Grain-Free Indian Gingerbread


This is another prize-winning recipe from one of our dairy-free contests last year that is oh-so-fitting for the holidays. Shandi of Not Perfectly Paleo dazzled us with the warm, spicy flavors and perfect tenderness of this easy Indian gingerbread. Never mind that it’s grain-free, suitable for the dairy-free diet and even nutritious – this is a dessert to be reckoned with according to our tasters (ranging from little kids to discerning adults)!

Indian Gingerbread Recipe - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free and Almost Paleo

So what makes it an Indian gingerbread recipe? According to Shandi:

I mixed the sweet gingerbread spice of my childhood with the intensity of Indian spice: adding cayenne, cinnamon, and cumin to bring a deepened flavor profile that tasted seductively of curry while romancing with the sweet richness of ginger and molasses.

These rich sweet slices can be eaten alone, but also pair well with a lemon glaze, dairy-free caramel sauce, or a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream.

Indian Gingerbread Recipe - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free and Almost Paleo

Special Diet Notes: Indian Gingerbread

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegetarian, and “almost paleo”.

For a paleo Indian gingerbread recipe, you can certainly use your “approved” sweeteners of choice (such as aple syrup and/or honey with blackstrap molasses). Fancy molasses is a sweet baking molasses, so replacing it straight-up with more savory, calcium-rich blackstrap molasses will yield a very different flavor. However, a combination of blackstrap molasses with a liquid sweetener such as honey or maple syrup should provide balance, but not as much molasses depth. You can also use light canned coconut milk in place of the coconut milk beverage, if preferred.

Indian Gingerbread (Dairy-Free, Grain-Free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
Dry Ingredients:
Wet Ingredients:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a fork until no lumps of soda or flour remain.
  3. In another medium-sized bowl, combine all wet ingredients except the apple cider vinegar until smooth and consistent (adding the ACV too soon curdles the milk alternative).
  4. Add the apple cider vinegar to the combined wet ingredients, mix thoroughly.
  5. Gently pour the wet mix into the dry ingredients, quickly and gently fold the wet mix into the dry mix until the batter is thoroughly combined (the ACV acts as an acid which reacts with and activates the soda creating more air bubbles, stirring too much or too slowly allows all the bubbles to escape creating a flat batter).
  6. Pour the batter into a 9x9-inch cake pan or two loaf pans
  7. Place in your preheated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a knife can cleanly pierce the gingerbread.
Cloves Note (from Alisa): Be sure to buy ground cloves. The oils released when grinding cloves can ruin a spice grinder - they actually melt plastic!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. What do you recommend as an egg substitute? My son was recently diagnosed with a bunch of food sensitivities (most nuts, some beans dairy soy carrots citrus most grains gluten lentils white potato, seriously you name it)
    I have been mixing a tea spoon of hunny and 1/3 banana. I have read about flax, but that wasn’t on his test so I don’t know if its safe.

    • It would vary by recipe – are you asking for this recipe specifically? It would be difficult to say without testing since it is grain-free. I’m not sure if banana would offer enough cohesiveness to this recipe. Also, this recipe is nut-based.

    • Unfortunately, that would take experimentation as coconut flour is a very unique flour. You would need to reduce the liquid if using a different flour, but I couldn’t say by how much without testing.

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