This Almond Flour Gingerbread Cake is filled with warm and cozy spices and rich molasses flavor. It’s naturally gluten-free with an incredibly moist and tender crumb. Leave it unfrosted or top it with a dairy-free spiced cream cheese frosting!
I’m not sure there is anything better around the holidays than the smell of gingerbread coming from the kitchen. The combination of ginger, molasses and other warming spices is so inviting, and the scent carries throughout the entire house.
If you’re also a lover of gingerbread, I highly recommend these ginger molasses cookies and these chewy ginger cookies with lemon cream cheese frosting. They’re both a must-make on my Christmas baking list every year.
Table of contents
What makes this almond flour gingerbread cake so good?
- Like all of my almond flour cake recipes, this one went through multiple rounds of testing to ensure it’s not too crumbly and perfectly moist (but not mushy). It also needed to have the perfect rise and most amazing gingerbread flavor.
- Speaking of flavor, molasses and ginger go so well together. It’s definitely one of the best holiday flavor combos!
- The almond flour ensures this cake doesn’t dry out, even after days of being stored in the fridge.
- If you’re not a lover of frosted gingerbread, no worries. This one is perfectly sweet and flavorful all on its own.
Ingredients and substitutions
Below is a brief overview of the ingredients and recommended substitutions. The recipe card at the end of this post includes the exact quantities used.
Almond flour – Finely ground blanched almond flour is your best option for almond flour cakes. I normally buy the large bags at Costco. Be sure you’re using almond flour and not almond meal.
Spices – For the gingerbread spices you’ll need a combination of ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. You’ll also need some cinnamon and nutmeg for the cream cheese frosting.
Molasses – Molasses is a must in order to create a deep, rich gingerbread flavor. Make sure you are using fancy molasses and not blackstrap molasses. Fancy molasses is sweeter, while blackstrap is bitter, so they should not be used interchangeably.
Eggs – Three large eggs brought to room temperature will help this cake bind and rise.
Coconut sugar – The caramel taste of coconut sugar pairs well with the molasses and spices in this cake. While brown sugar will produce a similar taste, it may add a bit more moisture to the cake, so substitute with caution. I haven’t tested this cake with granulated or cane sugar.
Maple syrup – For added sweetness, you’ll also need some maple syrup. For an even deeper flavor, you could try substituting the maple syrup with more molasses, but I have not tested this.
Oil – Just 1/4 cup adds some extra moisture. I used extra virgin olive oil but feel free to substitute with avocado oil or vegetable oil.
Baking powder – For leavening. Be sure to use baking powder and not baking soda, which will cause your cake to sink in the middle.
Salt – I used fine sea salt, but kosher salt works too.
Vanilla – To enhance the flavors of the other ingredients. If you can, use real extract and not artificial.
Cream cheese – To keep this recipe dairy-free, use plant-based cream cheese. I’ve been using Daiya brand lately. This isn’t sponsored, I just really like the texture and how it performs in frosting. (Some brands can make frosting a bit runny). You can use dairy cream cheese if you don’t need this recipe to be dairy-free.
Butter – I normally look for a plant-based butter that says on the label that it works like regular butter in baking. I recommend using sticks of butter and not the spreadable kind. You can use dairy butter if you don’t need this recipe to be dairy-free.
Powdered sugar – This will thicken and sweeten the frosting. I normally use anywhere from 1 1/2 – 2 cups. Be sure to sift it first so your frosting isn’t lumpy.
How to make gluten-free gingerbread cake
Below is a brief overview of the steps to make this gingerbread cake along with photos. For further details, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.
More topping options
If you’re not a fan of cream cheese frosting, here are some other options:
- Leave the cake unfrosted. This is a totally delicious option and makes the cake even easier to make!
- Try a spiced buttercream like the one in this apple spice cake recipe.
- Add a glaze. Just whisk together 1/2 cup (70 grams) of sifted powdered sugar with 2-4 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, milk or water. Drizzle over the top.
- Go for something completely unconventional and top it with this chocolate avocado frosting.
For convenience, US cup measurements are included in the recipe card for this recipe. To ensure greater accuracy, however, weight and volume measurements are also provided. So, if you see grams (g), you’ll want to use a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients, and if you see milliliters (ml), you’ll want to use a liquid measuring cup. Smaller quantities of ingredients are provided in teaspoons and tablespoons.
Storage and freezing tips
If you top your cake with the cream cheese frosting, you should store it covered in the fridge. Since the almond flour keeps the cake moist, it will last for 5 days, if not longer.
