Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

December 8, 2019

This Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream is a healthier option to a Holiday classic + favorite—Gingerbread!. Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it’s also loaded with warm ginger and spices, that when paired with this airy vegan dirty chai buttercream, they all work amazingly together and just melts in your mouth with goodness. Super easy to make and all dairy-free + vegan.

Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

I can’t believe that we’re only weeks away from Christmas and the New Year is right around the corner! Where has the time flown?

While I do enjoy Holiday baking, I must admit that this year has been a bit more stressful because there has been so much happening personally and time has not been slow whatsoever.

But of course, I’ve ensured that I’ve brainstormed some amazing recipes for you all and I do hope that you enjoy every bite.

Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

Now, let’s talk for a sec. I literally made this cake a few days ago and it’s SO GOOD! OMG!

Usually, I’m the girl who attempts to make gingerbread cookies (check out this old recipe: Dairy-free Gingerbread Men), although they weren’t that visually appealing. Haha.

However, this year, I’ve been wanting to step outside of the box and stretch myself a bit.

If you’ve been an avid reader of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you’re aware of my fear of baking cakes. Granted, I do make them for special occasions, however, when it comes to making them for a blog (and professional and all), I am completely terrified that it won’t be perfect.

But this cake came out PERFECT. I can’t even believe it.

Honestly, I believe that I went into this recipe with a different mindset about it and just remained calm and kept good vibes. And it most certainly paid off.

I DID IT! And I did it GOOD! Haha.

Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

This was my first time having Gingerbread cake and I must admit that I’d definitely make this again. It was a great balance between a burst of ginger flavor and my favorite—Chai.

How could you have a Fall/Winter anything without Chai? I mean, is that possible?

Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

Speaking of Chai, I recently made these Vegan Chai Tea Latte Cinnamon Rolls and OMG, they are delicious! Not being your typical Cinnamon Roll, this recipe is topped with a mouth-watering Black Tea-infused Chai Tea glaze that will leave you ‘Cinnamon Roll obsessed’. Definitely not your average vegan sweet treat, but 100% homemade and filled with pure goodness! Overnight option available.

Those cinnamon rolls are truly something special.

Looking for a Healthier Sweetener Option?

The Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives + Substitutes list is all about finding better ways to enjoy your favorite sweets without compromising your healthy lifestyle. For those who follow a vegetarian and/or vegan lifestyle, this lists offers a few great ideas to incorporate healthy sweeteners into your diet.

Looking for other Gingerbread Flavor Ideas?

This Gingerbread Apple Cranberry Vegan Pie is the perfect sweet edition to the Fall season. Safely wrapped in a flaky, gingerbread crust and bursting with sweet-tart flavors from the apples and cranberry, this pie is a sure crowd pleaser, making this recipe the ultimate beginning of a sweet Fall season!

These Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls are not your typical, traditional rolls. The gingerbread spices add great flavor to every sweet bite and the maple cream cheese frosting is beyond amazing! You’re sure to say, “Ho Ho Hoooo”! This recipe comes together in a little over an hour and its complex flavor and simple steps, makes it one of the best sweet treats to enjoy this holiday season!

Regular Molasses vs. Blackstrap Molasses?!

OK, so if you aren’t aware, there are two types of Molasses—-regular and blackstrap.

While most people use regular molasses which is literally ‘bittersweet’, I tend to use blackstrap molasses in all of my recipes as a way to cut back on the sugar content.

Blackstrap is hardly used by many due to it’s bitterness and ‘heaviness’ when use din baking since it can make the texture of your baked goods more thick and dense if not used correctly.

That’s why I use only HALF THE AMOUNT of molasses that a recipe might otherwise require. That way, I get the darker color (not too dark) without compromising the texture or taste. Don’t worry—I make a not of this in the recipe below as well.

But did you know that Blackstrap Molasses actually has more nutritional value? Yup.

It actually contains vital vitamins and minerals such as: iron, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and Selenium. In addition, it is considered a superfood.

To top things off, Blackstrap Molasses has the following other benefits:

  • Great Bone Booster!
  • Good for the Blood.
  • Packed with Potassium.
  • Greatly Used for De-frizzing Hair.
Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

What you’ll love most about this cake?

It’s super fluffy and moist.

Very easy to whip together and uses minimal main ingredients.

Warm and comforting in every bite.

Loaded with Fall spices.

Can be made as a traditional 2-layer cake or cupcakes.

Not too sweet, but perfectly sweet at the same time.

Topped with an airy, light buttercream.

Absolutely delicious!

In case you haven’t seen our latest Red Velvet Cake recipe, I’m sharing my tips on how to make the perfect cake below, which is universal regardless of using vegan ingredients or not.

TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT CAKE?

