Vegan Gingerbread Loaf Cake
I know some of you are probably already thinking about what to bake or make for the holidays this year, and for any gingerbread lovers out there this loaf is a must! It’s full of holiday flavours. The cake is moist and is studded with juicy raisins which makes it taste even more like Christmas! Made from plantbased ingredients, it’s dairy-free and egg-free and super easy to make. The boozy whiskey vanilla glaze is optional, but it adds a really nice touch, feel free to skip this part if you’re trying to avoid refined sugar. Either way, I think you’re going to love this cake!
WHAT INGREDIENTS WILL I NEED?
Chia seeds: The seeds are mixed with water to become a “chia egg” and act as an egg replacer, binding the ingredients together.
Plant-based milk: I like to use soya milk but you can opt for any plant-based milk of your choice here. Oat milk or coconut milk work well. This becomes the base of the vegan “buttermilk” when mixed with the apple cider vinegar.
Apple puree: As well as adding a touch os sweetness to the recipe, apple sauce helps this bread loaf stay moist after baking – and for several days afterwards!
Maple syrup: My go-to liquid sweetener, together with the coconut sugar, it also deepens the flavour and compliments the spices in the cake.
Olive oil: The oil adds moisture and helps the loaf cake feel fluffy and springy to the touch. You can sub this with another neutral tasting oil if you’d prefer.
All purpose flour: Regular plain flour works great for this cake loaf. You can however, substitute in a third of the flour for wholemeal if you would like to add some fibre in to the loaf.
Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar works perfectly as a sweetener for this loaf. It adds a “caramelised” flavour while being a less refined option to regular white or brown sugar.
Baking powder: This is the raising agent for the cake, helping it to rise and become airy and fluffy.
Spices: To achieve it’s gingerbread flavour, the recipe calls for ground ginger and ground cinnamon. I’ve seen recipes use different spices to create this festive flavour, but I find keeping it simple with just ginger and cinnamon works a charm!
Sea salt: I always add a pinch of salt to desserts wether baked or raw. Salt helps to bring out the individual flavours of ingredients as well as marrying them together and intensifying the sweetness.
Raisins: Juicy raisins make a wonderful addition to this loaf. They add sweetness, moisture and flavour. If you’re not a fan of raisins you can leave them out, I’ve also made this loaf without them and it’s still super delicious!
Icing sugar: This ingredient forms the base for the sugar glaze. I wouldn’t recommend cutting the ratio of icing sugar as you could end up with a very runny glaze. You can however, use less glaze or skip it altogether if you’re looking to keep this cake refined sugar-free.
Whiskey: It is a festive recipe after all! Whiskey compliments the gingerbread flavour of this cake. If you’re avoiding alcohol but would like to keep the glaze, you can swap it out for plantbased milk or lemon juice.
Vanilla extract: Smooth fragrant vanilla helps to balance out the whiskey flavour of the glaze.
Lemon zest: Fresh lemon zest adds a zingy twist to the whiskey glaze.
LET’S MAKE THIS FESTIVE CAKE!
PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS AND EQUIPMENT
Getting your equipment and ingredients ready before starting on any recipe is a good way to get you set up for success. I personally make a note to count and double check the ingredients so that I’m less likely to leave something out, we’ve all been there right?
So start with the basics, preheat your oven, line your loaf tin with parchment paper and get your ingredients measured out and organised.
HOW TO MAKE A CHIA “EGG”
A chia egg is a great alternative to eggs when baking certain recipes. I find it works a dream for a lot of cakes and baked goods. It’s so easy to make, you simply add one tablespoon of chia seeds to a bowl along with 2.5 tablespoons of water and set aside to soak. The chia seeds will expand and soak up the moisture, creating a gel-like consistency.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN “BUTTERMILK”
The acidity of the vegan buttermilk does a number of things such as helping the cake to rise, adding a tangy flavour and it also helps to tenderise the gluten in the flour. To make it, simply mix the plantbased milk with an acid such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and allow the mixture to sit and “turn”.
PREPARE THE CAKE
Now that all of your ingredients and equipment has been prepped it’s time to get making the cake batter.
Add the dry ingredients to a separate bowl and whisk to make sure everything is evenly mixed.Then add the wet ingredients to a separate bowl along with the chia egg and vegan butter milk and stir. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in approximately 3-4 increments, gently folding the mixture each time. Be careful not to over-mix, a few pockets of the flour are fine.
Add the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake according to the recipe below.
MAKE THE GLAZE
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by adding the ingredients to a bowl and whisking until smooth. You can switch up the flavour of the glaze by swapping out the liquid (whiskey) with another liquid such as brandy, plant-based milk, lemon or orange juice.
Once the cake has cooled, place a sheet of parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch any icing. Pour the glaze on top of the cake, add more or less depending on your taste. Slice and serve.
WHY MAKE THIS LOAF CAKE?
- Deliciously moist, soft and full of flavour
- Plant-based and vegan-friendly
- Festive gingerbread flavour
- Refined sugar-free (without the glaze)
- Easy to make
- Free from eggs, dairy and all other animal-derived additives
OTHER FESTIVE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Vegan Gingerbread Loaf Cake
- Loaf pan (20 x 20 x 8 cm)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds *see notes
- ½ cup soya milk or other plant-based milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup apple puree
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour sieved
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder sieved
- 1 ½ tbsp ground ginger sieved
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon sieved
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 cup raisins optional
- 1 ½ cups icing sugar
- 3 tbsp whiskey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp soya milk or other plant-based milk
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Line an 8" loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside.
- Prepare the chia egg by mixing the chia seeds and 2 ½ tablespoons water and allowing them sit and soak for at least 5 minutes.
- To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add all of the dry ingredients to a separate bowl and whisk to make sure everything is evenly mixed.
- Add the chia egg and vegan buttermilk mixture to a large bowl along with the remaining wet ingredients. Set aside.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in approximately 3-4 increments, gently folding the mixture each time. Be careful not to over-mix, a few pockets of the flour are fine.
- Add the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 mins. Check the cake is ready by inserting a knife or toothpick into it, which should come out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by adding the ingredients to a bowl and whisking until smooth.
- Once the cake has cooled, place a sheet of parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch any icing. Pour the glaze on top of the cake, add more or less depending on your taste. Slice and serve.
- Store this cake in an airtight container at room temperature.