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Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake
Moist and tender gluten free gingerbread cake, perfectly spiced and ready for the holidays or any time at all. Make this easy snack cake in one bowl!

Moist and tender gluten free gingerbread cake, perfectly spiced and ready for the holidays or any time at all. Make this easy snack cake in one bowl!

Moist and tender gluten free gingerbread cake, perfectly spiced and ready for the holidays or any time at all. Make this easy snack cake in one bowl!

I first developed the recipe for this cake way, way back in 2011. Years later, this recipe still works exactly as written. I’m usually a hopeless tinkerer, but this cake is undeniable, just as it is.

If you look at the list of ingredients, you’ll see that it has 2 full teaspoons of each ground cinnamon and ground ginger. But the spices are perfectly balanced with honey, maple syrup and molasses. There’s only 1 egg in the whole, generously sized cake. So if you can’t have eggs, a “chia egg” would most likely work well here.

raw-gingerbread-cake

The batter is quite thick, and relatively sticky from all the liquid sugars. A wet spatula is all it takes to spread it into an even layer in a lined baking pan.

I really prefer to line the baking pan rather than greasing it. A greased pan, with all these sugars, means a cake more likely to burn during baking.

I’m thinking about doing a super quick video showing you how to easily line any shape of baking pan like a pro. It only took me, like, 15 years of lining baking pans to figure out just how simple and effective it can be.

Moist and tender gluten free gingerbread cake, perfectly spiced and ready for the holidays or any time at all. Make this easy snack cake in one bowl!

The rich, moist and fragrant goodness of this gingerbread feels just right for Thanksgiving. Bake this cake while you’re serving a big holiday meal, and your friends and family will be captivated by the smell. Since all you need is one bowl to make the batter, it’s easy to throw together at the last minute.

Looking for more gingerbread recipes? Look no further:

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 8-inch square cake

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons (42 g) unsulphured molasses

6 tablespoons (126 g) pure maple syrup

4 tablespoons (84 g) honey

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 cup (8 fluid ounces) warm water

2 tablespoons (28 g) vegetable oil

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine again, breaking up any lumps.

  • Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the molasses, maple syrup, honey, butter and egg, mixing to combine after each addition. Add the water and oil, and mix well. The batter will be thick.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with, at most, a few moist crumbs attached (about 40 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Originally posted on the blog in 2011 (!). Recipe unchanged, photos and text mostly new. 

Love,
Nicole

  • Jessica Douga on Facebook

    I love gingerbread!!!! And I love cake:)

  • Angie Culp on Facebook

    That looks devine!

  • Kamila Roslerova Williams on Facebook

    I love gingerbread cake! It reminds me home. Thank you.

  • Pamela G

    Have a LOVERLY weekend, Nicole…I’ll be baking and smiling…because Scott loves it when I bake…and he’s decided he loves you, too! Thanks!

    • Nicole

      You, too, Pam. Tell Scott I love him, too. And Molly. Who wouldn’t love a gluten-free dog? ;)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Pamela G

        :) Mollycake’s loves you too!!! that is as long as she can be a tester…which I daresay she is here!

  • Linda

    Am going to be all over this one, Nikki. Add gingerbread to my weekend–and blackstrap yes! I was so happy to find GF blackstrap molasses a while back. Can’t beat the taste! Years and years ago, my grandma made gingerbread cake. If there was any left the next day (big ‘if’), she would make a lemon syrup to liven it up a bit–delicious.

    • Nicole

      Oooh lemon syrup sounds amazing with gingerbread cake, Linda. Sign me up!
      I love blackstrap molasses, too. So does my husband. He’ll eat anything with that deep, rich flavor in it. Love the nostalgia!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Brian

        Did somebody say “black strap molasses”?!??!?!

        • Nicole

          That’s what it took for you to post a comment on the blog. 2 1/2 years blogging, nothing. Blackstrap molasses, and you jump in?
          You ate this last night, hon. You loved it.
          xo Nik

  • Tracy Meissner on Facebook

    Oh my goodness, I was DYING for a good gingerbread recipe just the other week. THANK YOU!!! :)

  • I forget sometimes how much I love gingerbread and everything you put in there sounds delicious. I’m going to make this soon. Big fan of blackstrap molasses and maple syrup. Have a fantastic Turkey Day, Nicole! Hugs.

