If the Northeast had an official winter activity and Watching Netflix On The Couch was not in the running – probably for being banned due to sexual misconduct allegations (too soon?) – then baking would definitely take the cake (pun intended). Ever since the first hint of winter here in Syracuse, I’ve had an undeniable urge to bake every single weekend. It doesn’t help when I can see fluffy snowflakes flurrying outside through our kitchen window, which further deters me from going out and makes the inside of our house seem that much more hyggelig. And according to the Danish expert, you can’t have hygge without sweets.
This vegan gingerbread loaf was the result of my desire to veganize a loaf cake that is not banana bread and to create a new go-to winter treat. While brainstorming how to make up for the rich flavor and airy texture that typically comes from butter and eggs, respectively, I landed on avocados… the butter of the earth. I remembered I’d seen it done before, but did not want the cake to be green or taste like avocado so I added some cinnamon and ginger. V1 of the cake came unintentionally close to gingerbread so I decided to pursue that route, but the texture and flavor needed work. I continued experimenting with the ingredients and baking times and it took a total of five recipe tests (!!!) to get it to a place I am so excited to share with you today.
The mashed avocado, along with almond milk, molasses, and coconut oil, gives this vegan gingerbread loaf its moist and cakey texture. The generous amount of warming spices make it perfect for winter, and I love the crispy crust that forms thanks to the extra sprinkling of sugar on top. I initially aimed to make this with all whole wheat pastry flour, which resulted in a cake that was too dense; adding a bit of while flour gave the cake the lightness it needed.
This vegan gingerbread is perfect for having on hand if you anticipate friends casually dropping by for coffee this holiday season. Or if you’re feeling antisocial on a cold Saturday night and want something healthyish to nibble on during a Netflix binge.
The mashed avocado, along with almond milk, molasses, and coconut oil, gives this vegan gingerbread loaf its moist and cakey texture. This cake is perfect for having on hand if you anticipate friends casually dropping by for coffee this holiday season.
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds)
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 medium ripe avocado OR 1 ½ small avocados, peeled and pitted (*½ cup when mashed)
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon raw sugar, divided
- ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use almond)
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 tablespoons melted unrefined coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease an 8-inch loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside.
- In a small bowl or cup, stir the flaxseed meal with ¼ cup water. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the avocado, ½ cup sugar, milk, molasses, coconut oil, vanilla, and the flaxseed mixture (don’t forget!). Puree until smooth. Scrape the avocado mixture into the flour mixture and fold just until combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out dry, about 45 minutes (start checking after 35 minutes). Cool completely before slicing.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 272
- Sugar: 18.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.1 g
- Fiber: 4.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g