Gingerbread Cake – Gluten free

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Gingerbread Cake – Gluten free

This cake is delicious! The heat of the ginger balances off the sweeter elements so it doesn’t feel heavy.

This was only recently perfected with some experimentation.

I must give special thanks to Randy for helping me ‘test’ the final cake creation.

He readily agreed….well actually begged to be part of the ‘testing process,’ and even bravely suggested we try seconds and thirds ‘just to be sure.’ He then creatively suggested that it would be ‘wise’ to repeat the whole process the next day on slightly older cake.


3/4 cup vegetable or coconut oil
1/2 cup rice syrup
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup water
1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh ginger, grated (note this is lots of ginger, you can just put 1 or 2 Tbsp)
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato flour
1/2 cup flax meal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. stevia (clear liquid Sunny Dew is best)
1/2 tsp. salt


1.    Combine vegetable oil, rice syrup, molasses, flax meal and ginger in a bowl.
2.    Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl.
3.    Stir half of the flour mixture into the wet mixture.
4.    Mix well.
5.    Add water.
6.    When mixed well, stir in the remaining dry ingredients.
7.    Pour into an oiled, floured 8 inch square pan.
8.    Bake at 400º F. for 35 to 45 minutes.
9.    Serve with Sugar-free Apple sauce.

Want to learn to bake Gluten Free? 

Check out Diana’s  Healthy Gluten Free Baking BootCamp.  You get a complete shopping list and video instruction on how to do all your holiday baking in just two days.  Remember not all gluten free baking is healthy!

Want to get REALLY  healthy?  Take in one of our 2-5-30 Healthy Diets.  Powerful transformational courses adjusted for the season.

By | 2017-10-29T15:41:52+00:00 December 3rd, 2011|Gluten Free, Recipes, Sugar Free Desserts|33 Comments

About the Author:

I am the Founder and Author at Real Food For Life. Have been teaching cooking classes worldwide since 1982. Create original, healthy recipes and menus, which are gluten free and white sugar free. Also, the author of the GREEN means LEAN and Balance Your Body e-books. I turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar free, gluten free eating and cooking.


  1. Elena January 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Cannot wait to try it. Thank you for the recipe.

  2. Annie Bond March 19, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Thank you for this great recipe. I made it for a meeting and everyone raved about it.  It is a treasure. I just substituted almond flour for the potato starch because of glycemic index for my personal needs and it still worked very well.

  3. Nomar June 2, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for your great articles; I find them really helpful.

    I’ve tried Stevia, and have done my best at trying to like it, or at least to live with it, but I just can’t. What do you think about using Splenda instead?

    Thanks again for your help,


  4. Susan June 2, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I love your ideas and eat just the same way you do! I have a question for you, how is using molasses or dried fruit “sugar free”? I find those both to be very high in sugar. And are they any better than Xylitol (which is what I use to bake). I also LOVE stevia for drinks (I make a wonderful virgin mojito with lime juice, fresh mint and stevia!). I’ve stayed away from ginger recipes because of the sugar.
    thanks so much for making this available.

  5. Sharon June 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Molasses is just less refined sugar; so how is this recipe sugar free?

  6. Storm June 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    NOT sugar free per se…… rice syrup, molasses? Diabetics usually can’t have this stuff…… so not really ‘sugar free’. BTW, substitute that large volume of oil for an equal amount of applesauce and you are on your way to a healthier recipe.

  7. shiner June 2, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Hardly sugar free, perhaps it would be better to say no white sugar added. Rice Syrup and Molasses are sugars.

  8. Diana Herrington June 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Normar, happy to hear you are enjoying the articles.
    Which stevia are you using? It could be the type of stevia as the white powder stuff is highly processed and has a bitter after taste. I would not use splenda, see this article:

  9. Diana Herrington June 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Sharon, Susan, Storm & Shiner
    Well you are all right they are not in that way technically sugar free. No white or brown sugar.

