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This gingerbread is both vegan and gluten-free

By Emily Ho
TheKitchn.com
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- Emily Ho

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  • Gluten-Free Vegan Gingerbread

    Look for specialty ingredients such as ground flax seeds, millet flour and teff flour at health-focused supermarkets or health-food stores.

    2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

    6 tablespoons warm water

    5/6 cup (100 grams) millet flour

    5/6 cup (100 grams) teff flour

    1/3 cup (50 grams) potato starch (not potato flour)

    1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    2 teaspoons ground ginger

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    2/3 cup coconut palm sugar

    1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

    1/3 cup coconut oil

    1 cup unsweetened applesauce

    PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8- by 8-inch pan or line it with parchment paper.

    STIR together the flax and warm water in a small bowl until thick and creamy. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

    SIFT the dry ingredients (except the coconut palm sugar) into a large mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, combine the coconut palm sugar, molasses, coconut oil, applesauce and flax mixture; whisk until well blended. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to blend.

    POUR the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until set in the middle and a tester comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan on rack until cake is cool enough to handle, then turn out.

    CAKE is best eaten the same day. Refrigerate leftovers.

    YIELD: 1 (8-inch-square) cake.



What are the holidays without wheat, dairy, eggs and refined sugar? Pretty dreary, I imagined – until I came up with this moist, richly flavored gingerbread cake that I will be happily baking for months, if not years, to come.

Since going on an elimination diet, I have been avoiding gluten, soy, dairy and refined sugar. I’m also a vegetarian who’s allergic to chocolate, bananas and many nuts. I figured holiday baking would be a bust, until I found encouragement from friends on similar diets, delved into the gluten-free blogs, and began playing with ingredients. What began as a perceived nightmare soon became a fascinating challenge.

Gingerbread is one of my favorite fall treats, and I was determined to find a version I could eat. Using the applesauce gingerbread recipe in “The Joy of Cooking” as a starting point, I experimented until I came up with a cake without gluten, milk, butter, eggs, refined sugar, soy products, xanthan or guar gums.

Now, let’s talk about what the cake does contain: subtly sweet teff and millet flours, nutty flax seeds, creamy coconut oil, and molasses and coconut palm sugar (while no sugars should be eaten to excess, these are unrefined and lower on the glycemic index). If you have a favorite gluten-free flour blend, you could give it a try. But I really like the combination of teff flour, millet flour and potato starch, which works well with the sweeteners and spices and keeps the cake moist.

Serve the cake with dairy-free cream, a fruit compote or a dusting of stevia, and you’ll feel festive, not restricted.

Emily Ho is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a website for food and home cooking.

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