This vegan and Gluten-Free Gingerbread Loaf is super moist, tender and richly flavored with molasses and warm spices. Topped with an optional coconut glaze, this dairy-free gingerbread loaf cake is a classic treat to enjoy for Christmas brunch or as a holiday dessert.
As the creator of an online dairy-free and gluten-free baking school, I know how difficult it is to find gluten-free baked goods that are just as delicious as conventionally made treats. And it’s particularly disheartening during the holidays when we want to partake in our favorite, nostalgic treats with friends and family without compromising our dietary needs. My allergy-friendly Gingerbread Loaf recipe promises classic gingerbread flavor and a soft, moist texture without gluten, dairy, nuts, or eggs so that all eaters can enjoy!
Table of contents
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Loaf
This gingerbread loaf is like a quick bread meets a gingerbread cake. The fine oat flour base creates a soft, tender texture and a moist crumb. Grain-free baking powder leavens the loaf and helps give it a light and fluffy texture without eggs. The loaf is infused with a homemade gingerbread spice blend — ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This medley of ground spices provides sweetness, warmth, and depth of flavor. Coconut sugar is just one of the unrefined sugars used to sweeten this loaf, while some sea salt balances and enhances the overall flavor profile.
The main ingredient that provides moisture and infuses the loaf with robust flavor is, of course, the molasses. This unrefined sweetener gives the loaf its characteristic dark brown color. Avocado oil and applesauce add richness and moisture, with the applesauce also acting as an unrefined sweetener. The flaxseed egg binds and adds moisture instead of traditional eggs in this vegan gingerbread loaf.
Once baked, this rich gingerbread loaf has the perfect balance of warm, sweet, and spicy notes and a soft, moist texture. With this allergy-friendly gluten-free gingerbread loaf, you and your loved ones can enjoy this traditional holiday dessert without compromise!
- flaxseed meal
- oat flour – use certified gluten-free oat flour or learn how to make your own oat flour.
- grain-free baking powder – I used the Otto’s Naturals brand of grain-free baking powder.
- ground cinnamon
- ground ginger
- ground nutmeg
- ground cloves
- sea salt
- coconut sugar
- applesauce – use unsweetened applesauce since we’re adding natural, unrefined sweeteners.
- avocado oil
- blackstrap molasses – I use unsulphured blackstrap molasses for a minimally processed sweetener.
- apple cider vinegar
Coconut Glaze (optional)
- coconut butter
- coconut oil
- cinnamon – for garnish, optional
- Flaxseed meal: this is the same as ground flaxseed. See the FAQs for my suggestion on using eggs*.
- Coconut sugar: you can replace with maple sugar instead.
- Coconut-free Modification: use maple sugar instead of coconut sugar and omit the coconut glaze.
- I don’t recommend any other substitutions.
Step 1: Prep the Oven and Loaf Pan
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Step 2: Make a Flax Egg
Whisk together the flaxseed meal with water in a small bowl or cup. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes so it thickens into a gel-like consistency. Continue with the other steps while it congeals.
Step 3: Make the Batter
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Then, in a separate bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients.
Next, pour the wet ingredient mixture into the center of the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to combine and form a smooth batter.
Step 4: Pour the Batter into the Loaf Pan
Pour the gingerloaf bread batter into the center of the prepared loaf pan, using a spatula to spread it evenly.
Step 5: Bake
Place the loaf pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 37-40 minutes. You’ll know the gingerbread loaf is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
Step 6: Cool
Remove it from the oven and allow the gingerbread loaf cake to cool in the pan for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.
Step 7: Make the Coconut Glaze (optional)
If you’d like to use the optional coconut glaze, melt the coconut butter and coconut oil in the microwave. Whisk to combine.
Drizzle over or use an offset spatula to spread it on the top of the cooled loaf. Additionally, you can garnish the loaf cake by sifting a bit of cinnamon over the glaze.
Step 8: Serve
Slice and serve.
Tips & Tricks
- Ensure the freshness of ingredients, especially the spices for the best aromatics and flavor, and the leavening agent for rise and fluffy texture. Using old or expired baking powder may result in a dense or gummy loaf cake since it won’t rise properly.
- Allow the flax egg to rest and thicken for at least 5 minutes, until it becomes a gel-like texture. It needs time to congeal to be an effective binder for this vegan gingerbread loaf.
- If you’re using your own homemade oat flour, ensure the oats are finely ground and sifted to achieve the best texture. Sifting the flour is particularly important to achieve a smooth batter to create the ideal texture for this loaf cake. If the flour is too course or gritty the texture will be affected.
- Wet ingredients like the applesauce should be at room temperature rather than very cold directly from the fridge, so it mixes easily and evenly. Warm cold ingredients before using if necessary.
- Avoid overmixing the batter to maintain a light and fluffy texture.
- Avoid overbaking to prevent the gingerbread loaf from drying out. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the loaf. It’s ready if the toothpick comes out clean or with few moist crumbs.
- As with all gluten-free baked goods made without eggs, let the loaf cool properly so it fully sets and doesn’t crumble. However, reheating it slightly before serving really enhances the texture and brings out the flavor, especially after storing in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Refer to the Ingredients Substitution section.
This loaf contains oats, flaxseed meal and nutmeg. These grains and seeds are eliminated in the first stage of the autoimmune protocol (AIP diet). I haven’t tested this recipe with grain-free flours or a gelatin egg so I cannot recommend any modifications to make it AIP compliant. If you’re looking for paleo and AIP gingerbread treats, try my AIP gingerbread squares or AIP gingerbread cookies.
I have not tested with regular chicken eggs myself but would ‘guesstimate’ that two small eggs could work.
No, I don’t recommend making the batter and refrigerating or freezing it to bake later.
Room Temperature: Once fully cooled, store this gingerbread loaf in an airtight container on the countertop for 2-3 days.
Fridge: Store this gluten-free gingerbread loaf in an airtight container or resealable bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave.
*If trying with eggs, store the loaf in the fridge and not at room temperature.
Freezer: Store the loaf in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave.
I hope you love this Gluten-Free Gingerbread Loaf. If you do, I would appreciate it if you would give the recipe a rating and review. Be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious and using the hashtag #healmedelicious.Print