By/ Last Modified On September 5, 2023
If you're searching for a show-stopping dessert bursting with warm, cozy flavors, this gluten-free gingerbread cake is a perfect choice. With its tender crumb, fragrant spices, and rich molasses flavor, topped off with a luscious cream cheese frosting, this cake is a must-try for any holiday gathering or cozy winter night in. This cake is sure to become a crowd-pleaser.
This Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake inspired this gingerbread cake recipe. If you like this gingerbread cake, you'll also love this Gluten-Free Spice Cake. For more recipe ideas, check out my Gluten-Free Desserts.
Sign up for a Udemy gluten-free course today and learn how to create delicious gluten-free meals and desserts that cater to your dietary needs without sacrificing taste or variety!
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake Recipe
I'm super excited to share my newest cake recipe with you! This gluten-free gingerbread cake is incredibly tender and perfectly balances spices and molasses.
This gluten-free gingerbread cake recipe only uses one bowl, a few measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, and a 9×13 baking pan.
It takes less than 15 minutes to whip up and bakes in about 30 minutes, making it simple with minimal cleanup.
As mentioned, you can dust this gluten-free gingerbread cake with powdered sugar, frost it with a smooth cream cheese frosting (recipe below) or frost it with a rich buttercream frosting. All three work really well with the flavors.
Why You’re Going to Love This Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake
Cozy spice combination - The combination of spices (ginger, cinnamon, and cloves) gives it a warm and cozy flavor that is perfect for the Fall and winter seasons.
Moist and fluffy - The cake is moist and fluffy, thanks to the addition of canola oil and molasses. The cream cheese frosting adds a rich and tangy contrast to the sweet cake, making it even more delicious.
Easy to make - It's easy to make and can be enjoyed as a dessert or as a sweet treat with a cup of coffee or tea.
Ingredients in Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake
For The Cake
All-purpose gluten-free flour - This is the base of the cake and is used instead of wheat flour to make the cake gluten-free. Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour is specifically formulated to substitute wheat flour in recipes like this one. This cake does not have almond flour in it. Almond flour is a denser and heavier flour compared to all-purpose gluten-free flour.
Baking powder and baking soda - These leavening agents help the cake rise and become fluffy.
Salt - This enhances the flavor of the cake and balances the sweetness.
Ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves - These spices add the signature gingerbread flavor to the cake.
Canola oil - This adds moisture and richness to the cake.
Granulated and dark brown sugar - These sweeten the cake and add moisture and flavor.
Eggs - This helps to bind the cake together and add structure.
Molasses - This adds sweetness and helps give the cake its dark color. I have not used blackstrap molasses. It can, however, be used in baking, it has a strong flavor and can overpower other ingredients, so it is often used in small quantities or in recipes that can handle its distinct taste.
Vanilla extract - Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the cake.
Milk - Adds moisture and helps create a smooth, pourable batter.
For The Cream Cheese Frosting
Full-fat cream cheese - Adds tanginess and creaminess to the frosting.
Unsalted butter - Unsalted butter adds richness and flavor to the frosting.
Powdered sugar - This sweetens the frosting and also helps to thicken it.
Vanilla extract - Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the frosting.
Milk - This helps to create a smooth, spreadable consistency for the frosting.
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Equipment Needed for This Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake
A large mixing bowl - Use your mixing bowl to combine the dry and wet ingredients to make the cake batter.
Whisk - You'll need a whisk to combine the dry ingredients and also to mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
9x13 inch baking pan - This is the size of the baking pan you will need to bake the cake in.
Electric beater - You'll need an electric beater to mix the cream cheese frosting.
Spatula - You'll need a spatula to spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake.
Cooling rack - Once the cake is baked, you'll need a cooling rack to cool it before frosting it.
If you have any questions about making Gluten-Free Gingerbread, please leave a comment, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
How To Make Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake
- Measure out dry ingredients and add them to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Whisk until combined, and all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Pour your gluten-free gingerbread cake batter into a 9×13 pan and level with the back of a rubber spatula.
- Bake as directed or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Don’t over-bake.
- Cool completely, frost and serve.
For the full list of ingredients in this gluten-free gingerbread cake, please see the recipe below.
Cream Cheese Frosting
I’ve included my cream cheese frosting recipe for this easy gluten-free gingerbread cake recipe. Most cream cheese frosting recipes are similar, but I tend to use less cream cheese and more butter in mine, giving the frosting a lighter texture. Butter and cream cheese, together with sugar, vanilla, and milk, make a great frosting.
You can use my cream cheese frosting recipe or your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. You can also try a cream cheese glaze. Cream cheese glaze is a great alternative to traditional frosting.
Tips for Making the Best Gluten-Free Gingerbread
Measure the flour accurately - Accurately measuring the flour is crucial for gluten-free baking. Too much flour can dry and dense the cake, while too little can make it crumbly. Scroll down for additional advice on measuring gluten-free flour.
Don't overmix the batter - Overmixing the batter can cause this gluten-free cake to become tough and dry. Mix the ingredients until they are just combined and smooth, then stop.
Use room temperature ingredients - Room temperature ingredients mix together more easily, resulting in a smoother batter and a more evenly baked cake.
