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Luscious Vegan Gingerbread

by . Featured in COOK EAT REPEAT
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Introduction

I am preposterously proud of this squidgy gingerbread, and I don't mind who knows it. It's everything you want out of a gingerbread - sticky, spicy, deeply aromatic - and you would never miss the butter or eggs.

Eat darkly on its own (though you may well consider piling squidgy squares of this on a plate, dusting with icing sugar and stud with birthday candles for serving) or, to each bowl, add a dollop of oat-milk creme fraiche, a treacle-toffee squiggle of date molasses, and a scattering of pomegranate seeds for seasonal sumptuousness.

Warning: ideally you need to make this at least a day before you plan to eat it. Harsh, I know.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I am preposterously proud of this squidgy gingerbread, and I don't mind who knows it. It's everything you want out of a gingerbread - sticky, spicy, deeply aromatic - and you would never miss the butter or eggs.

Eat darkly on its own (though you may well consider piling squidgy squares of this on a plate, dusting with icing sugar and stud with birthday candles for serving) or, to each bowl, add a dollop of oat-milk creme fraiche, a treacle-toffee squiggle of date molasses, and a scattering of pomegranate seeds for seasonal sumptuousness.

Warning: ideally you need to make this at least a day before you plan to eat it. Harsh, I know.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Luscious Vegan Gingerbread
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Yields: 12 slabs but could easily be cut into 18

Metric Cups
  • 150 millilitres vegetable oil
  • 200 grams golden syrup
  • 200 grams black treacle
  • 125 grams dark muscovado sugar
  • 75 grams pitted soft prunes (about 8 in number)
  • 30 grams fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ready-ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 250 millilitres oat milk
  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons warm water
  • 2 teaspoons regular cider vinegar
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅔ cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • ⅔ cup black molasses
  • ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
  • heaping ⅓ cup pitted soft pitted prunes (about 8 in number)
  • a 3 inch piece of fresh gingerroot
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ready-ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 2¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 teaspoons regular apple cider vinegar

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/325°F. Line a 23cm / 9-in square tin with a sheet of baking parchment, so that it covers the bottom and comes up the sides of the tin. Leave something heavy on it to keep it down while you melt everything together.
  2. Measure the oil in a jug, and pour it into a fairly wide, heavy-based saucepan; I use one of 22cm / 9in diameter. Measure the syrup and treacle using the oily jug, as this will stop them sticking and help them pour out easily into the saucepan.
  3. Tip the sugar into the pan, and chop the prunes finely before adding them. Peel the ginger with the tip of a teaspoon and grate it finely into the pan. Sprinkle in the spices and salt and warm over gentle heat, whisking to combine. But don’t whisk too much: you do not want to get a lot of air in the mixture.
  4. Once everything’s melted and mixed, take the pan off the heat; it should be warm at this stage, rather than boiling hot. Add the oat milk, whisking gently to make sure it’s incorporated.
  5. Whisk in the flour in 3 or 4 batches, getting rid of any lumps patiently as you go. This will take a few minutes; the only lumps you should see are the little bits of prune, although they will melt into the gingerbread as it bakes.
  6. Dissolve the bicarb in the warm water in a bigger cup than you think it needs, then add the vinegar and quickly whisk the fizzing mixture into the pan.
  7. Pour the gingerbread batter into the lined tin carefully and bake for 50–55 minutes, though start checking at 45. It may look cooked at 45 minutes, but as it’s so damp, a cake tester won’t help enormously – you’d expect some crumbs to stick to it – so take it out of the oven and touch the top quickly; if cooked, it should bounce back a bit under your fingers.
  8. Leave to cool in its tin on a rack, although I’m afraid I’m going to caution you against eating it the minute it’s cold. To taste this at its best, wrap the tin first in baking parchment and then in foil, and leave for a day or two before cutting into it.
  1. Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/325°F. Line a 23cm / 9-in square tin with a sheet of baking parchment, so that it covers the bottom and comes up the sides of the tin. Leave something heavy on it to keep it down while you melt everything together.
  2. Measure the oil in a jug, and pour it into a fairly wide, heavy-based saucepan; I use one of 22cm / 9in diameter. Measure the syrup and treacle using the oily jug, as this will stop them sticking and help them pour out easily into the saucepan.
  3. Tip the sugar into the pan, and chop the pitted prunes finely before adding them. Peel the ginger with the tip of a teaspoon and grate it finely into the pan. Sprinkle in the spices and salt and warm over gentle heat, whisking to combine. But don’t whisk too much: you do not want to get a lot of air in the mixture.
  4. Once everything’s melted and mixed, take the pan off the heat; it should be warm at this stage, rather than boiling hot. Add the oat milk, whisking gently to make sure it’s incorporated.
  5. Whisk in the flour in 3 or 4 batches, getting rid of any lumps patiently as you go. This will take a few minutes; the only lumps you should see are the little bits of prune, although they will melt into the gingerbread as it bakes.
  6. Dissolve the bicarb in the warm water in a bigger cup than you think it needs, then add the vinegar and quickly whisk the fizzing mixture into the pan.
  7. Pour the gingerbread batter into the lined tin carefully and bake for 50–55 minutes, though start checking at 45. It may look cooked at 45 minutes, but as it’s so damp, a cake tester won’t help enormously – you’d expect some crumbs to stick to it – so take it out of the oven and touch the top quickly; if cooked, it should bounce back a bit under your fingers.
  8. Leave to cool in its tin on a rack, although I’m afraid I’m going to caution you against eating it the minute it’s cold. To taste this at its best, wrap the tin first in baking parchment and then in foil, and leave for a day or two before cutting into it.

