Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake Recipe

As winter approaches and pumpkin spice lattes give way to peppermint mochas, we begin to see gingerbread make its annual reappearance, as well. While most people are familiar with gingerbread in the form of cookies, and it is beginning to make its way into the ranks of seasonal flavors given to such items as coffee drinks and pancakes, the one thing we seldom see is gingerbread cake. That's too bad, since as its very name implies, gingerbread makes for a delightful tea cake.

Fortunately, recipe developer Jaime Shelbert sees the merit of a gingerbread cake, and this version is even gluten-free. "This cake is moist and tender with the flavor of all of the warming gingerbread spices. It just tastes like winter," Shelbert says. And, despite being gluten-free, she reassures us that "the flavor is the same" as any gluten-filled variation. She does say that the texture is a bit denser than the standard version of such a recipe, with the rice flour giving it just a hint of grittiness (but in a good way). This gluten-free gingerbread cake, she tells us, "is such a cozy winter treat," adding that it "pairs wonderfully with warm beverages like coffee and tea or perhaps a glass of eggnog."

Gather the gingerbread ingredients

To make this gingerbread, you'll need a gluten-free flour blend (Shelbert says she used Bob's Red Mill 1:1), baking powder, vegan butter (Shelbert says "you could absolutely use regular dairy butter" if you don't need a vegan version), and an egg. For flavoring, you'll be using ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, molasses, and vanilla. Plus, a surprise ingredient: a pinch of black pepper! "The black pepper adds to the gingerbread spice blend that offers the flavor kick associated with gingerbread," Shelbert explains.

Prepare the equipment and ingredients

The first thing you'll need to do is preheat the oven to 350 F. Next, grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Now, whisk the flour and baking powder with the dry spices (including that pinch of pepper) and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Set the dry ingredients aside while you whisk the molasses with ¾ cup hot water in another bowl or cup. Shelbert notes that the water should be between 100 and 150 degrees — hot, but not boiling.

Mix the batter

Using an electric mixer set to medium-high, beat the butter for a minute or so until it is smooth and creamy. Beat in the maple syrup, vanilla, and egg until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Shelbert notes that "the mixture will not be completely smooth and will contain small lumps of butter," but tells us "that is ok [since] it will mix in with the dry ingredients."

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing only until they are incorporated. Follow by adding half of the molasses/water mixture, again stirring only briefly. Follow up with the remaining dry ingredients and another brief stir, then by the rest of the molasses/water. Shelbert warns against over-mixing the batter, as this might have a detrimental affect on the resulting cake.

Bake the cake and serve

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake the cake for 45 minutes. Use a toothpick or skewer to test for doneness — if you can insert it into the center of the cake and it comes out clean, the cake is done. Let the cake cool completely before you attempt to remove it from the pan.

Shelbert suggests serving this cake as-is or dusted with confectioner's sugar. She also says a cream cheese frosting would complement it nicely, adding that the frosting would be "even better if it was sweetened with maple." The cake, she tells us, will keep for five days In an airtight container, but you can also freeze it for later use.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake Recipe
5 from 17 ratings
Not only is this gingerbread cake perfectly festive, but it's also gluten-free, making it the ideal combination of healthy and indulgent.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sliced gingerbread loaf cake
Total time: 1 hour
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ cup dark molasses
  • ½ cup vegan butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, a pinch of pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Combine the molasses with ¾ cup of hot water in a bowl or cup, whisking until combined, then set aside.
  5. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
  6. Mix the maple syrup, vanilla, and egg into the butter on medium-high speed until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and the molasses/water mixture to the butter mix, alternating dry and wet ingredients. Do this in 4 additions, starting with dry ingredients and ending with wet, and mixing between additions until ingredients are just incorporated. Be sure not to over-mix.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  9. Bake the gingerbread cake for 45 minutes, until it's set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.
  10. Serve the gingerbread cake as is or dust with confectioner's sugar.
  11. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Calories per Serving 355
Total Fat 15.4 g
Saturated Fat 13.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 23.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 53.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Total Sugars 29.3 g
Sodium 113.4 mg
Protein 4.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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