    For most of us a little of the healthier sugars are actually good for us. I do not see the healthier sugars as being bad for us. For instance molasses is full of nutrition with so many minerals. Here is a list of all of the sugars and a simple description of them:

    Storm, I agree this cake has a high amount of oil and as it is just a once in a while treat it can be okay. Still a healthier version would be great! If you make this recipe with apple sauce instead of so much oil it would be great if you shared it here.

  10. Jeremy Schwartz June 9, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Molasses is what you are left with AFTER you refine sugar. Blackstrap molasses has the lowest sugar content and the highest nutrient content of any molasses and is really quite good for you. as far as the rice syrup goes, I happen to agree it is much better for you than corn syrup or refined sugar.

    And although that may seem like a lot of oil, we’re talking a whole cake. Not to mention, no matter how “good for you” a recipe is, you should always fall back on the motto “nothing in excess.” Although I also find the title of the recipe slightly misleading I know what these ingredients are and can think for myself so it really isn’t a big deal to me and it shouldn’t be to anyone. You either want to try the recipe or you don’t, it’s really as simple as that. All things said it still has a much lower sugar content, especially per serving, than any cake I have ever tried thus far and it’s being made for my birthday today so I’m going to enjoy it regardless of the sugar content 😀 <3

  11. wheat free cakes June 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you for your nice article. I like it very much. I will try it at my home.

  12. Frances July 8, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Sorry I am from Britain looking up your recipe what is “stevia (clear liquid Sunny Dew?


  13. Diana Herrington July 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Frances
    Stevia is my very favorite sweetner; here some great info about it:
    Hope you can find some.

  14. karl j. Volk November 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    i was disappointed that there was no printer friendly vesion to get the receipe. It took two paers for each recipe and ythat makes it more complex to store etc Karl

  15. Diana Herrington November 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Karl, that is a good idea that we had not thought of. I will discuss with Randy how we can do it. Thank you.

  16. annie December 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    brave randy! i’m glad you were the guinea pig for this recipe.

    i’m seriously considering trying it!!!

    it seems i may be gluten intolerant after all, so i’m definitely looking for more gluten free recipes.

  17. Diana Herrington December 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Yes poor Randy 🙂
    It really is his favourite that I make.

    Annie, many people are gluten intolerant and do not even know it. All the recipes on this site are gluten free so you are in a good place.
    Another thing you may want to do is get an Vital Assessment done and have the food sensitivity testing done.

  18. Grace Mayer March 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    sounds good, but unfortunately almost all the ingredients are things we can’t find easily here in Spain…

  19. Diana Herrington May 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Grace, you can substitute ingredients. Tell me what you cannot get.

    Karl, there is now a way to print our pages.

  20. Anon January 4, 2013 at 3:32 am

    “a little of the healthier sugars ” might be ok for us, if we weren’t drowning in sugar in all our other foods.
    You write the articles about stopping sugar craving, etc., but this recipe has 3/4 cup of semi-natural/processed sugars (molasses, rice syrup) and then… add 1/2 tsp of stevia. Seems to me the stevia is lost/futile among the molasses/rice syrup.
    I’m not trying to be belligerent about it, but this combination isn’t really educating people off of sugar… as our weight and diabetes rise. You say the website is all gluten-free… perhaps you should have a sister website, where you take all these gluten-free recipes and make them truly mostly sugar free (few of the ’19 Different Sugars’ you write about)… substituting dates/other fruit and stevia …as one person suggested substituting applesauce, and then, perhaps, you might raise the stevia amount.
    I know there’s some complexity to the purposes/mix of ingredients, and we can’t eliminate all sugar, but we should eliminate the overabundance of it… and apples/fruit have a lot, too (but some with fiber to slow metabolization).
    Maybe someday in the future we’ll force corporate profiteering food processors to provide foods with only 10-30% of the salt and sugar they force on us now… and let the consumer adulterate the food to their preference/detriment. We need to start by showing them our preference for buying low sugar/salt products, and lower sales of sugar/salt for recipes. Their bottom-line is what will motivate them.
    I noticed one of the Care2 articles apologized for ranting… well, here’s mine, and I make no apology for it, because what we have on store shelves is very little choice… to avoid sugar/salt glut… and even Michelle Obama only got some food processors to cut back by only 10%. (A step they can easily take back when the public eye moves on.)
    I’m glad to see the article title doesn’t say sugar-free… although links elsewhere do say so, prompting the other comments here about it. Why write against sugar glut and then use so much of it? I know you say ‘most of us’ and ‘good for us’… but it seems we have a sugar problem (which you’re writing against)… because a lot of us develop type 2 diabetes and other related health problems. And for those people, sugar-laden recipes are a non-starter. For them as well as ‘most of us’, great recipes would be slow-metabolic ‘treats’ and even recipes that simply taste great and needn’t necessarily be very ‘sweet’. Store shelves and restaurant foods are enough to contend with. Something to think about.
    I’ll stop now… I’ve said enough and won’t belabor other articles/comments.