    • Nicole

      Great, Lisa. Thanks for stopping by, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pamela G

    all this molasses & gingerbread talk makes me think of soft molasses cookies my gram used to make….i have to hunt down the recipe….and convert…. (I MIGHT just share….). with a good cup of java…mmmmmmm. Makes me smile thinking of her!

    • Nicole

      Food is so nostalgic this time of year, isn’t it, Pam? I love it!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Donna

    This looks like a wonderful recipe! I’m planning on making it sometime in the near future. With just the two of us it takes awhile to finish a dessert.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Donna,
      This would definitely freeze well. Or you could even make the whole recipe, and bake only half of it. Freeze the rest of the batter in a freezer-safe container (I really like the new Ball plastic screw-top freezer containers), and then bake the rest later. Or you could also bake the whole thing, slice into squares, and then freeze half. One way or another, you should have this cake! ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU! I just started looking for a gf gingerbread recipe and here it is. Back in my days of eating all things gluten, I would make a Paula Deen gingerbread trifle for Thanksgiving. Very delish, and now I can make it even better with this recipe. Yay!

  • Kat

    OH NO you di-int!
    gingerbread cake?
    for realz?!!!
    your my favorite 4-ever!

    • Nicole

      Aw, shucks, Kat. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Theresa R

    I love this – I love the ingredients, the lightness and the smell…. but mine never cooked all the way through! I did 30 minutes and then another 10. And then I thought it was done but only the outer part was done – the middle was mush. So I put it back in until the top was pretty burnt but still the inside is very wet, not at all as crumbly beautiful as your picture. I’m not totally disappointed in it because it’s edible, just not something I’d take to someone’s house.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Theresa,
      If your cake didn’t bake through, it is one of a few things. First, your oven temperature might be off. Second, many of the so-called all-purpose GF flour blends out there are really anything but all-purpose. Sorry it didn’t work out as you had hoped. :(
      xoxo Nicole

      • Theresa R

        I’ve always thought our oven had a cooler temperature, since everything always requires the maximum amount of cooking (as in 12-15 minutes for cookies will be 15 or 17 minutes for me). I did use Better Batter – I love using Better Batter for your recipes – it just works. I still love the flavor and I’m not giving up… maybe I’ll try it again if I’m not distracted by another post of yours with something else delectable to bake!

        • Nicole

          So strange, then, Theresa. I’m really stumped. Thanks for checking back in. I was going to close comments on this post, since it’s from last week, but I wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to check back in. :)
          xoxo Nicole

  • amy

    I made this recipe this past weekend. It was good. . . and, I even left the butter in the microwave. ha ha. I practically made it fat free too, all on accident. oops. ha ha ha ha ha

    • Nicole

      Oh, no, Amy! I’ve definitely done that before. Then, I go to use the microwave, and I have no idea where that butter was meant to go. So funny. Glad you enjoyed the fat free version. The one with fat is even better. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Julia

    Just made this cake- it is SO good! It is very light and has just the right amount of spices. Thank you Nicole for another awesome recipe. Now. must. try. not. eat. the. whole. thing. mylself :)

    • Nicole

      So glad, Julia. Thanks for letting me know!
      Go hide it from yourself. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kristina @ MsModify

    This cake is screaming my name! I love that it’s simple to make with easy to find ingredients!

  • Nancy

    I can’t wait to make this, I love anything ginger! My husband does not so I guess I’ll have to eat the whole thing myself.

    • It’s not spicy, though, Nancy. It really has just the right balance. You might convert him!

  • Linda Kersey

    Do you think you could bake this in a jelly roll pan and make a gingerbread log?

    • I wouldn’t recommend it, no, Linda. But that is a great idea! I’ll have to work on a recipe for that. It would have less flour, for starters. Stay tuned…

      • Faith

        Gingerbread log with a eggnog cream filling…

        • Faith

          or a lemon custard filling!

