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Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream
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5 from 12 votes

Vegan Gingerbread Cake + Chai Buttercream

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.
Course Dessert
Keyword baked, cake, chai tea, classic, dairy-free, dessert, easy, fall recipe, fluffy, ginger, gingerbread, healthy, holidays, homemade, plant-based, recipe, spices, sweet, traditional, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea


Gingerbread Cake:

  • 1 cup organic all purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • ½ cup Super fine cake flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1 ½ tsps baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil (See Notes!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsps molasses (See Notes!)

Vegan Chai Buttercream:

  • ¼ cup vegan butter spread  (I use Earth's Balance)
  • ¼ cup organic vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum)
  • 3-4 cups organic powered sugar, sifted (See Notes!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tbsps Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chai spice mix + 1 teaspoon (for more flavor!) (See Notes!)


  • festive Sprinkles (I use Sprinkle Pop Sprinkles!)


  • 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 ½ the powered sugar and spices (which should be whisked together in a bowl), vanilla, and 1 tablespoon 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 teaspoon at a time); if it’s too thin, add additional powered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time). Lastly, add a pinch of sea salt to balance sweetness and Wallah!


  • 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!


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 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
MOLASSES: If using regular molasses, you can use the recommended amount as listed in the recipe. If using Blackstrap Molasses, simply use ½ the amount listed to ensure that the batter isn't too bitter.