Gently spiced and with a tender crumb, a slice of this Vegan Ginger Loaf Cake is the ideal treat to serve in autumn and winter. Subtle hints of orange and almonds add to the flavour and a generous splurge of sweet & zesty orange icing complete the package. Who wants seconds?
The glow of candlelit pumpkins and the crackling flicker of fireworks may be behind us for another year, but we can still rely on toasty spices to pull us through to December when outlandish displays of fairy lights will add sparkle & charm to dark, nippy evenings again. I’m adding to the cosy autumn vibes this week with a Vegan Ginger Loaf Cake with hints of oranges and almonds to boot.
I’m well aware that, historically, vegan and gluten-free bakes have received a bad press. But let me tell you that times are changing. There are heaps of quality recipes out there using alternative ingredients to eggs, regular flour, and dairy that create exceptional bakes. I’m adding this Vegan Ginger Loaf Cake into this mix. I can honestly say that, unless you had prior knowledge that this bake is egg and dairy free, you would be none the wiser. This cake is deliciously soft and fluffy with a tender crumb. It is not remotely dry. It does not fall apart too easily and it is very easy to eat… slice after slice.
Since I’m no expert when it comes to vegan baking, I tend to extensively test my recipes. Over and over again. This one got tested no less than 4 times.
Confession: my first effort went straight in the bin.
What can I tell you, I made the classic mistake of underbaking it because I had to go on the school run. By the time I returned, the cake had sunk to half it’s height. The top was vaguely edible (it tasted great) but the rest of the cake was a heavy, wet, capsized mess. I was quite appalled. And embarrassed. Cue: time to hide the evidence of my epic fail in the bin.
Next up were several more versions – adequately baked – with a great texture but not quite there on the flavour. I finally hit the jackpot on bake number 4, which is what I’m presenting today.
Inside of each squidgy slice of this Vegan Ginger Loaf Cake is a gentle, yet warming ginger hug. Other spices are included in this bake, but they serve to accentuate the ginger, rather than detract from it. Subtle undertones of zesty citrus and sweet, mild almond run through each bite too.
In my opinion, a loaf cake is not complete without some form of icing. So I’ve slathered a reassuringly thick glacé icing, infused with orange, onto the top of this cake. And, just for a little pizazz, a few nuggets of crystallised ginger and flaked almonds top it all off in understated yet effective style.
This is the kind of cake that begs to be served with a cup of tea when you’ve returned from a long, bracing autumn walk. In nice, thick slices. I don’t know any better way to serve cake, do you?
- 75 g/ 1/3 cup Caster sugar
- 75 g/ 1/3 cup Dark brown sugar
- 175 g/ 1 1/3 cup Plain (all purpose) flour
- 50 g/ 1/3 cup Ground almonds
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 4 tsp Ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 60 ml/ 1/4 cup Groundnut oil (or other flavourless oil)
- 120 ml/ 1/2 cup Almond milk
- 100 ml/ 1/3 cup + 4tsp Orange juice (freshly squeezed)
- 3/4 tsp Almond extract
- 3/4 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp Syrup from a jar of stem ginger
- Zest from 2 oranges (finely grated)
- 160 g/ 1 1/4 cup Icing sugar
- 25 ml (5 tsp) Orange juice (freshly squeezed)
- Flaked almonds
- Crystalised ginger (chopped fine)
Preheat oven to 170C/ 325F/ GM3 and grease & line a loaf tin with baking parchment
Begin by removing lumps from the brown sugar by crushing with a spoon, rubbing between fingers or pulsing through a food processor
Measure all dry ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl (sugars, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda, spices & salt. Stir to combine
Measure all wet ingredients into a jug. (oil, milk, juice, extracts, syrup). Whisk with a balloon whisk until blended. Add the orange zest
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat together with the balloon whisk until just combined. Take care not to over-mix as the glutens in the flour will begin to develop and adversely affect the cake texture
Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes. After 50 minutes test with a skewer - if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. If not, return to the oven and bake for a few more minutes before testing again.
Once baked, set aside to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and parchment and let cool completely on a wire rack
Mix the icing sugar with 3 tsp of orange juice until smooth. keep adding more orange juice, bit by bit, until a soft-dropping consistency has been obtained. Too thick and the icing will not spread easily over the cake, too runny and it will just fall off the cake
Once ready, spoon the icing over the cake and guide it with a palette knife to cover the top - it will begin to drip down the sides
Sprinkle finely chopped crystallised ginger and almond flakes across the top of the cake
Leave to set slightly before serving
Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days
Looking for more quality vegan cake recipes? Try these:
- Vegan Lemon & Elderflower Cupcakes
- Vegan Chocolate Cake (by Food Bliss)
- Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen)
- Vegan Pumpkin Cake (by Domestic Gothess)