Years ago I inherited a gingerbread recipe that sent my taste-buds flying. It was a dear friend’s mom’s, and I remember the first time I made it for a group of friends. Back then, I was relatively unfamiliar with basic cake techniques, and the idea of “starting and ending with dry” seemed practically scientific.
The cake got raves. But after that first time, I couldn’t eat it. My milk allergies had gotten worse.
Fast forward ten years later and I made the recipe my own. I think actual ginger-bread is too often overlooked in favor of its cookie-d cousins. Which, trust me, I enjoy thoroughly. But there’s something so homey and warm and New England holiday about it that I particularly love.
Substitution ingredients are below, but this blend of ingredients produced a moist, perfectly sweet, highly-spiced cake that I ate way too much of as soon as it was cool enough to slice.
Notes: I used butter, but not milk, substituting with unsweetened almond milk. To make completely dairy-free, substitute the melted butter with melted butter-flavored Earth Balance. You can use regular all-purpose flour (2 cups) if you don’t have gluten problems, or substitute with a gluten-free mix of your own. I use less xanthan gum in this recipe than you might expect – if you want to omit completely, just add 1 Tbsp of flax meal.
Another time I made this recipe I used 1 cup white rice, 1/2 cup tapioca, 1/2 cup sorghum and 1/4 cup millet and it worked well too!
Top with unsweetened coconut milk whipped cream for a special holiday treat!
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch / flour (or arrowroot starch)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup melted butter (or melted Earth Balance to make dairy-free)
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vinegar and enough unsweetened almond, soy or cow’s milk to make 1/2 cup of liquid total
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup hot water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan (preferably something thick like a Pyrex dish), set aside.
- In a measuring cup, heat the milk and vinegar so that it’s slightly warm.
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment), add flours, tapioca starch, salt, baking powder, baking soda, xantham gum and spices. Stir/mix/whisk quickly to combine.
- Make a well in the center and pour in this order: molasses, maple syrup, melted butter, egg, and milk/vinegar mixture.
- Stir/mix together until combined.
- Add hot water and beat until combined.
- Pour into pan and bake for 40 minutes or until slightly browned on top and slightly springy when you press it with your finger.
- Cool for 15 minutes, then loosen from the pan with a knife and invert onto cooling rack.
- Cool completely before slicing.
Decorate with sifted powdered sugar and whipped cream (either cow cream or coconut milk are delish!)