This Gluten-Free Gingerbread is rich with molasses, cinnamon and ginger. It tastes just like old-fashioned gingerbread cake and is delicious with cream cheese glaze or simply lightly dusted with powdered sugar. This easy gluten-free cake makes for the perfect holiday breakfast or dessert!
Gingerbread cake is one of my favorite things to make during the holidays. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert and is a great easy cake to bring to parties and holiday meals.
This gingerbread cake recipe turns out like old-fashioned traditional gingerbread. It’s rich in ginger and molasses flavor and has a nice crumb and texture. You’d never guess it’s gluten-free!
This gluten-free gingerbread is delicious topped with a cream cheese glaze or simply dusted with powdered sugar. Either way you make it it’s sure to disappear at your holiday gathering!
Ingredients for Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread cake has a few very specific, classic ingredients. I also have some ingredients I include in this gluten-free version to help it turn out perfect every time.
- A high-quality gluten-free 1:1 baking flour: I like to use gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend like King Arthur Flour in my baked goods. It works best to use a blend that contains xanthan gum in this recipe.
- Almond flour: Adding a little almond flour gives this cake richness and flavor. If you’re looking to make this nut-free see the recipe card for instructions. It will still turn out great!
- Lemon juice: A little lemon juice gives gluten-free baked goods some extra lift and helps the crumb to be tender rather than dense.
- Molasses: A quintessential ingredient in gingerbread! I use easy-to-find unsulphured molasses.
- Ginger + Spices: Ginger, of course, is the main spice in gingerbread! And this recipe has plenty of it. A few other seasonal spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg also round out the flavor.
- Hot water: If you look at any classic gingerbread recipe they all use hot water to thin the cake. This gluten-free version uses the same trick!
You can make this gingerbread cake in either a bundt pan OR a loaf pan depending on your preference. The baking time will be a little different depending on what you choose but either way will turn out delicious.
How to Make Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake
These how-to numbered pictures match up with the instructions below.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the butter (or shortening) and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix to combine.
- Mix in the molasses, egg and vanilla.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients, 1/2 cup at a time.
- Slowly drizzle in 1 cup of boiling water followed by the applesauce.
- Bake. It will smell amazing!
Once the cake is cooled you can top it with a dusting of powdered sugar for a simple cake or drizzle it with some cream cheese glaze for a more decadent dessert. Either way is delicious!
If you enjoy this Gluten-Free Gingerbread you would also love my Gluten-Free Sticky Toffee Pudding. It makes a show-stopping holiday dessert. You also might want to try my Gluten-Free Carrot Cake. The texture and flavor is spot one – plus it’s covered in whipped cream cheese frosting (yum!).
If you make this recipe or have any questions leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, or shortening for dairy-free
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/3 cup applesauce
Cream Cheese Glaze (Optional):
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted if needed
- 1-2 tablespoons hot water
- In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and butter (or shortening). Mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg, lemon juice, vanilla and molasses. Mix well to combine, scrapping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix to fully incorporate. Slowly drizzle in the hot water and beat to combine. Scrap down the sides if needed. Add the applesauce and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- FOR A BUNDT PAN: Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with, at most, a few moist crumbs. FOR A LOAF PAN: Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with, at most, a few moist crumbs. You may need to cover the top with a piece of foil halfway through baking so the top doesn't brown too much.Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
- MAKE THE GLAZE: Using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese. Make sure they are both softened so the glaze isn't lumpy. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Thin the mixture with 1-2 tablespoons of hot water. Microwave the glaze for 15 seconds to make to pourable (but not too hot), then drizzle over the cake.
RECIPE ORIGINALLY PUBLISH 11/2015. Post updated 11/2019.