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Easy Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake

I didn’t fall in love with all things gingerbread until a few years ago when I made these INCREDIBLE ginger molasses cookies with a chewy, spicy middle and crispy sugar coated edges. After my first bite, I knew that I would be a gingerbread lover for life.

Not to mention those fabulous little gingersnap cookies from Trader Joe’s… have you had them? Dangerous is what they are.

Speaking of my love for gingerbread, today I’m resharing an easy gluten free gingerbread cake recipe that you can’t help but fall in love with! Not only is it made in one bowl, but it’s also gluten free and perfect for Christmas morning brunch or anytime you’re feeling a holiday snack or dessert.

This gingerbread cake recipe is SO MOIST (I know we hate that word) but it’s truly delightful and almost a cross between a cake and a bar. My husband, who really doesn’t even like gingerbread treats, LOVED this cake, and before I knew it had even eaten half of the pan. That’s how you know it’s REAL GOOD.

Ingredients in gluten free gingerbread cake

This easy gingerbread cake is made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. Whoo hoo!

  • Coconut oil: you’ll need melted coconut oil to give the cake moisture.
  • Sweetener: we’re sweetening this gingerbread cake with pure maple syrup and blackstrap molasses for true gingerbread flavor.
  • Egg: you’ll need 1 egg in this recipe to help the cake bake up properly.
  • Milk: a little milk (I like to use unsweetened almond milk) adds extra moisture.
  • Flour: to keep the cake gluten free we’re using a mix of fine blanched almond flour and oat flour.
  • Spices: the wonderful mix of ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and a little salt are essential to the gingerbread flavor as well!
  • Baking staples: you’ll also need baking powder (not baking soda) and vanilla extract. Learn how to make your own vanilla extract here!
  • For the frosting: top this gorgeous gingerbread cake with a simple cream cheese frosting made from butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

easy gingerbread cake in a pan on a cooling rack

Make this gluten free gingerbread cake your own

What I love about this easy gingerbread cake is that you can truly make it your own based on your preferences! Here are some options:

  1. Top with a cream cheese frosting. This is how I normally serve it. Sometimes I even add the zest of 1 lemon + 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the frosting for a lemon cream cheese frosting. You could also do an orange cream cheese frosting with the same amounts!
  2. Add chocolate chips. Skip the frosting and fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice to the batter! You could do semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate or even dairy free chocolate chips. YUM.
  3. Serve with powdered sugar + berries. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and berries to keep it dairy free.

Can I make it dairy free or vegan?

Feel free to use dairy free butter and dairy free cream cheese to keep the entire cake dairy free. Alternatively, you can use one of the dairy free toppings above!

I haven’t tested this cake using a flax egg in place of the regular egg, but I think it should work well!

gluten free gingerbread cake being spread with frosting

How to make your own oat flour

Instead of buying oat flour, you can easily make your own gluten free oat flour by simply placing certified gluten free oats into a blender and blending/pulsing until they’re smooth and resemble flour. This is probably the cheapest option, too! Check out my tutorial with all of my best tips & tricks.

Personally, I LOVE using a mix of both oat flour and almond flour for a chewy, moist crumb in this cake.

Can I use all purpose flour?

Unfortunately, I can’t recommend using all purpose flour in this recipe as I don’t think the cake texture will turn out the same. You’ll need the gluten-free flour blend of almond flour and oat flour!

frosted healthy gingerbread cake cut into slices

Tips for making the perfect healthy gingerbread cake

  • Use room temp ingredients. Be sure that your egg is at room temperature and your coconut oil is cooled before you mix the wet ingredients together otherwise the cold eggs will coagulate with the hot coconut oil. Simply run your egg under warm water for a few minutes to bring it to room temp. This goes for the cream cheese and butter in the frosting, too, so that you can easily beat it together! Do not microwave the butter or cream cheese or it will ruin the frosting. Simply set out the ingredients before you begin baking your cake and by the time it’s done baking and cooling, they’ll be ready to go!
  • Pack your almond flour. That’s right, you’ll want to pack the almond flour just like you would with brown sugar, No need to pack the oat flour.
  • Cool the cake. Before adding that fluffy cream cheese frosting, be sure that your cake is completely cooled otherwise the frosting will melt on top.

slices of gingerbread cake on a surface

How to store & freeze gluten free gingerbread cake

  • To store: I recommend storing the cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze: feel free to freeze this cake either frosted or unfrosted for up to 2 months. I recommend freezing it unfrosted in individual layers for best results. First, wrap each individual layer in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and then place the cakes in a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container. When you’re ready to serve it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then let the cake come to room temperature before serving.

More gingerbread recipes you’ll love

I hope you love this easy gluten free gingerbread cake! If you make it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe letting me know how you liked it. I appreciate it! xo.

One Bowl Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake

gluten free gingerbread cake

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Serves12 slices

Delicious, easy gingerbread cake made right in one bowl! This gluten free gingerbread snacking cake is made with a mix of oat and almond flour, warm spices and is sweetened with pure maple syrup and blackstrap molasses.

Ingredients

  • Wet ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cool enough to touch (or sub melted butter)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 egg, at room temperature (very important)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • Dry ingredients
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup packed fine blanched almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For the frosting:
  • ¼ cup butter or vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the following ingredients until smooth: coconut oil (making sure it’s melted but cooled enough to touch), pure maple syrup, molasses, egg, vanilla extract and almond milk.

  • Next add the dry ingredients to the bowl: oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Mix together until batter is smooth and well combined.

  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Allow cake to completely cool.

  • For the frosting: add butter and cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer; beat on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Next add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until well combined. If you like a creamier frosting, feel free to add a tablespoon of milk and mix again.

  • Frost cake with an offset spatula, then sprinkle with a little cinnamon to make pretty. Cut into 12 slices and serve.

Recipe Notes

To make dairy free: use dairy free butter and cream cheese in the frosting, or serve with powdered sugar, and berries or fold in dairy free chocolate chips into the batter instead.
See the full post for tips, tricks, and ways to customize this cake!
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice without frostingCalories: 178calCarbohydrates: 19.1gProtein: 3.6gFat: 10.4gSaturated Fat: 4.4gFiber: 1.9gSugar: 8.3g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on December 19th, 2019, and republished on December 7th, 2023.

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