Tip #1:

Another thing that I’ve learned about baking a cake is having the right tools. As a basic—-you should have a cake stand (preferably one that has a turnstile table), spatulas (big + small), piping bags + tips, correct baking pans and parchment paper, and if you need to get a bit more fancy—Bake Even Cake Strips (Wilton has some awesome quality ones!), which are such a genius invention.

Have no clue what these are? Whelp, you basically soak them in water before wrapping them around your cake pan while baking. These stripes ensures that your cakes don’t bake with a funny “dome” or anything. Just flat and even.

Of course, if you don’t have these strips, you can simply butter your pan and use liners along with an old trick that I’ve always done when baking—–add a small pot of water to the oven to keep things moist. Yup. It works EVERY. TIME.

Tip #2:

One of the essential ingredient combos for a light, silky cake texture is baking soda and acid ingredient (usually vinegar or buttermilk). When acid and baking soda reacts, it creates bubbles and helps to create a nice rise for your baked goods, leaving an airy texture.

In the case of vegan cakes, this is usually done by adding apple cider vinegar to your milk and letting it sit for a few minutes and then later combining it with the dry ingredients (which includes baking soda). Wallah!

Tip #3:

One of my latest tricks to a perfect cake has been to ensure that ALL of my dry ingredients are sifted. Trust me, ya’ll—-this works!

Making all the dry ingredients fully sifted makes things airy, as you’ve guessed it and allows everything to combine faster.

Tip #4:

Never Over-mix! When creating a cake, it’s so important to add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients alternately and as soon as everything is combined very well, THAT’S IT!

Over-mixing creates a more dense cake.

Need other delicious cake ideas?

This Vegan Funfetti Cake + Vanilla Buttercream is a healthier option to your classic childhood favorite—funfetti!. Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it’s also loaded with sweet little rainbow sprinkles that when paired with this airy vegan vanilla buttercream, they all work amazingly together. A definite crowd-pleasing cake for any occasion, especially for Birthdays.

This Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream is a healthier option to the decadent classic—Chocolate Cake! Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it’s also filled with an airy Cacao buttercream that when paired with this velvety vegan chocolate (cacao) buttercream, they all work amazingly together.

This Fluffy, Buttery Vanilla Birthday Cake is so moist, delicious, and the best rendition of a perfectly frosted vanilla cake ever made. Not to mention, the airy and fluffy vanilla butter cream which adds a nice velvety taste and texture— perfect for a Birthday or any celebration!

This Lemon + Strawberry Layer Spring Cake isn’t your traditional version of a lemon cake. Not only is it completely moist, + fluffy, but it’s also loaded with a nice balance between tart and sweet as the bursting of lemon flavor paired with the strawberry buttercream work amazingly together.

This Vegan Carrot Cake + Orange-infused Frosting isn’t your traditional version of carrot cake. Not only is it completely vegan, fluffy, + moist, but it’s also loaded with shredded carrots, orange zest, pecan/walnuts, pineapple, and a ton of warm, fall spices that create one decadent flavor. Topped with a creamy vegan cream cheese orange-infused frosting and sprinkles of chopped nuts.

Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

Now, let’s dig right into this recipe shall we?

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with vegan butter) AND line with parchment paper the following cake pans: THREE 6-inch round cake pans or TWO 8-inch cake pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Almond milk and Apple Cider Vinegar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, ginger, cloves, and sea salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a whisk), add the Milk-ACV mixture along with the molasses, oil and vanilla. Mix for a minute or two before turning off the mixer and changing the attachment to a paddle.

On low speed, add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until well incorporated and batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes.

Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, spreading everything around for a perfect roundness. **NOTE: If using Bake Even Cake Strips, you would wrap them around your pans at this point.**

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick.

Once done, remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely. **NOTE: I often let my cakes cool for 30 minutes or until them are very cool when touched and then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely for another hour or so; this makes icing easier.**

To Make Vegan Chai Buttercream:

In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a paddle), beat the butter and shortening on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Turning the mixer on low, add 1/2 the powered sugar and spices (which should be whisked together in a bowl), vanilla, and 1 Tbsp of Almond milk, mixing them together until well combined. Add the remaining powered sugar mixture and mix until well combined. **NOTE: If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk (1 Tsp at a time); if it’s too thin, add additional powered sugar (1 Tbsp at a time). Lastly, add a pinch of sea salt to balance sweetness and Wallah!

Assembly:

Using a large knife (or cake slicer), slice a thin layer of cake off the tops of each cake to create a flat surface (**NOTE: Skip this step if you used the Bake Even Cake Strips; not needed).

