Easy Vegan Gingerbread Loaf Cake

This vegan gingerbread loaf cake is fluffy and super moist. Full of festive flavors with molasses and warming gingerbread spices. This delicious cake is a must for your vegan holiday baking list!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
4.85 from 20 votes

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loaf cake with gingerbread men on top.

This vegan gingerbread loaf cake is a must for your holiday bake list. Full of festive flavours, it’s moist and flavoursome and tastes like Christmas in a cake! It’s also completely eggless and dairy free, making it suitable for lots of dietary requirements. 

I recommend topping this holiday gingerbread loaf with vanilla cream cheese frosting and homemade vegan gingerbread cookies. I’ve also included options for and iced gingerbread loaf if that’s your preference.

What to expect from this recipe

  • Deliciously moist, soft and full of flavour
  • No eggs and no dairy 
  • Festive gingerbread flavour
  • Easy to make
  • Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee
 

vegan gingerbread cake with gingerbread man cookies on top.

Ingredient notes

  • Soya milk: I like to use soya milk but you can opt for any plant-based milk of your choice here. 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!
  • Molasses: For that authentic gingerbread flavour. 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.
  • Plain 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.
  • Soft brown sugar: Due to the higher moisture content of soft brown sugar, it helps to keep this a super moist gingerbread loaf.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: The raising agents 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, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. You can go for less or more spice depending on your personal taste.
  • Vanilla extract: Smooth fragrant vanilla helps to balance out those warming spices.
  • 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.
 

You’ll also need vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, a vanilla pod and icing sugar if you’re topping this gingerbread loaf with cream cheese frosting.

ingredients to make vegan gingerbread loaf cake.

How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

This vegan gingerbread loaf is quick and easy to put together. You’ll start by mixing the other wet ingredients with the vegan buttermilk (in this case the apple puree, molasses, olive oil and vanilla).

Now in a separate large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, soft brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda, gingerbread spices and salt).

Next add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently fold through. Be careful not to over-mix, a few pockets of the flour are fine.

Lastly, add the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake. You can go ahead and prepare the vegan cream cheese frosting while you wait for your cake!

gingerbread loaf in a pan before baking.

You can check your gingerbread loaf is ready inserting a toothpick into the centre, it should come out clean. If you’re unsure whether your cake needs more time, check out the kitchn’s 5 ways to tell when your cake is done.

baked gingerbread loaf in a pan.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack. It’s important to make sure your cake is completely cooled before frosting as you could end up with a melty mess!

slice of gingerbread loaf cake with cream cheese frosting on a plate.

Storage instructions

Store this cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Remove it from the fridge an hour or two before serving to bring it to room temperature. If you’re planning on eating this cake in one day (I don’t blame you!) then there is no need to refrigerate it.

Expert tips and FAQs

Prepare ahead

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 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”. The added fluffiness from vegan buttermilk helps to make the best vegan gingerbread loaf recipe.

What icing goes with ginger cake?

This cake will go well with orange, lemon or whiskey sugar glaze.

  • Orange glaze: Make a gingerbread orange loaf by drizzling orange glaze over the cake.
  • 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.
  • Lemon glaze: Fresh lemon zest adds a zingy twist to your vegan gingerbread loaf.

 

How to make glaze for gingerbread loaf

To make an orange glaze simply add 1.5 cups icing sugar, 5 tablespoons orange juice and half a teaspoon orange zest to a bowl and whisk until smooth. You can switch up the flavour of the glaze by swapping out the liquid (orange juice) with another liquid such as brandy, plant-based milk or fresh lemon juice. 

Additions

  • Raisins: Juicy raisins or sultanas make a wonderful addition to this loaf. They add sweetness, moisture and flavour.
  • Dried cranberries: You can also add some dried cranberries to the gingerbread cake batter for an additional festive twist.
 

gingerbread loaf cake with gingerbread man cookies and snow falling on top.

Related recipes

More vegan gingerbread recipes

 

More vegan loaf cakes

 

Don’t forget to check out these 25+ vegan Christmas dessert recipes to get all your baking plans sorted this festive season!

*This recipe was originally published on November 11th, 2020. The recipe has since been improved and updated.

loaf cake with gingerbread men on top.

Vegan Gingerbread Loaf Cake

4.85 from 20 votes
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This vegan gingerbread loaf cake is fluffy and super moist. Full of festive flavours with molasses and warming gingerbread spices. This delicious cake is a must for your vegan holiday baking list!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 10

EQUIPMENT

  • Loaf pan (20 x 20 x 8 cm)

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup soya milk or other plant-based milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup apple puree
  • 3.5 oz molasses
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups plain flour sieved
  • ½ cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder sieved
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger sieved
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon sieved
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ batch vegan vanilla cream cheese frosting optional
  • ¼ batch vegan gingerbread cookies (using mini gingerbread cutters), optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Line an 8" loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside. To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar to a jug, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Add the apple puree, molasses, olive oil and vanilla to the jug of vegan buttermilk and whisk to combine.
  • To a large separate bowl, add the flour, soft brown sugar to a separate bowl and whisk to make sure everything is evenly mixed., baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold them together using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. 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 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.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the vegan cream cheese frosting.
  • Once the cake has cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting on top with an offset spatula. Add more or less depending on your taste. Slice and serve.

RECIPE NOTES

*Nutritional information is based on gingerbread loaf without frosting.

Alternative icing ideas

  • Orange glaze: Whisk 1.5 cups icing sugar, 5 tablespoons orange juice and half a teaspoon orange zest to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Whiskey: Whisk1.5 cups icing sugar, 5 tablespoons whiskey and half a teaspoon orange zest to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Lemon glaze: Whisk 1.5 cups icing sugar, 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and half a teaspoon lemon zest to a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Additions

  • Raisins: Juicy raisins or sultanas make a wonderful addition to this loaf. They add sweetness, moisture and flavour.
  • Dried cranberries: You can also add some dried cranberries to the gingerbread cake batter for an additional festive twist.

NUTRITION

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg
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