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Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake Recipe

Simple Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake is a gorgeous and moist 3-layer cake that’s shockingly easy to make! It’s frosted with cream cheese frosting and decorated with sugared cranberries.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake on a cake stand decorated with sugared cranberries and sugared rosemary

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I’ve made a lot of gluten free cake recipes over the years and all of them have been good. Well, not just good. Very, very good.

But this gluten free gingerbread cake? This one takes the cake. 

Of all the cakes I’ve made and tested, this is by far my favorite. It’s so moist, it’s not heavy, the crumb is absolutely perfect. Hands down, it’s the best gingerbread cake recipe I’ve ever had.

I first made this cake last Christmas for my mom’s birthday and you may have seen it on my Instagram stories last Christmas Eve. It’s still in my “baking” highlights if you want to compare this year to last year – I think I did a pretty good job re-creating the look!

You guys are going to absolutely love this Christmas gingerbread cake you’re going to want to make it year round. And why shouldn’t we? Gingerbread should be made all winter long IMO.

This show-stopping 3-layer gluten free gingerbread cake is the most amazing gluten free cake you’ll ever have! It’s moist with the perfect crumb and texture. It’s perfectly spiced and pairs perfectly with cream cheese frosting. This cake is very simple to make and doesn’t require a stand mixer or hand mixer, it can all be mixed by hand! If you don’t want a 3 layer cake, it can also be baked as a 9x13 cake. It’s the ultimate Christmas cake! #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #glutenfreedesserts #cake

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.


What You Need To Know About This Gingerbread Layer Cake Recipe:

This cake is SUPER easy to make, don’t be intimidated by how it looks! No special equipment needed, it’s frosted with a classic cream cheese frosting, and the sugared cranberries and rosemary are optional but they’re also simple and stunning!

There are dairy free instructions listed as well as baking instructions for a 9×13 gingerbread cake. This is truly an easy gingerbread cake recipe that anyone can make.

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Can I make this ginger cake dairy free?

Yes! To make the cake dairy free, I use unsweetened coconut milk beverage + 1 tablespoon white vinegar in place of the buttermilk. 

To make vegan cream cheese frosting, sub the butter for 1/2 vegan butter and 1/2 Nutiva Shortening.

For vegan butter, I like Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread but I just recently used Country Crock Plant Butter with Avocado Oil and I really liked it. It worked great in the dairy free frosting and it comes in sticks which makes it so easy to measure!

Slices of gluten free gingerbread cake on plates


Can I bake this cake in a 9×13 pan?

Absolutely! I tested this easy gingerbread cake recipe in a 9×13 pan and it baked beautifully and there’s no need to adjust the ingredients. It took about 35-40 minutes to bake in my 9×13 glass Pyrex


Key Ingredients for a Super Moist Gingerbread Cake

  • Molasses – I use Grandma’s Unsulphured Molasses. DO NOT use Blackstrap Molasses.
  • Spices – in addition to molasses, gingerbread relies on a special blend of spices. Don’t worry, you probably already have them in your spice cabinet! I use ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger. 
  • Hot water – a little bit of hot water added at the end gives the cake a little extra moisture and helps the flavor bloom. It’s a similar technique I use in my gluten free chocolate cake recipe when I add hot coffee at the end.
  • Gluten Free Flour – this cake works amazingly well with my Nightshade Free Gluten Free Flour Blend. If you use a 1:1 gluten free flour blend that contains xanthan gum, omit the amount I called for in the recipe.

Equipment Needed to Make a Gluten Free Cake

  • Cake Pans – I use 3 8-Inch Cake Pans to make this beautiful 3-layer cake. As mentioned above, this can also be baked in a 9×13 pan. 
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Whisk

This cake uses very simple tools to make and can all be mixed by hand – no stand-mixer or hand-mixer required! 

A slice of 3-layer gluten free gingerbread cake on a plate with a fork


How to Make Gingerbread Cake (Gluten Free)

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds then set them aside.

Step 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and ground cloves. Set aside.

Step 3. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar, eggs, molasses, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.

Step 4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently stir in the hot water until completely combined.

Step 5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pans, dividing it evenly between the 3 pans.

Step 6. Bake the cakes on the center rack of the oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs attached.

Step 7. When the cakes are done baking, cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans, discard the parchment paper, and cool on wire racks until cooled completely.

Step 8. Once the cakes are cool, frost with cream cheese frosting and decorate with sugared cranberries and sugared rosemary.

