This vegan gingerbread loaf cake with sweet orange glaze is a must 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 gingerbread cookies.
You can also top it with vanilla cream cheese frosting to create a vegan CopyCat Starbucks gingerbread loaf.
🧾 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.
- Apple puree (unsweetened apple sauce). As well as adding a touch of sweetness to the loaf cake, apple sauce 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 oil like sunflower or rapeseed.
- Brown sugar: A combination of light and dark brown sugar works best. Light brown sugar adds more moisture than white sugar. Dark brown sugar adds more molasses and caramel notes to the loaf.
- 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.
- Sea salt: I always add a pinch of salt to desserts whether baked or raw. Salt helps to bring out the individual flavors of ingredients as well as marry them together and intensify the sweetness.
You'll also need vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, and a vanilla pod if you're topping this gingerbread loaf with cream cheese frosting.
🥣 How To Make a Vegan Gingerbread Loaf
This eggless gingerbread loaf is quick and easy to put together. You just need 2 mixing bowls and an 8" loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Mix together the apple puree, molasses, olive oil, vanilla, and non-dairy buttermilk in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, soft brown sugar, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a separate large mixing bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Whisk until you have a nice thick batter.
- Transfer the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-50 mins.
- Cool the loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice to make the glaze.
- Drizzle the glaze over the gingerbread.
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
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- 118 ml (½ cup) soy milk, or oat milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 60 g (½ cup) apple puree, (unsweetened apple sauce)
- 100 g (⅓ cup) molasses, cane molasses, not blackstrap
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 220 g (1 ¾ cups) plain flour, sieved
- 100 g (½ cup) soft brown sugar
- 40 g (⅕ cup) dark brown sugar, *see notes
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice or cloves
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Line an 8" loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside. Add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar to a jug or cup, stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes to form vegan buttermilk.
- Combine the wet ingredients: Add the apple puree, molasses, olive oil, and vanilla, and vegan buttermilk to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Combine dry ingredients: To a large separate bowl, add the flour, soft brown sugar, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt, and whisk to combine. Make sure they're are no lumps of sugar left in the mixture.
- Make the batter: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk them into a batter. Be careful not to over-mix, only stir until they're are no visible pockets of flour.
- Bake: Add the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-50 mins. After 40 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 or prepare the vegan cream cheese frosting.Once the cake has cooled, pour the icing on top. Add more or less depending on your taste.
- Storage: Wrap in tin foil or store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week. It will keep at room temperature for a couple of days.
- For a less sweet loaf, skip the dark brown sugar and increase the light brown sugar to 110g.
- Some sugar in the US is not vegan, if in doubt use organic sugar.
- 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.