This Vegan Gingerbread Cake is perfect for the Holidays! A moist ginger cake with a cookie butter filling is decorated with cute piped chubby gingerbread men. Vegan, easy, delicious and is the perfect showstopper for any Christmas table this holiday season!
Vegan Gingerbread Cake
If you are gingerbread obsessed like me, then you are going to absolutely love this cake. Three soft and moist ginger sponges are sandwiched between the most luscious whipped ginger frosting, with puddles of cookie butter and crushed up cookies for crunch. It’s my weakness all in one cake! Don’t even get me started on the decoration.. IT’S SO CUTE! The little gingerbread men wrap around the cake in the most gorgeous festive design, I’m in love!
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Why you’ll love this gingerbread cake:
- TASTE: This vegan gingerbread cake is moist, fluffy, perfectly spiced with hints of caramelised cookie butter and crunchy bits of gingerbread biscuits. It’s literally Christmas in a cake!
- VARIATIONS: The cake can be customised to suit you. For example, you could swap out the cookie butter / Biscoff filling for a cranberry jam, caramel sauce, ginger cream or chocolate ganache for example.
- DIFFICULTY: The cake is really simple to prepare as all the ingredients are mixed in one bowl (with only the buttermilk in a jug). We’re also using a super easy whipped American style buttercream, with the addition of some ground ginger for added flavour.
- STORAGE: The frosted cake keeps very well in the fridge and maintains it’s mosit texture which means you can prepare the cake a few days in advance if needed. Just make sure it’s kept in an air tight / sealed container for optimum moistness!
- DECORATION: The easiest but most effective design has to be the piped gingerbread men. They are so easy to make and pipe on the sides of the cake but look amazing! You can make them as large or little as you prefer.
Ingredients you’ll need:
This recipe is super easy, using ingredients you may already have in your kitchen cupboards / pantry. If not, don’t worry… I’ve listed them below for you to jot down on your shopping list for your next shopping trip. You can find the quantities including the full method and ingredients list in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Dairy-free milk : This is for making a vegan buttermilk. Soya milk works best, but you can use any dairy-free milk including almond, oat and cashew.
- Apple cider vinegar.
- Self Raising Flour.
- Caster sugar : Use a fine, white sugar.
- Ground spices : Ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon and ground mixed/ all spice.
- Raising agents : Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
- Sunflower oil : Make sure to use a neutral flavoured oil.
- Black strap molasses – You can also use black treacle.
- Dairy-free butter : Use a dairy-free block butter for best results (Flora Plant Butter is my go-to)
- Icing sugar : Sieve before use to remove any clumps.
- Biscoff spread / cookie butter : Use smooth or crunchy.
- Cocoa powder.
- Ginger biscuits : Crumble up some vegan friendly gingerbread biscuits / cookies for inside the cake and for decoration.
How to make a Vegan Gingerbread Cake
This is the kind of cake that will have your friends and family questioning if you even made it, it’s THAT good! Serve it with a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate with a Christmas film on the TV for the ultimate festive, cozy experience. You can find the full written recipe and ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Cake / sponges
Mix together the milk and vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes, this creates a vegan buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the oil and molasses into the buttermilk. Add the wet into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
Divide the batter into three lined baking tins and bake the cakes until golden brown, risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cakes are springy to the touch. Allow them to cool fully before filling and frosting.
- Stacking and frosting
In a bowl, whisk the butter until pale and creamy. Add in the icing sugar and spices. Whip until light and fluffy. Once the cakes are cold, stack and fill the cakes with buttercream and fill the middle with some melted Biscoff spread and crushed gingerbread biscuits. Repeat until the cake is stacked, then, crumb coat and chill until firm. Once chilled, give the cake a final coat of buttercream. Colour some frosting with cocoa powder, transfer into a piping bag with a round tip nozzle. Pipe a swirl of buttercream around the top edge border of the cake.
- Gingerbread men decorations
Pipe gingerbread shapes using the brown buttercream around the sides of the cake and decorate with a little white frosting. Serve and enjoy!
How to make the BEST vegan buttercream
You’re after a thick, whippy, smooth and creamy buttercream? Then you’ve come to the right place! This is the ultimate soft, lightly spiced buttercream frosting which is perfect in taste and texture. Made using Flora Plant Butter, the buttercream contains only a few ingredients is simple to make.
You’ll want to make a spiced butter for the ultimate gingerbread buttercream. Whip the Flora butter along with the ground ginger and cinnamon until pale and fluffy then add in the icing sugar and splash of dairy-free milk until it’s the perfect light and creamy consistency. This buttercream will be used for stacking the cakes, crumb coat, final coat, swirl on top and the gingerbread ‘icing’.
Speaking of the gingerbread men, any left over buttercream can be coloured with some cocoa powder, transferred into a piping bag fitted with a round top nozzle and piped into shapes around the sides of the cake. I then use some of the white buttercream for the details. It’s such a simple yet effective design and tells you exactly what the cake flavour is… LOVE IT!
Tips for stacking & decorating the cake
When the gingerbread cake layers are cool to the touch, they’re ready to stack, fill and decorate. The cakes should bake even / flat, but if they have a bit of a domed top, use a sharp serrated knife to trim off the domes. The leftovers make for a great snack – haha!
If you want the cakes to be even and each slice to have the perfect layers; pipe the buttercream then use an off-set spatula to spread it flat. This will ensure a even base for the next layer of cake.
I decorated my cake in a super fun, festive style with a rustic speckled white buttercream and piped gingerbread men on the side. The light buttercream background contrasts against the brown gingerbread men making them stand out beautifully.
The cake is topped with a swirl of buttercream and crumbled up gingerbread cookies / biscuits. Other great alternative topping ideas include:
- Crushed Biscoff biscuits: As the cakes are stacked with melted Biscoff, added crunch from caramelised Biscoff cookies on top is simple scrumptious!
- A caramel drizzle : Go all out and add a sweet caramel drizzle to the top of the cake. You can use my vegan 3 ingredient caramel sauce for this.
- Puddle of melted Biscoff : Top the cake off with a puddle of melted Biscoff. When you then cut slices, Biscoff oozes out.. it’s glorious!
- Candied oranges : The addition of citrus / zesty oranges alongside the spiced cake and cookie butter is delicious, and makes for a really yummy flavour explosion!