Skill Level: Easy | Time: 1 hour 5 minutes | Servings: 12
This vegan gingerbread loaf recipe is easy to make and creates a beautifully spiced dessert loaded with classic gingerbread flavors along with molasses! It’s soft and fluffy, and the spices perfectly balance with the sweetness making for an irresistibly satisfying loaf.
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Is Gingerbread Loaf Vegan?
While gingerbread loaf can easily be made vegan, most recipes contain eggs and/ or dairy. These ingredients are easy to substitute out; in this recipe you’ll learn how to make a delicious, dense-yet-fluffy and flavor-packed vegan gingerbread loaf!
Luckily, the flavors associated with gingerbread are created from spices, all of which are vegan! Molasses is also a classic gingerbread ingredient that’s almost always vegan (but check the brand you use to be sure).
Ingredients to Make Dairy Free Gingerbread Loaf
The ingredients for this recipe are simple, although several gingerbread spices are required along with molasses for a delicious loaf!
- Ground flaxseed: When mixed with water, ground flaxseed creates a gel that’s an ideal vegan replacement for eggs! This mixture is often called a flax egg.
- All-purpose flour: Regular white flour creates the base of the loaf and provides a nice soft texture.
- Baking powder and baking soda: These ingredients help the loaf rise and become fluffy as it bakes.
- Dry ground ginger: You can’t have a gingerbread loaf without the most important flavor! Dry ground ginger makes for an easy cooking experience.
- Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and mace: All these spices together create a beautiful flavor and are often used in gingerbread recipes! While there’s only a small quantity of some spices, they all play a part in creating the delicious flavor! If you’re missing one of the spices that’s fine, but I like to keep all these around as they come in handy for so many recipes.
- Salt: A touch of salt brings together all the flavors of this loaf!
- Vegan butter or margarine: Some fat brings lots of rich flavor and is also helps the thick molasses mix properly.
- Molasses: Molasses is one of the star flavors of this recipe along with the ginger. They bring depth of flavor, light sweetness and beautiful color to the final loaf.
- Brown sugar: Molasses isn’t too sweet on its own, so some brown sugar helps round out the dessert’s flavors. Overall this isn’t a very sweet dessert; spices balance the sugar perfectly.
- Plant-based milk: Liquid helps combine the ingredients together, so I decided to use plant-based milk (soy milk) for some extra flavor. I recommend an unsweetened and unflavored option.
- Apple sauce: This is a great way to add additional necessary liquid and natural sweetness to the loaf. You can use a sweet or unsweetened option, depending on your taste preferences.
- Vanilla extract: There’s just something about vanilla that makes flavors in dessert pop. This recipe is no exception!
- Icing or glaze: Making an icing is completely optional and there’s lots of ways you can do it. All you need is icing sugar and liquid. For the liquid, use plant-based milk or water for a plain taste. Orange juice or cranberry juice are other options for more flavor and either choice works great with gingerbread.
How to Make Vegan Gingerbread Loaf: Instructions and Video Tutorial
This is generally a simple recipe. If you’ve ever made a quick bread (for example, banana bread) before, you’re familiar with the steps. Just mix the dry ingredients, then wet ingredients before combining to bake.
There’s just one small extra step for this recipe since we use molasses and it’s extremely sticky!
Step 1: Mix Flaxseed “Egg”
The first step is to mix ground flaxseed with water. Stir together then let sit to the side for now.
Flaxseed creates a gel in water. This acts as a great replacement for eggs in this, and lots of other vegan baking recipes!
Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients. If you don’t have a whisk, a spoon will do the job!
The dry ingredients in this recipe include all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, mace) and salt.
While sugar is technically “dry”, it’s typically considered a wet ingredient because it dissolves into liquid creating more liquid volume. Things like flour, on the other hand, soak up liquid and thicken the batter!
Step 3: Mix Wet Ingredients
For the wet ingredients, we need to work around the fact that molasses is extremely sticky. To do this, just mix the molasses with melted vegan butter or margarine.
