This soft and moist vegan gingerbread loaf is made with molasses and warming spices. Drizzle with a simple cranberry glaze for the ultimate winter treat that just happens to be egg and dairy-free.
This vegan gingerbread loaf is the perfect treat to enjoy with a mug of warm tea or coffee, slathered with a thick layer of almond butter or on its own. Just like my vegan zucchini bread, it's soft, moist, and warmly spiced.
It tastes like everything you could ever want from gingerbread: warmly spiced, sweet, and a little zesty.
It smells wonderful while it bakes, so it's a great bread to make if you have guests coming over (add these vegan molasses cookies to the mix and your guests will love you!).
To really drive home the winter flavors, the gingerbread loaf is topped with a soft pink cranberry glaze. This adds a touch of color to the gingerbread and a subtle hint of cranberry flavor.
- Texture: Unlike the kind of gingerbread cookies used to make gingerbread houses, this vegan loaf is soft, tender, and moist. Because it's a quick bread it has a texture very similar to vegan zucchini bread.
- Flavors: Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger and gently sweetened with molasses and light brown sugar. It tastes like winter in bread form!
- Quick & easy: This vegan gingerbread loaf is made in one bowl using simple ingredients. You don't even need to make a flax egg!
- Icing: The cranberry glaze is just 3-ingredients and can either be drizzled atop the gingerbread loaf or spread into a thick layer of frosting.
- Molasses adds sweetness and the classic gingerbread flavor. Choose regular molasses, not blackstrap molasses.
- Light brown sugar also adds sweetness to the loaf. Dark brown sugar does work in a pinch.
- Spices: Ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon contribute the classic warming flavors. I don't recommend omitting any of these because they are important for the gingerbread flavor.
- Flour: I use all-purpose flour for quick breads. I have not tested this recipe with any gluten-free flours, but an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend would be the best option.
- Canola oil: I use canola because it has a neutral flavor. Olive oil does work but I recommend using light olive oil to avoid an overpowering flavor. Avocado oil or vegetable oil also work.
- Cider vinegar paired with baking powder and baking soda helps with leavening, which is what causes the gingerbread loaf to rise.
This is a pretty straightforward vegan baking recipe, but I do have a few tips to make the process even easier.
Pro tip: To evenly distribute molasses, first whisk it into warm water. To heat the water up, either microwave it until warm (but not hot; you should be able to touch it) or heat on the stove. Pour in the molasses and mix them together.
Meanwhile, stir together the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
Then pour the liquid ingredients slowly into the dry ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don't overmix, as this can affect the height and texture of the gingerbread.
Lightly spray an 8x4 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. Pour the batter in, then mix together until just combined.
Bake the gingerbread loaf in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
The glaze is really easy to make: just whisk together powdered sugar with cranberry juice and vanilla.
You can either drizzle or spread the glaze onto the loaf. I prefer to drizzle it because I'm not a huge fan of frosting, but this recipe makes enough cranberry glaze to coat the entire loaf.
- If the glaze is too thick: Whisk in an additional 1 tablespoon of cranberry juice until thinner to the desired consistency.
- If too thin: Add powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until the cranberry glaze is thick enough.
- Leftover vegan gingerbread is best within 3-4 days when stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Best within 2-3 days if stored at room temperature.
- Freezing: This recipe freezes well. Left the loaf cool before transferring to an airtight freezer container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature.
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Vegan Gingerbread Loaf with Cranberry Glaze
- 1 and ¼ cup water
- ⅓ cup molasses
- 2 cups all-purpose flour see note #1
- ½ cup organic light brown sugar packed into cup
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons 100% cranberry juice adjust as needed
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray an 8x4 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Heat the water in the microwave or on the stove until it's hot to touch, like the temperature of bathwater. Stir in the molasses and mix until uniform.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
- Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients: molasses and water, canola oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined, careful not to overmix.
- Add the batter to the greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes on the center oven rack, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove loaf from the oven and let cool in the loaf pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool.
- To make the glaze: In a small mixing bowl mix together the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of cranberry juice, and the vanilla. Stir until a thick icing forms. Add additional cranberry juice 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to thin. If the glaze is too thin, add additional powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Let the gingerbread loaf cool completely before drizzling with the glaze or spreading completely with the glaze.
- Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge. Enjoy warmed.
- Flour: Use the spoon and level method to measure flour. Take a spoon and scoop flour into the measuring cup until overflowing. Use the back of a knife to wipe excess flour off the top. Do not pack flour into cup.
- Frosting: The cranberry glaze can either be a glaze or a thicker frosting that can be spread over the entire loaf.
- I recommend using an oven thermometer. Oven temperatures can vary widely and the only way to know if your oven is the temperature it says it is is to use an oven thermometer.
Author's note: This recipe was originally shard November 2018. It was updated December 2022 with new photos and a video. The recipe is the same.