Place first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Now, top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with buttercream. **NOTE: Repeat another step if using 3-layers.**

Once fully layered, add remaining buttercream atop cake and spread it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly. **NOTE: Adding a thin layer of buttercream around cake and chilling it for 30 minutes to 1 hour before adding remaining buttercream does the trick for an easier frosting of cake; this called a ‘crumb coat’; to add a thicker layer of buttercream on cake, simply make the buttercream recipe TWICE and apply full buttercream to the tops and sides.**

Once fully frosted, add small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip and/or festive sprinkles around the sides and top of cake. Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets. Slice and enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you choose to make this Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!

Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream
Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
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Ingredients

Gingerbread Cake:

  • 1 cup organic all purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1/2 cup Super fine cake flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsps molasses (See Notes!)

Vegan Chai Buttercream:

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter spread  (I use Earth's Balance)
  • 1/4 cup organic vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum)
  • 3-4 cups organic powered sugar, sifted (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tbsps Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp chai spice mix + 1 tsp (for more flavor!) (See Notes!)

Other:

  • festive Sprinkles (I use Sprinkle Pop Sprinkles!)

Instructions

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with vegan butter) AND line with parchment paper the following cake pans: THREE 6-inch round cake pans or TWO 8-inch cake pans.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the Almond milk and Apple Cider Vinegar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, ginger, cloves, and sea salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a whisk), add the Milk-ACV mixture along with the molasses, oil and vanilla. Mix for a minute or two before turning off the mixer and changing the attachment to a paddle.
  • On low speed, add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until well incorporated and batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, spreading everything around for a perfect roundness. **NOTE: If using Bake Even Cake Strips, you would wrap them around your pans at this point.**
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick.
  • Once done, remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely. **NOTE: I often let my cakes cool for 30 minutes or until them are very cool when touched and then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely for another hour or so; this makes icing easier.**

To Make Vegan 'Dirty' Chai Buttercream:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a paddle), beat the butter and shortening on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Turning the mixer on low, add 1/2 the powered sugar and spices (which should be whisked together in a bowl), vanilla, and 1 Tbsp of Almond milk, mixing them together until well combined. Add the remaining powered sugar mixture and mix until well combined. **NOTE: If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk (1 Tsp at a time); if it’s too thin, add additional powered sugar (1 Tbsp at a time). Lastly, add a pinch of sea salt to balance sweetness and Wallah!

Assembly:

  • Using a large knife (or cake slicer), slice a thin layer of cake off the tops of each cake to create a flat surface (**NOTE: Skip this step if you used the Bake Even Cake Strips; not needed).
  • Place first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Now, top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with buttercream. **NOTE: Repeat another step if using 3-layers.**
  • Once fully layered, add remaining buttercream atop cake and spread it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly. **NOTE: Adding a thin layer of buttercream around cake and chilling it for 30 minutes to 1 hour before adding remaining buttercream does the trick for an easier frosting of cake; this called a ‘crumb coat’; to add a thicker layer of buttercream on cake, simply make the buttercream recipe TWICE and apply full buttercream to the tops and sides.**
  • Once fully frosted, add small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip and/or festive sprinkles around the sides and top of cake. Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets. Slice and enjoy!
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

FLOUR: If you don’t have cake flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead. 
LAYERS: For THREE 6-inch layer cake, just DOUBLE the ingredient measurements; for THREE 8-inch layer cake or TWO 9-inch layer cake, just TRIPLE the ingredient measurements.
STORAGE: Keep cake tightly wrapped using plastic wrap and refrigerated for about 1 week.
CUPCAKES: This recipe yields about 30 cupcakes. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean.
OIL: Instead of vegetable oil, you can also use Coconut oil, if preferred.
CHAI SPICES: To make your own homemade Chai Tea spice blend, you can use the following: 2 Tbsps ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 Tbsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
MOLASSES: If using regular molasses, you can use the recommended amount as listed in the recipe. If using Blackstrap Molasses, simply use 1/2 the amount listed to ensure that the batter isn’t too bitter.
 

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Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream.

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  1. Hi! I am preparing for Thanksgiving and was wondering if I could make the buttercream the day before and refrigerate. I am guessing if I did that I would want to give it time to soften up a bit before trying to decorate? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Jenny! Thanks so much for choosing to make my recipe! Yes, you can definitely make the buttercream ahead and simply let it sit at room temp for a bit before frosting. I do hope that you had a great Thanksgiving! 🙂

  2. This was the PERFECT vegan cake at our party this weekend! I was so relieved that I was able to make my vegan BFF comfortable with a delicious cake that she could dig into as well.

  3. I use blackstrap molasses in cooking as well and actually just make a nice milky drink out of it! I love that this cake is vegan and looks just as good as a regular cake!