This gluten-free vegan gingerbread cake is a delicious festive dessert, perfect for Christmas and any other special occasions, as well as oil-free, dairy-free and beginner-friendly. Decorated with an easy coconut frosting made from cashew nuts.
We’re a relatively small family of 2, but this vegan gingerbread cake still disappeared within 24 hours because it was just that yummy. Nah, ‘yummy’ is an understatement. If you’re looking to do some Christmassy baking over the next few weeks, I’d 110% recommend you put this cake on the menu.
Since getting back from uni for the holidays last week, I’ve been baking a lot. There just wasn’t enough time for it during the term, and I’ve missed creating a variety of sweet and savoury baked treats in the kitchen. I’ve wanted to bake a layer cake for a while, so this recipe was the first on my to-do list.
I have to admit that it did take a few attempts (luckily my mum has an office full of colleagues willing to eat mediocre cake). But the outcome of gingerbread deliciousness shows that failure is an opportunity to learn from your mistakes!
About this vegan gingerbread cake
The main cake sponge is made out of mostly oat flour, but thanks to the other ingredients and plenty of gingerbread spice, it does not have an oat-y aftertaste. Overall, the vegan gingerbread cake is super fluffy, with just the right amount of sweetness, and is of course super festive. Baking it made my entire house smell like Christmas!
I decorated this cake with a thick layer of coconut icing, the base of which is cashew nuts. This works wonderfully with the flavours of the sponge. Although, I had a hard time not eating all of it on its own with a spoon.
Making this vegan gingerbread cake is also super easy. I’m no expert baker and savoury food is much more within my comfort zone, so I can guarantee that even a complete beginner can recreate the deliciousness fuss-free. The lack of stress involved means that this is a great dessert to make before Christmas or any gatherings and parties in the run up to it.
You’ll love this cake because it’s…
- 100% vegan, as always. Your new favourite dessert, minus the animal products.
- Super fluffy and soft. In other words, exactly what you look for in a cake.
- Relatively healthy, made with wholesome ingredients.
- Easy. You definitely don’t need to be an expert chef.
- Perfect for any celebratory occasion. This will impress vegans and non-vegans alike.
- Non-vegan approves. This is always a must for my recipes!
- Seriously super delicious!
How to make a vegan gingerbread cake
Because the frosting needs to stay in the fridge for at least 4 hours, I would recommend doing this first, preferably the night before.
Add the soaked cashews to a blender or food processor together with maple syrup, coconut milk and vanilla extract. Blend until the icing is very smooth, which should take around 5 minutes, depending on how powerful your blender is.
Meanwhile, activate the agar agar powder on the stove by stirring it with water over a low-medium heat and then add this to the frosting, blending for around a minute more. Transfer the frosting to an airtight container and leave to set in the fridge.
After 4 hours, or the next day, start making the sponge. In one mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. These are oat flour, coconut sugar, ground flaxseed, ground ginger, baking powder and baking soda.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, which are a plantbased milk of your choice (I used unsweetened almond milk), apple cider vinegar and peanut butter. Then, add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until they are thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly between two 8-inch cake tins and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C/350 F for around 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Once they are ready, allow the sponges to cool for at least 15 minutes before assembling the cake. Spread a thick layer of icing on one of the sponges.
Then, placing the other sponge over it and add another layer of icing on top, spreading some around the edges if desired.
Finish off by decorating with toppings of your choice such as fresh berries and melted dark chocolate (this step is optional but super fun!). Serve the resulting vegan gingerbread cake straight away. Alternatively, you can store it in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Tips and modifications
- To make a single-layer vegan gingerbread cake, simply halve the recipe.
- You can also make the icing chocolatey by adding 1-2 tbsp cacao powder.
- I usually make my own oat flour, but you can also buy store-brought either in health food stores or online.
Other recipes you might like…
- Cranberry orange muffins are another delicious festive treat.
- Or how about some vegan polenta cake?
- This vegan gingerbread cake would be a fantastic dessert after an easy lentil loaf!
Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite Christmas dessert? If you give this vegan gingerbread cake a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations!
Vegan Gingerbread Cake With Coconut Frosting (Gluten-free)
For the cashew frosting
- 3 1/3 cups cashew nuts soaked for at least 4 hours, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp agar agar powder
For the cake
- 3 cups gluten-free oats
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 6 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 2/3 cups unsweetened almond milk or any other plantbased milk of choice
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsbp smooth peanut butter
To decorate (optional)
- dark chocolate, melted
- fresh berries of choice
To make the frosting
- At least 4 hours before you want to assemble the cake, preferably the night before, add the soaked cashews to a blender or food processor together with maple syrup, coconut milk and vanilla extract. Blend until the icing is very smooth, which should take around 5 minutes, depending on how powerful your blender is.
- Meanwhile, activate the agar agar powder on the stove by stirring it with around 1/2 cup water over a low-medium heat and then add this to the frosting, blending for around a minute more. Transfer the frosting to an airtight container and leave to set in the fridge.
To make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F.
- Meanwhile, add the oats to a food processor or blender and blend until a fine oat flour forms. Transfer to a large mixing bowl together with the coconut sugar, ground ginger, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking powder and baking soda and whisk. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the almond milk, apple cider vinegar and peanut butter.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Divide the mixture between two 8-inch cake tins, and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes before assembling the cake.
- Spread a thick layer of icing on one of the sponges. Then, placing the other sponge over it and add another layer of icing on top, spreading some around the edges if desired.
- As an optional step, finish off by decorating with toppings of your choice such as fresh berries and melted dark chocolate.
- The cake is best when served straight away, but you can leave it in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container.