          • DCP

            Or cream cheese with some pumpkin butter or apple butter….mmmm

  • Claudette

    Nicole, did you ever try to freeze the bread? I need to get things ready well ahead of time for a huge family reunion, this would be great!

    • I’m not sure which bread you’re referring to, Claudette. This recipe doesn’t have any bread in it.

  • Billie

    Would it work to cook in a Bundt pan?

    • It should, Billie. You might have to make 1 1/2 times the recipe to have enough batter, though.

  • DCP

    Hi Nicole, just want you to know I love your blog and ‘steal’ recipes all the time, BUT I feel ok about it since I JUST BOUGHT Little Bites!!!!!! I already bought Bakes Bread and my step daughter has your first book ( : Thank you Thank you Thank you I think you are amazing to do what seems like ENDLESS testing and research.

    ?? I do have 2 questions…..1:why do you seem to prefer Better Batter over Cup 4 Cup…..BECAUSE OF COURSE I made 10 cups of your C4C GF flour….and it’s a lot of work to create those babies!!! I end up with these fine flours all over my island. 2:Do you have a tip for combining the flours without the flour dust clouds??

    I come up as DCP, but I’m Dori, nice to meet you ( :
    Looking forward to Thanksgiving with all your wonderful recipes!!!!

    • Hi, Dori! If by stealing recipes you mean that you make my recipes and then take all the credit, then why in the world wouldn’t you?! You made them, didn’t you? ;)

      I prefer Better Batter over Cup4Cup because, as I explain on my flours page, Cup4Cup is a very high starch blend. It is most suitable for making pastry. It will usually work in most of my other recipes (except for yeast bread), but I correct what I consider to be the imbalance in Cup4Cup in my “Better Than Cup4Cup” blend.

      The starches will always create a bit of a dust cloud, I’m afraid. Just spoon them out, rather than dumping them into the bowl. That helps. Glad you asked that, though, as I’m creating a video course on GF flour blends, and I will include that tip!

      • DCP

        I made and use your ‘Better Than Cup4Cup’.
        So even with the adjustments you’ve made, you still prefer YOUR Better Batter over YOUR ‘Better Than C4C’?

        Also, you responded to my comment on the waffle recipe, and then I couldn’t get back to the right place to reply. Mine were very heavy, you thought it could be a measurement or ingredients and room temp I think. Everything was EXACTLY how you laid out, I measure with an electronic scale. But later I read somewhere that you were not happy with the consistency of RedMills tapioca flour or potato starch….I forget which one, but of course I have both. so maybe that was the problem.

  • Rebecca Sherrin

    Nicole – I need to make this vegan as well. Could I replace the butter with Crisco and the egg with something else too? The holidays are complicated with multiple food needs. Thanks for any tips.
    – Becky

    • Heather Olson

      I’m not Nicole, but I just did this today. I substituted the butter for coconut oil, used a flax egg, and decreased the water by half (because I’ve had trouble with recipes being too runny with those two substitutions, so I just add enough to get the right consistency in the batter.)

  • Mary Donachy

    Made this exactly as directed, but the batter is extremely watery. It’s lighter than any cake batter I’ve made before. Are you sure the proportions are correct? 1 cup water to 2.5 cups flour and a couple cups of liquid sugar ingredients doesn’t seem right.

    • I have been making this recipe as written for many years, Mary. It is correct exactly as written. It sounds to me like you aren’t using one of my recommended flour blends. If that is the case, most likely you are using one of the blends that I specifically advise against, like Namaste.

  • JT

    Can I use Extra Virgin Olive oil instead of vegetable oil? I have pure Maple Syrup, but not molasses – what’s the difference and why both; can I delete the molasses? And regular salt instead of kosher salt ok? I looked around a lot on your site but didn’t see where you might have a list of ingredients that are ok to substitute; e.g. EVOO instead of vegetable oil. Do you have one that I just overlooked? Thank you for your passion and sharing your hard work!

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