Vegan Gingerbread Cake

Soft, fluffy and perfectly moist, this dreamy vegan gingerbread cake makes for the BEST holiday dessert! Easy to make and naturally sweetened, it’s perfect plain or garnished with a frosting of choice. And no one will ever guess it’s egg free and dairy free!

A Vegan Gingerbread Cake on a cake stand topped with fresh cranberries.

So tell me. Are you ready for your house to smell like all the warm spicy goodness of the holiday season?

Well then it’s time to pop a pan of this easy vegan gingerbread cake in your oven ASAP.

Light, fluffy and super moist, this delightful winter treat is filled with tons of spices, rich molasses and dreamy vanilla. 

And when served topped off with a sweet frosting of choice? 

It’s holiday happiness. And will sooo put you in a wonderfully festive mood thanks to all those delicious aromas swirling around your kitchen (and, um, in your mouth). 

But best yet? There’s no complicated ingredients required. Just basic pantry staples and plenty of unsweetened applesauce. 

Simple, unfussy, lightly sweet. Now THIS is how we do the holidays.

A glass mixing bowl filled with partially and then fully stirred cake batter.

How To Make Vegan Gingerbread Cake

So, let’s talk about how this simple cake comes together.

Whisk the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, we’ll combine some flour, baking soda, salt and plenty of warm spices. 

Combine the wet. In another bowl, we’ll mix together some applesauce, olive oil, molasses, maple syrup and vanilla until nice and smooth.

Mix em’ together. We’ll add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and then gently fold them together until just combined, before spreading in a baking pan.

Bake until cooked through. And finally, we’ll pop it in the oven until soft, fluffy and perfectly moist.

A Dairy Free Gingerbread Cake on a cake stand partially frosted.

Frosting Ideas

Now. While this dreamy gingerbread cake is plenty delicious served plain, I like to take it to the next level with a frosting / garnish of choice. Here are some ideas:

  • coconut milk frosting – This dairy free carrot cake recipe includes both cream cheese and spiced frosting options.
  • dusting of confectioners’ sugar – Just be sure to use a powdered sugar that is vegan.
  • glaze of choice – I think an orange glaze would be delicious here. Use about 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 to 2 ½ tablespoons orange juice.
  • store-bought frosting – Go for your favorite!
  • nut based cream cheese frosting – Such as this one from A Roasted Root.

An Egg Free Gingerbread Cake on a cake stand.

Tips & Tricks For This Dairy Free Gingerbread Cake

  1. First things first. Let’s talk measuring out your flours. Fluff them in the bag / container, then scoop into your measuring cup with a spoon and level off. Don’t dunk your cup directly into the bag as you’ll likely use too much.
  2. Along those lines, be sure to use a dry measuring cup to measure out the applesauce. It won’t level off correctly in a liquid one.
  3. I have not tested it myself, but you should be able to use all AP flour here (instead of the AP / white whole wheat combo) without any problems.
  4. However I would stick with white whole wheat flour instead of regular whole wheat flour if using the combination (regular whole wheat may make the cake heavier and drier).
  5. Finally, you could absolutely use a different oil in place of the olive oil. However I will say that the olive oil really adds a bit of wonderful richness to the final product.

How To Store

Counter – Let the cake cool completely, then store at room temperature in an airtight container for about 3 to 4 days (either sliced into squares or left whole).

{Alternatively, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge if you frosted with something that needs to be chilled (like a coconut milk icing).}

Freezer – The cake base can be frozen for up to 2 to 3 months in a freezer safe container (let it cool completely first). When ready to enjoy, thaw out in the fridge then bring to room temperature before serving.

A piece of Vegan Gingerbread with a bite taken out with a fork.

Additional Vegan Holiday Recipes You Might Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

Vegan Gingerbread Cake

Vegan Gingerbread Cake

Yield: 1 (8-inch) cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Soft, fluffy and perfectly moist, this dreamy vegan gingerbread cake makes for the BEST holiday dessert! Easy to make and naturally sweetened, it’s perfect plain or garnished with a frosting of choice.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap)
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper (cut a big enough piece so that the paper hangs over the edges of the pan on two sides). Spray lightly with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together both kinds of flour, the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, olive oil, molasses, maple syrup and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack. 
  6. Let cool completely, then use the parchment overhang to lift out of the pan. Garnish / frost as desired.

Notes

See the post above for different frosting / garnish ideas!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 130mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.