Why this recipe works
This might be the prettiest cake on the planet, and it tastes as good as it looks. This Gluten-Free Gingerbread Bundt Cake packs a festive, flavorful punch with notes of your favorite gingerbread spices topped with a sweet glaze and tart, sugared cranberries. It’s a very straight-forward recipe, but it’s quite the showpiece for your holiday gatherings. Who wouldn’t want a dessert that tastes just as amazing as it looks with minimal effort?
- Molasses – Also known as black treacle in some parts of the world, molasses is the sweetener of choice in most gingerbread recipes. It gives your gingerbread bundt cake the lovely, signature texture, taste, and brown color that you’re used to in gingerbread recipes.
- Xanthan gum – You might notice that xanthan gum is not shown in the above ingredients photo. This is because my gluten-free flour blend already includes it. If yours does not already contain xanthan gum, you will want to use the amount of xanthan gum specified in the recipe card.
- Cream cheese – I use cream cheese in my glaze recipe to give it a little extra flavor. If you don’t have cream cheese or if you want your cake to be non-dairy, you can make a glaze using just powdered sugar and water, or a non-dairy milk, and a dash of vanilla extract.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the bundt pan with butter, shortening or vegetable oil, being sure to coat all of the nooks. Sprinkle the coated pan with the granulated sugar and rotate the bundt pan to move the sugar around until the pan is completely coated. Dispose of extra granulated sugar. Set aside the pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum (if your flour blend does not already contain it), baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
- Whisk the dry ingredients until just combined and then set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the light brown sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, molasses, eggs and vanilla extract.
- Whisk the wet ingredients for a couple minutes until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients.
- Mix all of the ingredients together using a whisk or spatula until there are no more streaks or lumps of flour. This should just take a minute or so of flow whisking. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes. You will know that your cake is baked when a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let your cake cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Invert the pan onto a wire rack once completely cooled. Let gravity do it’s job to release the cake onto the wire rack. If it doesn’t release, just place a couple of clean dish towels beneath the cake and let it cool inverted. The cake will eventually release as long as your pan was properly coated in step 1.
- While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese glaze. Add the softened cream cheese to a medium bowl and beat the cream cheese until smooth using an electric mixer.
- Once smooth, add the powdered sugar to the cream cheese and mix for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is once again smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of water (or milk), and mix until your desired consistency is achieved. Personally, I like to dip a spoon in my glaze and if the glaze drips slowly, but immediately off the spoon in a steady stream, it is the perfect consistency for me. If the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add an additional tablespoon of milk if needed. If it’s too water, add powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time.
- Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the cooled bundt cake, letting it drip down the sides.
- Top with sugared cranberries if desired before serving. The recipe for my sugared cranberries can be found here.
- Make sure to coat your pan thoroughly with vegetable oil or shortening. I cannot stress enough how essential this step is. Equally important is allowing your cake to cool before inverting the pan. Without a properly coated pan and cooled cake, your cake will likely stick in your pan and come out in pieces.
- The consistency of your glaze is somewhat important if you’re looking to achieve the cake that is pictured. You want the glaze to be thick enough that it doesn’t simply seep into your cake, but thin enough that it drizzles down the side. It’s best to add your water or milk to the powdered sugar a little bit at a time until you achieve the desired consistency. If your glaze is too runny, you can add more powdered sugar a little bit at a time. I find it’s best to be on the thicker side than too thin.
- Allowing your cake to cool properly before inverting is very important. It’s also important to let the cake cool before glazing it. If the cake is too warm, your glaze will run off the cake completely and likely soak into the cake making the glaze nearly invisible. Patience is an important skill to have for this recipe!
Yes, instead of using buttermilk, use unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk and combine with 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes to let the non-dairy milk curdle a bit. This will make it acidic enough similar to buttermilk. The rest of the cake is dairy-free except for the cream cheese glaze. You can sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar instead or create a basic glaze with powdered sugar, water, and vanilla extract instead.
I would say this is a rather mild gingerbread cake. It does have a bit of a bite from the ground ginger, but it’s not overpowering.
This recipe is best made with molasses, but if you don’t have access to it, a better substitute would be brown sugar or granulated sugar. Molasses is a by-product of the sugar refining process, so sugar is the best substitute, however, your texture may be impacted. I personally have not used this substitution and therefore cannot vouch for it.
The recipe for sugared cranberries can be found here. It’s a simple process that takes a little bit of (passive) time, but is totally worth the effort!
- Sugared Cranberries
- Gluten-Free Vegan Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Gluten-Free Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Flourless Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Cranberry Orange Chia Jam
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Bundt Cake
For the cake:
- 1 teaspoon butter (shortening or vegetable oil, for coating pan)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (for coating pan)
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour)
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (if your gluten-free blend doesn’t already contain it)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup sugared cranberries (https://www.adashofmegnut.com/sugared-cranberries/)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the bundt pan with butter, shortening or vegetable oil, being sure to get all of the nooks. Add the granulated sugar and turn the bundt pan moving the sugar around the pan until it is coated. Dispose of extra granulated sugar. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum (if using), baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the light brown sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, molasses, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until no more streaks of flour remain.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.
- Once the cake is cool, make the cream cheese glaze by adding the softened cream cheese to a medium bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
- Then, add the powdered sugar and mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of the milk and mix until your desired consistency is reached. Add an additional tablespoon of milk if needed.
- Spoon the glaze over the cooled bundt cake and top with sugared cranberries if desired before serving.