This gluten free gingerbread loaf is moist, full of flavor and made in one bowl. It’s topped with a simple cream cheese frosting and perfect for all of your holiday baking needs! Plus, it can easily be made dairy free.
Gingerbread cookies are my go to holiday dessert, but this gluten free gingerbread loaf cake might just be my new favorite.
It has a rich flavor from molasses, ginger and cinnamon and is made in just one bowl. It’s soft and fluffy but still has that slight density that you need in any good quick bread!
You can easily make it both dairy free and refined sugar free which makes it a healthy dessert option during a very sugar filled time of year.
If you love this recipe, try my apple cake next!
BUTTER. The butter will add a lot of moisture and richness to the gluten free gingerbread. You can sub for refined coconut oil or vegan butter for a dairy free option.
SUGAR & MOLASSES. You need 1/2 cup each of granulated sugar and molasses. There is no sub for molasses as that is a key ingredient in gingerbread. However, you can use any kind of granulated sugar you like! White, dark brown, light brown or coconut all work.
APPLE SAUCE. A generous serving of applesauce as moisture without the need for too much butter or oil!
EGGS. You need two eggs which will give the gingerbread a nice rise and a fluffy texture.
FLOUR. I used the Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour, but any kind of gluten free all purpose flour should work as long as it has xanthan gum. If you are not gluten free, you can try subbing for regular all purpose flour.
SPICES. A mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves will get your house smelling like heaven.
How to make gluten free gingerbread
MIX WET. Add the softened butter to a large bowl with the granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds-1 minute. Beat in all remaining wet ingredients.
MIX DRY. Beat in the dry ingredients, making sure to spoon and level the flour. Mix just until combined, then add to the prepared pan and spread the top until smooth.
BAKE. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
COOL. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then lift out and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
FROST. Once the loaf has cooled completely, spread the frosting on top. Top with crushed walnuts and cinnamon and enjoy!
Is it a cake or loaf?
You can really think of it as either! I guess it’s more like a cake since it has frosting, but it’s made in a loaf pan so my brain thinks of it as a gingerbread loaf!
I have not tried making this in another pan, but I imagine an 8×8 baking pan should work and would turn this into more of a snack cake.
The bake time will be shorter, closer to the 30 minute mark, but keep an eye on it and let me know how it turns out!
How to store gingerbread
Once prepared, this gluten free gingerbread will store at room temperature for about 5 days. Once it’s sliced, you’ll want to be sure to keep it completely covered so it doesn’t dry out.
You can also freeze it before frosting! Just let it cool completely, slice, then transfer to a freezer safe bag for up to 2 months. Let thaw, then reheat in the oven and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
Can I use almond flour?
No, almond flour unfortunately won’t work in this recipe. You generally can’t sub all purpose flour for almond flour 1:1.
Almond flour does not absorb wet ingredients the same way as all purpose flour does so the structure won’t be able to support itself if you make that substitute.
Can I make it vegan?
I have not tested a vegan gingerbread version, but since there are only two eggs, I do think it would work ok.
My recommendation is to use either 1/2 cup more apple sauce, a store bought vegan egg replacer or two flax eggs.
To make the flax eggs, whisk 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of water. Let sit until thick, then proceed with the rest of the recipe as usual.
Can I make muffins or cupcakes?
Yes! Whether they’re muffins or cupcakes I suppose is dependent on whether you think this is a loaf or a cake and whether or not you add frosting!
To make muffins/cupcakes, follow all of the instructions as usual, but bake in a lined muffin tin for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Try these holiday desserts next!
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Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf
by: claire cary
- ½ cup room temperature butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar see notes
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup apple sauce
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 ½ cups GF all purpose baking flour I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1
- 1 teapsoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces plain cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the softened butter to a large bowl with the granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds-1 minute.
- Beat in all remaining wet ingredients.
- Beat in the dry ingredients, making sure to spoon and level the flour.
- Mix just until combined, then add to the prepared pan and spread the top until smooth.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then lift out and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, add the room temp cream cheese to a bowl and beat for 30 seconds with an electric mixer.
- Beat in the vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. If it's too thin, add in a splash of milk to thin it out to your desired consistency.
- Once the loaf has cooled completely, spread the frosting on top.
- Top with crushed walnuts and cinnamon and enjoy!