This gluten-free gingerbread cake is rich with molasses, cinnamon and ginger. It tastes just like old-fashioned gingerbread cake and makes an elegant holiday breakfast or dessert!
Gingerbread cake is one of my favorite things to make during the holiday season. 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 moist crumb and lovely 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!
Video: How to Make Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake
Ingredients You’ll Need
Gluten-Free 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 gluten-free flour 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!
- Ginger + Spices: Ground ginger, of course, is the main spice in gingerbread! And this recipe has plenty of it. A few other seasonal spices like cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg also round out the flavor.
- 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. I don’t recommend blackstrap molasses. I also use unsulphured in these gluten-free gingerbread cookies.
- Hot water: If you look at any classic gingerbread recipe they all use boiling water to thin the cake. This gluten-free version uses the same trick!
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 separate bowl.
- Add the butter (or shortening) and white sugar or to the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer). Mix to combine.
- Mix in the molasses, eggs (room temperature) and vanilla.
- Gradually add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.
- Slowly drizzle in 1 cup of hot water.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. 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 frosting for a more decadent dessert. Either way is delicious!
If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can also make this classic gingerbread cake in a 9×9 square pan.
I hope you love this gluten-free gingerbread cake recipe as much as we do. If you try it, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons, 1/2 cup)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 cup hot water
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
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the brown sugar and butter. Mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Mix in the lemon juice and molasses. Mix well to combine, scrapping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the water starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with, at most, a few moist crumbs. 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 11/2022.