For just about my entire life, I have never been much of a cake person. Most cakes, in my opinion, were dry, and much of the store-bought variety had tooth-achingly sweet frosting. Mostly, I preferred pies and cookies as my desserts of choice. For most every birthday, my Mom would instead make me an angel food cake, one of the only cakes I truly liked.
Fast forward to gluten-free adulthood. During my adult life, I’d managed to enjoy a few other cakes that I rather enjoyed, but I didn’t really spend much time thinking about cake until I went gluten-free. And then, suddenly, cake seemed like a good idea! Not only good, but great!
Only now, cake wasn’t so easy. Oh sure, there are mixes out there, and some aren’t half-bad. But if I’m going to make cake, I want it to be superb. Heavenly. It doesn’t have to be all dolled up with frosting, or even have to be complicated at all. But it has to deliver.
So here we are, and it’s almost Christmas. I’ve seen gingerbread everything around lately, and the allure of those spices were calling my name. So I set to work making a gingerbread cake. The first rendition failed – it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good enough to relish. I wanted a cake I would be glad to share with family and friends alike. So after more trials, I arrived at this.
A gingerbread cake so light, airy, but yet full of rich molasses flavor and spicy cinnamon and ginger. I was amazed that I could make such a light cake with only one egg, but there it was in all its glory. With a sprinkle of powdered sugar, it was definitely fit for any holiday get-together. Personally, I could see it being the perfect little treat after dinner, in front of a fire with family, a cup of coffee in hand (decaf for me, thank you!).
If for some reason you don’t manage to finish it all, don’t despair. Because, you see, my friends, this cake does double-duty. Leftovers can be made into fancier holiday fare. Stay tuned, for more gingerbread goodness is to come!
Spicy Gingerbread Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free)
½ c tapioca starch
¾ c teff flour
¾ c brown rice flour
1 ½ t guar gum
1 ½ t baking soda
½ t baking powder
1 T cinnamon
1 T powdered ginger
¼ t ground cloves
½ t salt
1 c raw turbinado sugar (or coconut sugar)
6 T blackstrap molasses
½ c maple syrup
1 large egg, room temperature
10 T vegan butter, room temperature
1 c water
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and set it aside.
In a large bowl, combine the tapioca starch, teff flour, brown rice flour, guar gum, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, Add the sugar, molasses, maple syrup, egg, and vegan butter. Turn on food processor to blend, stopping to scrape down sides. Add the flour mixture and continue to blend. Last, add the water and pulse to incorporate at first. It will be lumpy to start, but once you’ve pulsed the food processor a few times, then turn it on to blend the water in completely. Blend until smooth.
Scrape the batter into your prepared pan and smooth it out. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Sprinkle powdered sugar over for serving.
You are welcome to try to remove the entire cake from the pan, but personally, I enjoyed slicing it directly in the pan, and serving the slices straight from there.