Get a large microwave safe bowl (I use a large glass measuring cup), measure the vegan butter and melt in the microwave (about 40 seconds).
Once the butter is melted, measure the molasses. It’s helpful to use cooking spray/ oil to grease the measuring cup before measuring the molasses. Since we use the same amount of butter and molasses, the measuring cup already used for butter is already greased. Just use that same measuring cup!
Stir the molasses into your melted butter until well mixed. Now you don’t need to worry about molasses sticking because it’s been mixed with fat.
Stir in the remaining wet ingredients including brown sugar, plant-based milk, apple sauce and vanilla extract.
Once these are mixed through and smooth (the brown sugar is dissolved) stir in the flaxseed “egg” made earlier. This won’t mix through completely, but break it up as much as you can so it’s evenly mixed.
Step 4: Stir Wet and Dry to Create Batter
Pour the wet mix into the dry ingredients, then stir together until everything is just combined. You don’t want to overmix the batter.
“Just combined” means that all the dry ingredients are mixed and there are no sections with dry clumps of flour. Don’t stir more than this; motion works the flour’s proteins and can create a tough, chewy loaf which is the opposite of what we want!
Step 5: Bake
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease a loaf pan using cooking spray or some vegan butter.
Pour the batter into your loaf pan, then tap the pan on the counter a few times to level the top of the batter.
Once heated to 350 °F, pop it into the oven and cook for 45 minutes. It may take up to 50 minutes depending on your oven. The loaf should spring back when lightly pressed in the center and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean when it’s done.
Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then carefully remove onto a cooling rack.
Step 6: Icing and Serve
While the loaf is cooling, stir together the icing ingredients, if you’re using icing.
Allow the loaf to cool completely before drizzling some icing over the top.
Slice and serve! This loaf goes great with a hot cup of tea!
How to Store Gingerbread Loaf: Refrigerating and Freezing this Recipe
Gingerbread loaf should cool completely at room temperature before storing in an airtight container. It’s fine to store on the counter for up to 5 days or in the fridge for a week.
This recipe can also be frozen easily. Once the loaf is cooled, wrap in tin foil then place into a freezer bag. It can be sliced before being frozen. This loaf is good to store for 3-4 months in the freezer.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do! The first loaf I made didn’t last long (and I only got 1 slice out of it!).
Vegan Gingerbread Loaf
- Loaf pan
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium microwavable bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 tbsp flaxseed , ground
- 6 tbsp water
- 2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp dry ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp ground mace
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ C vegan butter or margarine
- ½ C molasses
- ½ C brown sugar
- ½ C plant-based milk (I use soy)
- ½ C apple sauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ C icing sugar (aka powdered sugar)
- 1 tbsp liquid of choice (water, plant-based milk, cranberry juice, orange juice)
- orange or lemon zest (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- In a small bowl, stir together 2 tbsp ground flaxseed and 6 tbsp water. Set aside so it can thicken into a “flax egg”.
- In a large bowl, whisk or stir together the dry ingredients: 2 C all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp dry ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¾ tsp ground nutmeg, ½ tsp ground cloves, ¼ tsp ground allspice, ¼ tsp ground mace and ¼ tsp salt.
- In a separate, medium-sized microwave safe bowl, add ½ C vegan butter or margarine and melt in the microwave (about 40 seconds). Once melted, whisk in ½ C molasses until well combined.
- Next, whisk in the remaining wet ingredients until smooth: ½ C brown sugar, ½ C plant-based milk, ½ C apple sauce and 1 tsp vanilla extract (it may be chunky if the apple sauce isn’t completely smooth).
- Then, whisk the flaxseed “egg” into the wet ingredients. It’ll leave some chunks and that’s ok.
- Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until combined. Try to not overmix (just stir until there is no more dry flour).
- Grease a loaf pan with oil spray and pour in the gingerbread loaf batter.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes away clean (and if you lightly press on the top, it rebounds completely). It may take up to 50 minutes depending on your oven.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan then transfer onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing, slicing and serving.
- Icing/ glaze
- Mix all icing ingredients together. Allow loaf to cool completely before drizzling over the top.