Step 9. Once frosted, refrigerate the cake. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Step 10. Refrigerate leftovers wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or slice and freeze.

This show-stopping 3-layer gluten free gingerbread cake is the most amazing gluten free cake you’ll ever have! It’s moist with the perfect crumb and texture. It’s perfectly spiced and pairs perfectly with cream cheese frosting. This cake is very simple to make and doesn’t require a stand mixer or hand mixer, it can all be mixed by hand! If you don’t want a 3 layer cake, it can also be baked as a 9x13 cake. It’s the ultimate Christmas cake! #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #glutenfreedesserts #cake


Tips for Making a Gingerbread Layer Cake

  • Sift your dry ingredients if you want to ensure there are no lumps/clumps of spices or flour.
  • Measure your flour correctly. Download my free guide for gluten free baking here – it includes step-by-step photos and detailed tips for baking success.
  • The batter will be thin and that’s perfectly normal for this cake.
  • Stir the hot water in at the end and not with the rest of the wet ingredients. You don’t want the hot water to start cooking the eggs.
  • Don’t over-bake the cake. The cake is done when a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs. The cake will start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center will spring back when gently pressed.
  • To keep your cake from drying out in the fridge, press a piece of plastic wrap right against the exposed part of the cut cake. Use the frosting to help seal the plastic wrap in place. Then wrap the rest of the cake in plastic wrap as tightly as possible.

Other Gluten Free Christmas Dessert Recipes To Try

This show-stopping 3-layer gluten free gingerbread cake is the most amazing gluten free cake you’ll ever have! It’s moist with the perfect crumb and texture. It’s perfectly spiced and pairs perfectly with cream cheese frosting. This cake is very simple to make and doesn’t require a stand mixer or hand mixer, it can all be mixed by hand! If you don’t want a 3 layer cake, it can also be baked as a 9x13 cake. It’s the ultimate Christmas cake! #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #glutenfreedesserts #cake


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Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake on a cake stand decorated with sugared cranberries and sugared rosemary

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake Recipe

Yield: Serves 12-16
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Simple Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake is a gorgeous and moist 3-layer cake that's shockingly easy to make! It's frosted with cream cheese frosting and decorated with sugared cranberries.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (420 g) gluten free flour blend (see notes)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (5 g) xanthan gum, omit if your flour blend contains it
  • 1/2 cup (104 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 g) fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons (6 g) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (200 g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup molasses (I use Grandma's Unsulphured)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (see notes for dairy free)
  • 2/3 cup avocado oil (can sub canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 1/2 batches of cream cheese frosting
  • Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds then set them aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and ground cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar, eggs, molasses, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently stir in the hot water until completely combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pans, dividing it evenly between the 3 pans.
  6. Bake the cakes on the center rack of the oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs attached.
  7. When the cakes are done baking, cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans, discard the parchment paper, and cool on wire racks until cooled completely.
  8. Once the cakes are cool, frost with cream cheese frosting and decorate with sugared cranberries and sugared rosemary.
  9. Once frosted, refrigerate the cake. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
  10. Refrigerate leftovers wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or slice and freeze.

Notes

  1. I use my Nightshade Free Gluten Free Flour Blend in this recipe. If you use a flour blend that contains xanthan gum, omit what I called for in the recipe.
  2. Be aware that not all flour blends weigh the same. 3 cups of my flour blend has a different weight than King Arthur, Bob's Red Mill, and Cup4Cup.
  3. To make the cake dairy free, use 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk beverage + 1 tablespoon white vinegar in place of the buttermilk.
  4. This cake can also be baked in a single 9x13 pan for 35-40 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 274

Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren't always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs. Calories are based on 16 slices and doesn't include the frosting.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.

Sugared cranberries in a white bowl
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Tammy D

Friday 1st of January 2021

This looks amazing! And I promised my dear friend GF/Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes. I cannot wait to try this recipe! Any tips on making this in cupcake form?

Bekah

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

If I use bobs red mill flour should I just measure out 3 cups since the weight will be different than what you’ve used?

Vernice Nunez

Wednesday 21st of October 2020

How hot is the water added at end what temperature it should be????

Mary

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

I would love to bake this cake, but I can’t have eggs. Could I use flax eggs to replace the 3 eggs and have the cake turn out?

Shay

Friday 20th of December 2019

I can't tell you for sure since I haven't tried it. But typically, flax eggs don't work quite as well if you're trying to replace more than 2 eggs. You could maybe try a packaged egg replacer.

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