Let the cake cool completely before frosting - If you try to frost a warm cake, the frosting can melt and slide off. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it.
Adjust the spices to your liking - If you prefer a stronger ginger flavor, increase the amount of ginger in the recipe. Similarly, if you prefer a milder flavor, decrease the amount of ginger.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream - A dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream can perfectly complement gingerbread cake's warm and spicy flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this gingerbread cake dairy-free?
Yes, you can make this gluten-free gingerbread cake dairy-free. Mix dairy-free milk in the cake batter with dairy-free frosting.
If you want to make a dairy-free cream cheese frosting, try this Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting.
Can I substitute the eggs?
I haven't tried substituting the eggs in this gluten-free gingerbread cake recipe. If you do, please come back and let me know how it turned out.
Is Molasses Gluten-Free?
Yes, molasses is gluten-free. Always double-check ingredients. Some brands of molasses may add extra ingredients, and formulas may change.
How Do You Work with Gluten-Free Flours?
When working with or measuring gluten-free flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level. Do not scoop your measuring cup into the gluten-free flour.
The best method really is to weigh the gluten-free flour, but I don't have the ingredient weights for all my recipes yet.
Can You Make Ginger Cake Ahead?
Yes, you can make gingerbread cake ahead of time. Once the cake is cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out, and store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze the gingerbread cake for longer storage.
Can I Freeze Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake?
Yes, you can. Trap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. The cake can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
What Substitutions / Replacements Can I Make in This Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake?
Milk - You can use any type of milk in this recipe, including dairy-free milk like almond milk or coconut milk.
Oil - You can use any type of oil that you prefer, such as vegetable oil, coconut oil, or melted butter.
Molasses - If you don't have molasses, you can use honey or maple syrup instead, although the flavor and texture of the cake will be slightly different.
Brown sugar - You can use coconut sugar, white sugar, or any other type of granulated sugar instead of brown sugar.
Cream cheese frosting - If you don't like cream cheese frosting, you can use any other type of frosting that you prefer, such as buttercream or whipped cream.
It's important to note that if you make any substitutions or replacements, the ginger cake may differ slightly in taste or texture from the original recipe.
How Can I Serve This Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake?
The easy gingerbread cake can be served warm or at room temperature, depending on your preference. It's delicious on its own or topped with cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, or a dusting of powdered sugar. You can also serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on the side for a decadent dessert.
What Is Unsulphured Molasses?
Unsulphured molasses is a type of molasses made from fresh sugar cane juice that hasn't been treated with sulfur dioxide, resulting in a slightly sweeter and cleaner taste. It is a popular choice for baking and cooking and is considered to be a healthier option than sulfured molasses due to the absence of chemical residue.
More Gingerbread Recipes
Gluten-Free Gingersnaps - Perfectly spicy and not too sweet, these Gluten Free Ginger Snaps are perfect for the holidays.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Donuts - Tender, fluffy donuts with hints of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves - the ultimate gingerbread treat. These gingerbread donuts are super simple to make, and they are incredibly delicious.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake - This gluten-free gingerbread cake recipe is easy to whip up and is perfect with a dusting of powdered sugar, cream cheese frosting, or vanilla buttercream frosting.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Coffee Cake - This tender, flavorful, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Coffee Cake will warm you from the inside out. The rich flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and molasses give this gingerbread coffee cake its delicious flavor.
Chocolate Gingerbread Bars - Gluten-Free Chocolate Gingerbread Bars are a fun way to enjoy traditional gingerbread, but with a chocolaty twist. These gluten-free gingerbread bars are tender, flavorful, and perfectly sweet.
No Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake - Gluten-Free No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake that's simple to make and full of gingerbread flavors.
For the Gingerbread Cake:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour)
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup canola oil (or oil of choice)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup molasses (fancy or regular works best)
- 1 ½ teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature (½ block)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan; set aside.
- Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Whisk until combined and all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Pour cake batter into your prepared pan.
- Bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- For the cream cheese frosting: add room temperature cream cheese and room temperature butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed with an electric beater until smooth and creamy. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time, alternating with the milk. Add in remaining powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and continue to mix until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- When the cake cools, frost the cake, slice and enjoy.
- I’ve testing this gluten free molasses cake with my Gluten Free Flour Blend and Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten Free Flour Blend (not the all purpose gluten free flour blend).
- Dairy-Free Option: Use a dairy-free milk in the cake batter and top it with a dairy-free frosting.
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ChefAide 4 Pieces Silicone Spatula Set, Food Grade Rubber Spatula, Upgrade Strong Handle with Ergonomic Grip, Heat Resistant Up to 600°F for Nonstick Cookware, Cooking Baking Mixing
Checkered Chef Cooling Rack - Set of 2 Stainless Steel, Oven Safe Grid Wire Cookie Cooling Racks for Baking & Cooking - 8” x 11 ¾"
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 203mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 0gSugar: 52gProtein: 2g
This nutrition info is based on the exact ingredients and brands used at the time. It may not be 100% accurate. Please check your ingredients nutrition labels.