Additional Information

STORE:
Store, wrapped in baking parchment and foil or in airtight container, in cool place for up to 5 days.

FREEZE:
Tightly wrap whole cake left on baking parchment or slices in double layer of food wrap, then wrap whole cake in layer of foil or put slices in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months (cake) or 1 month (slices). Unwrap and defrost on wire rack at room temperature.

STORE:
Store, wrapped in baking parchment and foil or in airtight container, in cool place for up to 5 days.

FREEZE:
Tightly wrap whole cake left on baking parchment or slices in double layer of food wrap, then wrap whole cake in layer of foil or put slices in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months (cake) or 1 month (slices). Unwrap and defrost on wire rack at room temperature.

Tell us what you think

What 7 Others have said

  • This cake made me sign up for an account and also, I'm sure, make my man love me a little bit more.

    I didn't have treacle or ground black pepper so I used blackstrap molasses ground white pepper. I also used skimmed milk, which I was worried about but doesn't seem to have been a problem.

    OMG, DELICIOUS. Fiery and gooey, a new favourite. (We also couldn't wait a day to crack into it... )

    Posted by Joeyfudge on 12th May 2021
  • I couldn’t resist having a slice or two of this gingerbread as soon as it had cooled - it smelled and tasted delicious! However, it is totally worth resisting for a day as it gets even better. So squidgy. Never buying ready-made gingerbread again!

    Posted by Zah_bakes on 3rd January 2021
  • Wowee, this was so moreish, luscious. I cut it in to squares and gave as an xmas treats to friends. I hadn't seen the show when I made this, and I used a much darker soft brown sugar (as dark as the treacle) resulting in a nearly black sponge, with the dusting of icing sugar it looked magical and the taste was exotic.

    Posted by Trici on 3rd January 2021
  • I made this today, as a New Year's Eve treat, after watching Nigella make it on TV recently - wow! It's absolutely delicious and so easy to make! I will be making it every year at Christmas from now on. Thanks, Nigella, for a brilliant recipe, probably the first vegan recipe I've ever made!

    Posted by snoozy1 on 31st December 2020
  • Thank you Nigella for veganising gingerbread. Your gingerbread recipes (indeed all your recipes) have been a staple over the years. Having transitioned to a predominantly plant based diet I was so pleased to find a vegan version of your gingerbread which doesn’t compromise in taste or texture. This version is absolutely divine. It tastes almost identical to your sticky gingerbread recipe. However, the prunes in it also reminds me of the taste and texture of your chocolate fruit cake which is an absolute favourite. This will be my go to gingerbread recipe. So dangerously light and luscious that I have try to stop myself from polishing off half the cake in one go!

    Posted by l_i_n_h on 28th December 2020
  • Absolutely gorgeous! I made this twice this year for Xmas, not because I'm a vegan, but because it's so damn delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and just added some pecan nuts at the end. And your tip about keeping it for a day is spot on too. It turns moist and luscious when kept for a day or even overnight.

    Posted by conzuela on 24th December 2020
  • Wow! I've never been a fan of gingerbread but my daughter who's a vegan made it and convinced me to try it. I followed the recipe to a 'T'. This morning with coffee my husband and I enjoyed the most sublime, moist and delicious treat of all the baked goodies I've made this Christmas! Thank YOU Nigella!

    Posted by suze9 on 23rd December 2020
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