The unfrosted cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
You can also freeze the unfrosted cake. Once the cake is cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe bag or container. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. You’ll just need to defrost it at room temperature before frosting.
Key recipe tips
- Measuring flour. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, I recommend measuring your flour using the spoon and level method with a dry measuring cup. If you measure it by scooping the flour out of the bag or container, it will be packed into the cup and result in too much flour for the cake.
- Molasses. I mentioned it under the ingredients section, but it’s worth repeating. Be sure to use fancy molasses and not blackstrap molasses.
- Room temperature butter and cream cheese. In order to cream them together easily, bring your dairy-free butter and cream cheese to room temperature. Just note that they don’t normally need a lot of time to soften compared to dairy versions.
- Grease and line the pan. I almost always grease the bottom and sides of a my pans and then line them with slightly overhanging parchment paper. This makes it so much easier to lift the cake out of the pan and helps prevent it from sticking to the pan or browning too much.
- Let the cake cool. Almond flour cakes need time to cool. If you cut into this gingerbread cake while it is still warm, it will be too crumbly. You also don’t want to frost a warm cake as the frosting will just melt off.
As I wanted this recipe to be made specifically with almond flour, it hasn’t been tested with any other type of flour. If you’re looking for a gingerbread cake made with wheat flour, I highly recommend this easy gingerbread cake recipe.
While both almond flour and almond meal are made from raw ground almonds, I don’t use them interchangeably. Almond flour is made with blanched almonds (with the skins removed) and is finely ground. Almond meal is made with almonds that have the skins left on so it has a coarser texture. For the best cake texture, I recommend finely ground blanched almond flour.
While this cake is dairy-free, in order to make it vegan, you would need to replace the eggs with a vegan substitute. I haven’t tested this so I’m not sure if the cake would have the same rise or texture.
This cake bakes best in an 8×2-inch square pan. You can use a 9-inch square, but your cake will not be as tall and you’ll need to reduce the baking time by about 5 minutes.
I tested this cake in an 8×2-inch round cake pan, and it sank in the middle ever so slightly. So, it’s probably just a little too much batter for the pan. If you have an 8×3 inch round cake pan or a 9×2 inch round pan, those should work okay for this recipe as long as you adjust the baking time. I haven’t tested this cake in a loaf pan, but it could work in a 9×5 inch loaf pan. You’ll just need to increase the baking time.
This usually happens when your cake pan is too small for the amount of batter in the recipe. This cake was made in an 8×2-inch square pan. If you use a smaller pan, your cake may sink in the middle.
A sunken cake may also be caused by under-baking. Ovens can vary so always be sure to insert a toothpick into the center of the cake to check for doneness. Be careful, however, not to check on the cake too soon. Opening the oven door too early and letting cooler air into the oven may also cause the cake to deflate.
More almond flour recipes
- Almond Flour Apple Cake
- Almond Flour Carrot Cake
- Almond Flour Cranberry Orange Bread
- Almond Flour Blondies
- Almond Flour Cupcakes
- Lemon Almond Flour Cake
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!Print
Almond Flour Gingerbread Cake is filled with warm and cozy spices and rich molasses flavor. It’s naturally gluten-free with a dairy-free spiced cream cheese frosting!
For the cake:
- 2 1/2 cups (260g) fine blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup (40g) coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (85g) fancy molasses
- 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 4 ounces (113g) plant-based cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (56g) plant-based butter, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) powdered sugar, sifted (plus more, if necessary)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×2 inch square pan and line it with slightly overhanging parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses, maple syrup, oil and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and use a spatula to stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth out the top with an offset spatula.
- Bake for 29-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, add the cream cheese, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg to a mixing bowl and use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to cream together. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake. Slice and serve, or store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- For the best texture, make sure you are using fine blanched almond flour and not almond meal.
- If you don’t have a kitchen scale to weigh your flour, be sure to measure it using the spoon and level method with a dry measuring cup.
- In my experience, plant-based butters and cream cheeses don’t need a lot of time to soften at room temperature compared to dairy versions.
- Some plant-based cream cheeses may not even need to be left at room temperature. If the variety you’re using seems soft, just skip the step of bringing it to room temperature.
- When using plant-based butter for frostings, I prefer baking sticks or blocks over the spreadable kind.
- For a thicker and sweeter cream cheese frosting, just add more powdered sugar.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: gluten-free, almond flour, gingerbread, cake, dairy-free, cream cheese frosting