This vegan ginger cake recipe is moist, not too sweet, and bursting with warm spices! With fresh ginger and cinnamon, it is the perfect holiday cake or anytime snack.
When the holidays roll around, there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh ginger wafting through my home. The scent is a little sweet and a little spicy, and it brings forth the cozy feelings of the holidays!
This cake just might be my favorite of all of them! It’s on the healthier side as it’s a plant-based dessert without added oils or vegan butter, and it’s made with whole wheat and quinoa flour increasing the fiber and adding a bit of protein.
While this cake is healthier than others, that’s not what makes it spectacular! What really sets this cake above the rest is the pronounced ginger flavor! The moment you take a bite you’re taste buds will explode! This cake is not for the faint of heart! It packs a gingery punch!
I topped my cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, but you could also frost it with a vegan buttercream frosting.
I loved it so much that I snuck a piece for breakfast with my morning coffee. It was pure perfection!
💗 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Whole Food Plant-Based Ingredients
- Gluten-Free Option
- Moist Texture
- Bursting with ginger flavor
- Easy and quick preparation
- A perfect cake to make for the holidays!
- Enjoy as a dessert, snack, or even breakfast!
🥣 Ingredients and Notes
Muscovado Sugar: This is a type of sugar that is less refined than traditional brown sugar but works in the same way for baking. You can find it in most baking aisles. However, if you don’t have it or can’t find it, you can use brown sugar instead.
Unsweetened Applesauce: This is used in place of butter or oil in the recipe and adds moisture to the baking.
Maple Syrup: Adds natural sweetness and needs moisture.
Molasses: Adds sweetness and that dark gingerbread color we’re familiar with in cookies and other bakes.
Unsweetened Almond Milk: Provides needed moisture.
Banana: This adds a touch of natural sweetness and helps create a moist bake.
White Whole Wheat Flour: Adds fiber and increases its nutritional value. If you’re gluten-free, you can sub a 1:1 gluten-free flour.
Quinoa Flour: Made from ground quinoa seeds, this adds a lightness to the cake and extra nutritional value in the form of protein, fiber, and nutrients.
Ground Ginger: You can add more or less depending on your flavor preference.
Fresh Ginger: This is an important ingredient to add to get that fresh gingery flavor.
Cinnamon: A classic holiday spice that adds warm undertones. Add a ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg or cloves for a stronger flavor.
Baking Powder and Salt: Needed to leaven the cake and help to balance the flavors.
Powdered Sugar: To dust on top!
👩🏻🍳 Substitutions and Variations
Gluten-Free: Make this recipe gluten-free. Substitute the whole wheat flour for a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour.
More Ginger Flavor: Add an additional two teaspoons of ground ginger to your dry ingredients.
Icing or Frosting Option: If you want to top this cake with icing, I suggest combining 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1-2 tablespoons of water or dairy-free milk and a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whisk the ingredients together and drizzle over the top of the cake. You can also whip up some easy vegan buttercream frosting.
Different Flours: If you don’t have white whole wheat flour, feel free to use all-purpose flour for this vegan gingerbread cake.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make Vegan Ginger Cake Step
- Preheat the oven to 325° F. Cut out a round circle of parchment paper and place it on the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan. Lightly grease the sides of the cake pan with coconut oil.
- Combine muscovado sugar, applesauce, maple syrup, molasses, and almond milk in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together to combine. Add the mashed banana and whisk again.
- Sift the whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour in wet ingredients. With a hand mixer, beat until the mixture is well combined. Fold in the fresh minced ginger.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 minutes at 325° F or until firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen it. Then turn it over onto a plate. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom. Gently turn it back over, and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar. Cut into slices and enjoy!
📝 Expert Tips
- Don’t skip sifting the dry ingredients. This helps to evenly distribute the flour, spices, and baking powder, resulting in a more even bake and flavor distribution.
- Once you add the batter to your cake pan, lift it and drop it a few times on your countertop. This will help evenly distribute the batter to bake up at the same height.
- Make sure the oven is preheated before you add your cake.
- Check the cake at the 25-30 minute mark. You don’t want to overbake your cake. It should be golden brown on the top (which is a bit tricky to see since the cake is already brown), and a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean.
❓ Recipe FAQS
Gingerbread tends to be flavored with molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Ginger cake has a more pronounced ginger flavor, often using fresh ginger to bring out the distinct flavor. Gingerbread is often baked in a loaf pan, while the ginger cake is baked in a round cake pan, sometimes in double layers and frosted.
Mcvities Jamaican ginger cake is vegetarian but not vegan. It contains eggs and milk.
🍽 How to Serve
I enjoy serving this cake with a simple dusting of powdered sugar! I love how it looks like snow across the top, which puts me in the spirit for the holidays!
I suggest serving this cake as a special holiday dessert or treat. But it also makes for an excellent sweet breakfast or brunch. Or, like the British, serve it with your afternoon tea!
⚖️ Serving Size
This cake maes 8 slices. You can also double the cake recipe to make a two-tiered cake and use my vegan buttercream frosting to frost it.
❄️ How to Store and Keep
Room Temperature: Store the cake in an airtight container. I suggest wrapping the whole cake in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to keep all the air out. The cake will be good for 3-5 days.
Freeze: Allow the cake to cool completely. Then wrap it in plastic wrap or press and seal wrap. Then wrap it again in aluminum foil and transfer it to a freezer-safe container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrost: When ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw for at least 8 hours. Do not remove the cake from the wrapping. Allow it to thaw while still in its wrap. After 8 hours it will be ready to dust with powdered sugar, or icing, and serve!
😋 More Vegan Cake Recipes!
Vegan Ginger Cake
- ½ cup muscavado sugar or brown sugar
- 6 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup dark molasses
- 7 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- 1 banana mashed
- 1 ½ cups wholewheat flour
- ½ cup quinoa flour
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Cut out a round circle of parchment paper and place on the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan. Optional: Lightly grease the sides of the cake pan with coconut oil. In a medium mixing bowl combine muscavado sugar, applesauce, maple syrup, molasses, and almond milk. Whisk together to combine. Add mashed banana and whisk again.
- Sift together whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour in wet ingredients. With a hand mixer, beat until well combined. Fold in the fresh minced ginger.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 minutes at 325 F or until firm to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn over, remove parchment paper from the bottom, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. When ready to serve dust with powdered sugar. Cut into slices and enjoy!
- Don’t skip sifting the dry ingredients. This helps to evenly distribute the flours, spices, and baking powder and results in a more even bake, and flavor distribution.
- Once you add the batter to your cake pan, lift it and drop it a few times on your countertop. This will help evenly distribute the batter so that it bakes up at the same height.
- Make sure the oven is preheated before you add your cake.
- Check the cake at the 25-30 minute mark. You don’t want to overbake your cake. It should be golden brown on the top (which is a bit tricky to see since the cake is already brown), and a toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
- Wrap in saran wrap and aluminum foil, and keep at room temperature. The cake will be good for 3-5 days.