Gingerbread is often enriched with butter, but it doesn’t need to be. This dairy-free gingerbread cake recipe is made without butter or milk of any kind, but it still has that classic rich flavor and tender, moist crumb.
Keep in mind, there are various types of molasses, which will affect how this dairy-free gingerbread cake tastes. Lighter unsulphured molasses, like Grandma’s Original, produces a milder, almost everyone-friendly flavor. Dark molasses, like Brer Full Flavor, lends a richer, more robust flavor, and can be good for molasses fans. Blackstrap molasses is the darkest and most intense type of molasses on the market. As much as I love it, I don’t personally use blackstrap in this recipe. It’s simply too dark and savory in this quantity and can overpower the other flavors.
Special Diet Notes: Classic Dairy-Free Gingerbread Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For egg-free and vegan gingerbread cake, substitute 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons aquafaba for the eggs, or see our egg substitute guide for more options.
- 2 eggs (see above for egg-free options)
- 1 cup oil
- 1 cup molasses (see post above)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar or dairy-free whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the oil, molasses, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt and beat slowly to combine.
- Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water, and pour it into the batter. Slowly mix in the flour.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared baking dish.
- Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool before cutting into slices. Sprinkle slices with powdered sugar or top with dairy-free whipped cream, to serve.