This vegan gingerbread loaf recipe is soft, fluffy, and full of warm spices that will make your whole house smell like Christmas! It's the perfect recipe to make for the holiday season and it's got an amazing, creamy, dairy-free frosting.
This recipe was inspired by the seasonal Starbucks gingerbread loaf recipe and I've included instructions on how to add the touches that will make this recipe taste just like (or even better than) the seasonal holiday treat that we love!
How to enjoy this delicious gingerbread cake
This delicious gingerbread loaf recipe pairs so well with a warm cup of coffee on a cozy winter day. The smell of holiday spices is perfect for this time of year and I've created this recipe to make it slightly healthier than traditional ginger cake so that it can make for a great breakfast option or a light and fluffy dessert.
I've made the recipe healthier by adding less sugar in the frosting, while still maintaining the delicious flavor. I also subbed half of the regular flour for ½ whole wheat flour and ½ oat flour, to add extra nutrients. This loaf is also entirely vegan/ dairy-free and all-around perfect for healthy holiday baking!
Creating the classic gingerbread flavor
To create that delicious gingerbread flavor that reminds us so much of the holidays, a few spices are key. They are allspice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Ideally, mixing all of these ingredients would make for the most delicious gingerbread loaf. However, I know that buying a whole container of a spice that you might only use in one recipe can be annoying, so if you are missing one of these, don't worry, you can still make a delicious gingerbread without one-two of them. For example, I've made this a few times without having ground cloves on hand, but I thought the loaf still tasted delicious. It would be best if you included all of them, however, and I definitely wouldn't skip out on the cinnamon and ginger, personally.
What you'll need to make this vegan gingerbread loaf recipe
- whole wheat flour: you can also use all purpose flour. If you need to make this loaf gluten free, you can use a 1:1 gluten-free flour like this one from Bob's Red Mill or this one from King Arthur Baking.
- oat flour: you can easily make your own oat flour at home by finely grounding oats in a high speed blender. I prefer using store-bought oat flour because it is ground very finely and is perfect for baking. If you don't have any oats or oat flour on hand, you can also sub the oat flour for plain flour (whole wheat or all purpose).
- coconut sugar: you can also use brown sugar or white sugar, if you prefer.
- baking powder
- baking soda
- ground ginger
- ground cinnamon
- ground nutmeg
- ground cloves
- sea salt
- orange zest (optional): if you want this loaf to taste just like the gingerbread loaf at Starbucks, add in 1 teaspoon orange zest and chunks of orange peel (up to ¼ cup of chopped orange peel). You're going to want to chop it into small pieces, about the size of chocolate chips.
- dairy-free milk: I used almond milk in this recipe, but any plant-based milk will work. I also love baking with soy milk.
- coconut oil: you can also use vegan butter instead.
- unsweetened apple sauce
- vanilla extract
- can of coconut cream: you will use the solid part that forms at the top of a can of coconut milk when refrigerated.
- powdered sugar / icing sugar
- vanilla extract
- optional: coconut flakes to top (to resemble snow).
Cream cheese frosting option
For this recipe, I used coconut cream from a can to create the creamy frosting. If you don't have any on hand, you can substitute the coconut cream for vegan cream cheese.
Full instructions and nutritional information are listed at the bottom of the recipe in the recipe card. If you try and like the recipe, it would mean so much to me if you could leave a star rating and a review (:
How to make the best homemade gingerbread loaf
Start by combining all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mixing them well.
Next, in a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.
Grease a baking pan with coconut oil or a nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
Then pour the gingerbread batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake the loaf for 40-45 minutes at 350*F/ 175*C. To check that it's done, perform the toothpick test by sticking a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, without batter on it, the loaf is done. If your loaf is too deep to use a toothpick, you can also use a butter knife instead of a toothpick.
Once the loaf is done baking, place it on a wire rack to cool off completely. Give it at least 30-40 minutes to cool off.
While the loaf is baking, create the frosting.
Note: Make sure that the coconut cream has been refrigerated overnight before using it!
Open up the can of coconut cream and scoop out ⅔ cup of just the solid part that has formed at the top. Add it to a medium bowl. To that bowl also add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix everything well.
I like to use a hand mixer to mix the frosting to make it even fluffier and creamier. You can use an electric mixer, a stand mixer, or use a whisk and whisk it all together by hand.
Once the gingerbread has baked (and has completely cooled off), frost the top of the cake with the coconut cream frosting. Sprinkle some coconut flakes on top to make it even more festive!
Cut some thick slices of the moist cake and enjoy!
Store the gingerbread in the fridge for up to a week. Don't leave it out of the refrigerator for too long or the frosting will melt!
Other vegan holiday recipes you might enjoy
Vegan Gingerbread Loaf Recipe
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup oat flour
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- + 1 teaspoon orange zest optional
- 1 cup dairy-free milk
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ⅔ cup coconut cream the solid part that forms at the top of a can of coconut milk when refrigerated
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- optional: coconut flakes
- Start by combining all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mixing them well.
- Next, in a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.
- Grease a loaf pan and pour the gingerbread batter into it.
- Bake the loaf for 40-45 minutes at 350*F/ 175*C.
- While the loaf is baking, create the frosting.
- *Make sure that the coconut cream has been refrigerated overnight before using it!
- Open up the can of coconut cream and scoop out ⅔ cup of just the solid part that has formed at the top. Add it to a bowl. To that bowl also add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix everything well.
- Once the gingerbread has baked (and has completely cooled off), frost it with the coconut cream frosting. Sprinkle some coconut flakes on top to make it even more festive!
- Store the gingerbread in the fridge for up to a week. Don't leave it out of the refrigerator for too long or the frosting will melt!
How to store the gingerbread loaf
Store this loaf in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil in the fridge. Because the frosting is coconut cream based, you don't want to leave the loaf out at room temperature for too long because the frosting will melt. Take it out when you are ready to enjoy it.