Vegan Gingerbread Cake

by Phil Buckley

This quick and easy vegan gingerbread cake is topped with maple coconut whipped cream and makes the perfect, holiday dessert for your celebrations!

As I am sure you all are aware, vegan baking can be really difficult. You often have to use sort of strange replacements for ingredients that just don’t react the same way during the baking process, and baked goods turn out the wrong texture. It can be frustrating, to say the least. The amazing thing about this vegan gingerbread cake is that there are no egg replacements or just weird ingredients that you’ve never used.

This cake rises beautifully when it bakes and turns out so moist and fluffy. You would never know that it’s vegan! It also takes about 5 minutes to make the batter, and the rest of the time is just baking and cooling. Even the topping is super easy to make!

How to make vegan gingerbread cake

The vegan substitutions in this cake are to use vegan butter, applesauce and non-dairy milk in place of eggs, butter and milk. The applesauce does not really add any flavor but makes for a super moist and delicious cake. I like to use unsweetened almond milk, but any non-dairy milk will work great and won’t really add any additional flavors to the gingerbread. For the vegan butter, there are a lot of really good options out there now. I’m a fan of Earth Balance, but any vegan butter will work great!

To make this cake, all you do is whisk together the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in two separate bowls. Then fold the two together just until combined, pour into your prepared cake pan and bake!

How to make the coconut whipped cream

I went with a whipped cream for this cake because it is actually so delicious and sweet on its own already. You don’t want to overpower the flavor of the gingerbread with a super sweet buttercream so the coconut whipped cream sweetened with a little maple syrup is the perfect complement. You can absolutely use regular whipped cream as well if you are not vegan or dairy free.

Coconut whipped cream is simple to make, but you need to make sure that the coconut cream is cold and solid before whipping it. This requires a little bit of foresight as you’ll need to store the can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight. The other option is to pop it in the freezer in the morning and let it freeze for 4 hours.

I know that’s an annoying step, but if you can remember to do that, it’ll come together so quickly! Also, a little secret is that you can buy pre-made coconut whipped cream in most health food stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts in a pinch.

How to make chocolate-dipped figs and sugared cranberries

The chocolate-dipped fresh figs and sugared cranberries on top of this cake are absolutely optional, but they are a pretty addition! You could use any fresh fruit that is in season if you’re having a hard time finding figs as well.

For the figs, simply melt about 3 ounces of white chocolate and 3 ounces of dark chocolate in the microwave. Makes sure you use good quality chocolate and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. For white chocolate, look for chocolate that has cocoa butter rather than oil in the ingredients, or it will get lumpy when you try to melt it. Melt in 20-30 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each. Dip fresh figs (or other fruit) in the white and dark chocolate, let excess drip off and place on parchment to set.

For the sugared cranberries, bring 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup sugar to a boil over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the cranberries in a bowl and let sit for about 30 minutes. Strain the cranberries, roll them in sugar and leave them out on a paper towel to dry for another hour. Pro tip is to keep the syrup and use it in cocktails or your coffee.

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