This spiced vegan Gingerbread Loaf with cream cheese icing tastes just like the holidays! Light, fluffy, and with a wonderfully warming gingerbread flavor, this is a must-have treat for the holiday season and it’s so easy to make.
The legendary Starbucks gingerbread loaf is a classic holiday treat but, unfortunately, is not vegan. That’s okay, because this homemade vegan Gingerbread Loaf is even better! Warmly spiced, moist, and decorated with vegan cream cheese icing, it’s an easy festive cake you’ll absolutely adore.
Why this is the best gingerbread loaf
- Perfect for the holidays – Just like my Ginger Crinkle Cookies, this loaf cake is perfectly spiced and deliciously moist. You can even customize it with mix-ins, like dried cranberries, candied ginger, or chopped nuts.
- Topped with cream cheese icing – A generous layer of vegan cream cheese icing on top is a sweet and creamy complement to the warmly spiced bites.
- A foolproof dessert or snack – Simply whip the batter together, bake the cake, then make the icing. Decorate the loaf when it’s cool, then slice and enjoy!
- Better than Starbucks – Finally, you can enjoy a slice of vegan gingerbread loaf with your vegan hot chocolate, eggnog, or pumpkin spice latte!
How to make a gingerbread loaf
To start, mix the soy milk, ground flaxseeds, and apple cider vinegar together in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Set it aside to thicken and curdle.
Meanwhile, whisk the molasses, melted vegan butter, brown sugar, orange zest, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
Stir the flax-milk mixture into the wet mixture.
Next, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt to the bowl with the wet mixture. Gently stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until just combined.
Do not overmix the batter! Overmixing will make the loaf dense or gummy rather than light and fluffy. Avoid this by gently folding the dry mix into the wet until no dry flour remains.
Want mix-ins? At this point, you can gently fold dried cranberries, chopped nuts, chopped candied ginger, or chopped candied orange peel into the batter. Yum!
Pour the batter into a parchment-lined loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set it aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating the vegan cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until creamy and smooth. Thin the consistency with a tablespoon of milk if needed.
Vegan cream cheese tips: I like to make vegan cream cheese frosting with Trader Joe’s, Tofutti, Miyoko’s, or Kite Hill vegan cream cheese. My Tofu Cream Cheese (omit the nutritional yeast) might work as well but I haven’t tested it. I don’t recommend Daiya because it has a strange aftertaste.
Spread a thick layer of frosting on top of the cooled loaf.
Decorate the top with chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, orange zest, or any other festive toppings you love. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
Yes! Just replace the all purpose flour with a quality gluten free flour mix (I like Better Batter) to make a gluten free gingerbread loaf.
You can decorate the cake with vegan buttercream instead. If you want to keep the decorations simple, add a drizzle of orange juice-infused vanilla glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar on top. Or feel free to omit the icing altogether and serve the slices with dollops of vegan whipped cream.
Yes, you can adapt the gingerbread loaf recipe to make muffins or cupcakes instead. Make the batter as normal, pour it into muffin liners, and bake at 350ºF for 20 to 22 minutes.
Yes, the ginger cake loaf freezes very well! After it’s baked and cooled, wrap the loaf in a layer of plastic and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or other plant milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup molasses I used Grandma's brand
- 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or canola oil
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 orange, zested 1 tablespoon
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, add the soy milk, ground flaxseeds and apple cider vinegar. Whisk vigorously with a fork to combine, then let sit for 2 minutes to thicken and curdle.
- In a large bowl, add the molasses, melted vegan butter, brown sugar, orange zest and vanilla. Whisk very well to combine. Now whisk in the milk mixture.
- To the wet ingredients, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Stir with a large wooden spoon or spatula until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting – Add the vegan cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar to a medium sized bowl. With a hand mixer, beat everything together starting on low speed and increasing to high until creamy and smooth. Add the tablespoon of milk if needed to thin.
- Spread a thick layer of frosting on top of the cooled loaf and sprinkle with chopped walnuts, orange zest, pomegranate or cranberries, if desired. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Optional add-ins – chopped candied ginger, dried cranberries, nuts or chopped candied orange peel would all be yummy additions.
You can leave the frosting off and keep it plain, if desired. Or serve slices with a little vegan whipped cream instead.
Gluten free – Substitute a quality gluten free flour. I like Better Batter.
If you don’t like a lot of spices, cut them in half.
Oat, almond, coconut or any other plant milk should work as well.
Nut free – Leave off the nuts on the topping.
- Muffins – You can make this bread as muffins instead. Fill liners and bake for 20-22 minutes.