This vegan gingerbread loaf cake is essential for your holiday bake list. Full of festive flavors, it's moist and flavorsome and tastes like Christmas. It's basically the quick bread version of vegan gingerbread cookies.
Topped with dreamy vanilla cream cheese frosting, this gingerbread loaf is way better than Starbucks's and is made without eggs or dairy!
📖 Recipe Overview
- Intensely Spiced - Bursting with that classic gingerbread flavor. This recipe is on the spicy side, with plenty of gingerbread spice, molasses, brown sugar, and a hint of tangy cream cheese.
- Soft And Fluffy - This loaf will stay moist for the best part of a week, it has a rich, soft, and fluffy texture.
- Easy To Make - Incredibly easy and made without any special equipment.
- Festive - Perfect with a cup of tea, coffee, or a gingerbread latte during Christmas, and Thanksgiving. It's the perfect snack to keep on hand for unexpected visitors over the holidays!
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this easy vegan gingerbread loaf recipe from scratch:
- Soy milk - This becomes vegan “buttermilk” when mixed with apple cider vinegar.
- Unsweetened Apple Sauce - As well as adding a touch of sweetness to the loaf cake, apple puree helps this bread loaf stay moist after baking – and for several days afterward!
- Molasses - For that authentic gingerbread flavor. It also intensifies and compliments the spices in the cake. Use regular sugar cane molasses, NOT blackstrap molasses. If you can't find it in your supermarket, it can often be found in health shops and online.
- Olive Oil - This vegan gingerbread cake uses a relatively low amount of oil. It adds moisture and helps the cake feel fluffy and springy to the touch. You can swap olive oil with another neutral-tasting vegetable oil like sunflower or rapeseed.
- Brown Sugar: - I like to use light muscovado sugar as it adds more moisture than white sugar. For even more molasses and caramel notes, you can use a combination of both light and dark muscovado sugar.
- Spices - To achieve its gingerbread flavor, the recipe calls for ground ginger, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. You can go for less or more spice depending on your personal taste.
🥣 How To Make Vegan Gingerbread Loaf
This eggless gingerbread loaf is quick and easy to put together. You just need 2 mixing bowls and a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
Step 1: To a large mixing bowl, add the vegan buttermilk, applesauce, olive oil, molasses, vanilla, and brown sugar and whisk to combine.
Step 2: Sift and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 2 parts. Make sure there are no pockets or streaks of flour, but do not be tempted to overmix!
Step 3: Pour or scoop the gingerbread cake batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 mins.
Step 4: Add a thin strip of vegan butter to the center of the loaf to ensure it cracks in the center. Bake!
Step 5: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack.
Step 6: Once fully cooled, pour the icing on top of the loaf. Allow the icing to dry for at least an hour to get nice clean cuts or enjoy it straight away for a gooey frosting consistency.
I adore this eggless gingerbread loaf as written, but here are some ways you can adapt it to suit your dietary requirements or preferences.
- Adjust the heat - This recipe is on the spicy side, you can reduce the ground ginger by a half or a full teaspoon for a more mellow flavor.
- Gingerbread fruit loaf - Fold 60g of dried cranberries, raisins, or sultanas into the batter before baking for an additional festive twist.
- Whiskey gingerbread - Swap out the cream cheese or orange juice in the icing for whiskey for a boozy glaze!
- Cream cheese frosting - For a super thick frosting, slather vegan cream cheese buttercream on top of the cooled loaf.
Store this cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Because it uses olive oil instead of butter it becomes even more tender in the fridge!
If you're planning on eating this cake within a couple of days (I don't blame you!) then there is no need to refrigerate it.
Yes, you can freeze the loaf cake for up to 3 months in individual slices.
Place the slices into a sealed container separated by sheets of parchment paper.
I recommend following the recipe in grams to ensure that everything is exact. Also, make sure that you're baking powder and baking soda are both in date and fresh.
Lastly, make sure you do not open the oven door at any stage during the process. Opening the door can alter the temperature of the oven. The Kitchn has published that doing so can drop the oven temperature by 150° or more!
🍞 More Vegan Quick Breads
- 160 ml (⅔ cup) soy milk, or oat milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 60 g (¼ cup) unsweetened applesauce , apple puree
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 100 g (⅓ cup) molasses, cane molasses, not blackstrap
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 120 g (½ cup + 1 tsp) light muscovado sugar, *see note 1
- 240 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, or allspice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Combine the wet ingredients: Add the vegan buttermilk, applesauce, olive oil, molasses, vanilla, and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Make sure they're are no lumps of sugar left in the mixture.
- Combine dry ingredients: To a large separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt, and whisk to combine.
- Make the batter: Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 2 parts. Fold the ingredients into the batter between each increment until there are no pockets or streaks of flour. Do not be tempted to overmix!
- Add the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan. Optionally, cut thin strips of vegan butter and place them down the center of the loaf, this will help the loaf to crack in the center once it bakes (*see note 3).
- Bake: Bake for 45-55 mins. After 45 minutes, check the cake is ready by inserting a knife or toothpick into it, which should come out clean. If the toothpick has cake residue on it, bake for another 5-10 minutes as needed.Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack.
- Make the glaze: Mix all the glaze ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.Once the cake has cooled, pour the icing on top. Allow the icing to dry for at least an hour to get nice clean cuts or enjoy it straight away for a gooey frosting consistency.
- Storage: Wrap in tin foil or place it in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 3 days (with icing) or 5 days (without icing). You can also refrigerate it for up to a week, I recommend bringing the cake back to room temperature for an hour before serving.You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to a month. To defrost, place it in the fridge overnight.
- Light Muscovado Sugar - Sub for soft brown sugar, or use a combination of light and dark muscovado sugar for an even deeper molasses flavor. You can also use coconut sugar, but the loaf will not be quite as moist.
- Icing - Vegan cream cheese will give a thick frosting (pictured) whereas lemon/orange juice will result in a runner consistency.
- Adding a thin line of butter slices down the middle of the batter helps to create a lovely crack in the center of the cake.
- You can add some dried cranberries, raisins, or sultanas to the gingerbread cake batter for an additional festive twist.
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*This recipe was originally published in November 2020. The recipe has since been improved and updated to simplify the instructions.