This fluffy spiced vegan ginger cake is very easy to make and is perfect for Christmas. It's topped with a vanilla buttercream and coconut for a festive touch! Who knew that shredded coconut can make something look so magical?!
Simple ingredients you'll need
Plain / all-purpose flour
Brown or coconut sugar, for the lovely caramel undertones
Dairy free milk, such as soy, almond or coconut. Any milk is fine!
Dark molasses (known as treacle in Australia and the UK). As this cake has no egg, I added a little more molasses to help bind the ingredients :). You can actually use any other liquid sweetener instead of molasses but your ginger cake will have a lighter flavour.
Light-tasting vegetable oil such as sunflower, rapeseed and some olive oils.
Spices including ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg (and lots of it)
Baking soda, vanilla and vinegar (not pictured)
Steps for making the easy vegan ginger cake
Some ginger cake recipes ask for boiling water as this helps soften the molasses and improves the flavour. Instead of doing that, we just need to warm up our molasses! This can be done on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Once you've warmed up your molasses, combine all your wet ingredients (including the sugar) in a large mixing bowl. It's easier to mix the wet ingredients first because the molasses can be quite sticky.
Add all your dry ingredients and mix until combined. Just make sure there are no lumps of flour! The final batter should look runny, but feel thick when stirring and a little sticky.
At this stage, simply pour the batter into your cake pan and bake for around 20 minutes.
Decorating the vegan ginger cake
To decorate this cake, it's easiest to:
- Spread the buttercream on top
- Slice the cake
- Top with coconut
Alternatively, you can decorate the cake with buttercream and coconut THEN slice it. However, when you slice into a cake with coconut, each strand digs into the soft cake. So I'd recommend sprinkling the coconut after slicing!
Customising the cake
To make cakes gluten free, normally I'd recommend using a high quality 1:1 gluten free flour. Or substituting the plain flour with 50% almond flour (blanched almond meal) and 50% gluten free all purpose flour by weight. I haven't tried it with this recipe but I think it will work!
This cake is lightly spiced but for an extra ginger kick I'd recommend adding an extra tablespoon of ground ginger. If you have access to ginger juice, use it instead of some of the dairy free milk!
Try using any other liquid sweetener. Obviously other sweeteners aren't as sweet or have a deep flavour like molasses but the cake will still be delicious.
Yes! I haven't tried it so don't know how long you'd have to bake it for. However, just use a skewer to test when it's ready.
See my other vegan Christmas dessert recipes
- Gingerbread cookies (refined sugar free)
- Layered Gingerbread Cake
- Raspberry and Pistachio Wreath Recipe
- Spiced Fruit Christmas Wreath Recipe
Vegan ginger coconut cake
- ½ cup (120g) dark molasses, or dark treacle in the UK/Australia (not blackstrap molasses)
- 1 cup (250g) dairy-free milk, such as almond, soy or coconut
- ½ cup (120g) brown sugar, or coconut sugar
- ½ cup (120g) light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed
- 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar, optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (340°F). Line or grease a 20 cm (8-inch) square baking tin.
- Warm up the molasses on the stove top for a few minutes or in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it's very runny.
- Add all the wet ingredients (and the sugar) to a large mixing bowl and mix until combined. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until smooth.
- Pour the batter into your cake tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until you can insert a skewer in the middle and it comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
To make the buttercream frosting and decorate:
- Add the sugar, butter and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk to beat until light and fluffy. If your frosting is still very soft, add more sugar or corn starch and mix until combined.
- When the cake has fully cooled, spread the frosting on the cake. Slice the cake then generously top the frosting with coconut, pressing some of it in so it sticks. Serve and enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- For a gluten free ginger cake, I'd recommend using 1 ½ cups (150g) almond flour and 1 ½ cups (160g) gluten free all-purpose flour. Or use a high quality 1:1 gluten free flour such as Bob Red Mills.
This recipe was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2021.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.