A Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake Recipe for the Holidays

Indulge in the moist and tender goodness of a gluten-free gingerbread cake, perfect for the holidays or any time you crave a delicious treat. This easy snack cake recipe requires just one bowl, making it a convenient choice for busy bakers.

The Best Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake Recipe

Back in 2011, I created this recipe for the gluten-free gingerbread cake, and it has stood the test of time. Unlike my usual habit of tinkering with recipes, this cake remains flawless as it is. When you glance at the ingredient list, you might be taken aback by its length. However, fear not! This is a dump-and-mix recipe, where all the ingredients come together harmoniously in one large bowl. No need to mix the wet and dry ingredients separately; simply add them all at once.

The recipe calls for generous amounts of ground cinnamon and ginger, perfectly balanced with the sweetness of honey, maple syrup, and molasses. The resulting batter is thick and slightly sticky due to the liquid sugars. But don’t worry, all you need is a moistened spatula to spread it evenly in a lined baking pan.

An 8-inch square pan will yield a thick cake, which I personally adore. However, it will take a little longer to bake. Make sure the center is firm before taking it out of the oven. For those who can’t wait, using a 9-inch square pan will reduce the baking time to approximately 35 minutes.

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The Rich Cream Cheese Glaze

Enhance the flavors of this gluten-free gingerbread cake by adding a decadent cream cheese glaze. Unlike cream cheese frosting, which is typically a buttercream variation with cream cheese, this glaze relies on confectioners’ sugar for its richness. To prepare the glaze, mix cream cheese with confectioners’ sugar and gradually add water (or milk) until you achieve the desired consistency. The glaze should be thick but pourable, and can even be spread on each slice individually for an extra treat. For added visual appeal, consider adding vanilla bean seeds to the glaze.

Freezing the Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake

While it is possible to freeze this cake successfully, keep in mind that its incredibly moist texture makes it challenging to handle. The crumb is so tender that it sticks to your fingers if you touch the top after it has cooled. If appearance isn’t a top priority or if you plan to top it with the cream cheese glaze, then freezing is a viable option. The taste will remain exquisite, but ensure you wrap it tightly to prevent freezer burn.

Ingredient Substitution Suggestions

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Gingerbread Cake

If you’re avoiding dairy, try substituting vegan butter for regular butter in the cake batter. My personal favorites are Melt and Miyoko’s Kitchen brands. For the glaze, consider using a simple sugar glaze or your preferred non-dairy cream cheese. Keep in mind that finding the perfect non-dairy cream cheese alternative can be challenging, as it’s difficult to replicate the slightly tangy, rich, and creamy taste of traditional cream cheese.

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Gluten-Free Egg-Free Gingerbread Cake

With only one egg in the generously-sized cake, it’s relatively easy to replace it with a “chia egg.” Mix one tablespoon of ground white chia seeds with one tablespoon of lukewarm water and allow it to gel. This substitute should work well in this recipe.

Sugar Alternatives for the Gluten-Free Cake

I do not recommend using alternative sugars in this cake. Sugar serves more purposes than just sweetness. It also provides structure and tenderness to baked goods. With various sugars playing vital roles in this recipe, it’s important to maintain the balance of flavors and textures they offer. While molasses and honey have similar consistencies, their tastes differ significantly. Replacing one with the other will impact the overall flavor profile. The same applies to pure maple syrup, which has a different consistency and subtler taste. Replacing brown sugar with granulated sugar mixed with a teaspoon of unsulphured molasses might work, but it may require some trial and error.

How to Make Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide

Gingerbread Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to the desired temperature.
  2. Gather your ingredients: ground cinnamon, ground ginger, honey, maple syrup, molasses, butter, gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, eggs, and buttermilk.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Don’t worry about any specific order; just dump them in.
  4. Mix everything together until well combined and you have a smooth batter.
  5. Grease and line your baking pan with parchment paper.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a moistened spatula.
  7. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake until the center is firm, and a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  8. While the cake bakes, prepare the cream cheese glaze by mixing cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and water (or milk) in a bowl. Adjust the consistency as needed.
  9. Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely.
  10. Once cooled, slice the cake and serve with a generous drizzle of cream cheese glaze.
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Now you have an irresistible gluten-free gingerbread cake that’s sure to be a hit at any gathering. Enjoy the warm, comforting flavors and share the recipe with your friends and family. For more delightful recipes, visit Family Cuisine, your go-to source for delicious homemade meals.

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