar), which looks like snow!
How long does this Gluten-Free Vegan Gingerbread Cake keep for?
This Gingerbread Cake keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
Substitutions you can make to this recipe:
- you can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil
- you can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc
- you can substitute the date syrup with maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc
- you can substitute the ground almonds (almond meal) with ground walnuts
- for a nut-free version: substitute the ground walnuts with ground sunflower seeds or use 30g (¼ cup) coconut flour instead of 150g (1 ¼ cup) ground walnuts
- you can use plain flour, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or spelt flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free
- you can replace the coconut whipped cream in the frosting with coconut yogurt.
Tips for baking with ginger
- Freshly grated ginger can be quite strong, so if making this for children or for people who don’t like ginger, you might want to use a little less than the amount listed in the recipe.
- If you can’t use freshly grated ginger, you can substitute around 1 tablespoon ground ginger – the flavour is better with freshly grated ginger though!
More vegan festive sweet treats:
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Gluten-Free Vegan Gingerbread Cake
For the cake:
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 185 ml (¾ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 12 tablespoons date syrup (or sub maple syrup or any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger *
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds (almond meal) **
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice (or a mixture of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon)
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 400 g (14 oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk ***
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
To decorate (optional):
- Gingerbread cookies
- Icing sugar (omit if refined sugar free)
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if not using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the vinegar, date syrup, vanilla, salt, ginger and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice
- Divide mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins)
- Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen slightly and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, transfer cakes from baking tins onto a wired rack to leave them to cool completely before applying the frosting
For the frosting:
- You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
- Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
- Add the lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
To frost and decorate the cake:
- Place one half of the cake onto a plate or cake stand, and spread half of the frosting onto it
- Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the frosting to spread on top
- You can also decorate with gingerbread cookies and icing sugar if you wish
- Best when fresh, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
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