Classic Old-fashioned Gingerbread cake that is vegan, oil-free, whole grain and out of this world delicious, moist and full of amazing flavor from cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and molasses.

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time 25 min

Servings: 16 cake slices


      • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour* 
      • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
      • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
      • 2 teaspoons baking soda
      • 4 teaspoons gingerbread spice
      • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
      • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup, room temp
      • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temp
      • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
      • 2 tablespoons HOT water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line an 8×8 square pan (I used aluminum) with parchment paper strips going in each direction, cut to fit and with overhang (not bunched in the corners). If you want to make muffins, use 14 parchment liners.
  2. To a large bowl, add the spelt, rice flour, cornstarch, baking soda, spices and salt and whisk very well.
  3. Make sure none of your liquids are cold before proceeding, otherwise your batter will not be smooth or mix well. To the same bowl, add the syrup, applesauce, molasses and hot water. Whisk gently in large circles until everything is combined and smooth, making sure to get the flour at the bottom, but DO NOT over-mix. As soon as it’s smooth, stop mixing. Over-mixing the batter can make the cake dense and the center SINK. Now, taste that batter and tell me it’s not out of this world!
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top and evenly to the corners. Bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes or when a toothpick is completely clean. Each trial mine was exactly perfect at 25 minutes on the dot. If making muffins, divide the batter between 14 liners, this will yield the perfect size. Bake the muffins closer to 20-22 minutes, being careful not to over-bake.
  5. Cool the cake completely in the pan for a minimum of 1 hour, no exception. This allows the cake to completely cook through. There is a lot of applesauce and moisture in this cake, so you don’t want to cut too soon or it will be wet. Once ready to serve, lift the cake out with the parchment flaps. Use a very sharp knife to cut carefully into slices. Sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving. The cake is so moist that you don’t want to do the sugar until right before serving or else it just melts into the cake.

*To make this gluten-free, sub the spelt flour for superfine GF oat flour (I tested with Bob’s Red Mill) and it will be the same weight amount (192g). Since oat flour cakes tend to be more dense, you will decrease the applesauce by 2 tablespoons. All the rest of the ingredients remain the same. Please note that the oat flour version is not as light/fluffy and is more dense, so is ONLY recommended if gluten-free is required. It is still delicious, just not as perfect of a texture as the spelt version.

Recipe adapted from:

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