  21. Diana Herrington January 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Anon, I appreciate your passionate response. I am sorry that our approach to health does not meet your particular needs. I am passionate too; for me it is about not including any white or brown sugar or artificial sweeteners into my body ever; I never eat any of them. I have an extremely reactive system and have found eating them makes me feel very unwell. That being the case I am sure that what I do will suit most people because I rarely meet someone who is as sensitive to sugar as I am.

    The sweeteners I use in the recipes is a way less then what any average recipes has in it. I believe most people would find it difficult to never eat any thing sweetened. I use a wide variety of sweeteners and they all have a little nutrition in them and some like molasses has lots of minerals. Personally I eat small quantities of my own baking and recommend that others do too.

    The rise in diabetes and obesity is not to do with eating healthier sweeteners; it is about consuming many pounds of white sugar in food and beverages along with all the other dumb carbs (white bread and rice for example) and simply overeating due to lack of real nutrition. That said; the recipes here are not intended for diabetics; that is an area which I never said I was doing. There are sites that work with that specifically if that is your need.

    All fruits and vegetables except for green leafy vegetables have sugar in them so it is not possible to avoid natural sugar for a healthy sustainable diet. The only way around it would be to eat meat and greens and this earth cannot support that for the quantity of people on it. I for one would not survive on that diet. We all have individual needs in our body so that may work for some and if that is your path then do know it is not what we are supporting on this site.

    May you find what you are looking for to be a healthy vibrant person on the earth.

  22. Joy Markman March 8, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Diane, what molasses do you use – blackstrap or ordinary molasses?

  23. Diana Herrington March 8, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Joy, I use black strap as it is less sweet and has more nutrients. Thank you for asking; I will now edit this recipe to say black strap and remember to say it in other recipes.

  24. Thia May 1, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I just want to make sure that the recipe really uses “potato flour” and not “potato starch.” Both are very different. Most gluten free recipes call for potato starch as it is lighter. Potato flour will absorb lots of liquid, and can make the baked good quite heavy, unless only very small amounts are used.

    I would like to make this, but want to make certain I am using the right ingredient. I have both, here.

  25. Diana Herrington May 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Thia, as the recipe says Potato flour and that is what it is. I do not use potato starch as I do not believe all that starch is good for us. It is healthier not to eat starch which is simply one molecule away from being sugar.

  26. Thia May 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Yay!! Thank you!! (I agree!)

  27. Thia May 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    One more question! Have you tried chia meal (instead of flax) in your recipes? Have you found it works as well? Just thought I’d ask, before giving it a go.

  28. Diana Herrington May 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    I have not tried using chia so I am not sure how it will work. If you do that then let me know how it works. I will have to do a few experiments with it.

  29. Lanie October 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Sounds delish! My son is sensitive to flax and the chia mentioned previously. Do you have any other suggestions? I recently found Chestnut flour, maybe I’ll try that.

  30. Diana Herrington October 30, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Lanie, try soya or chick pea flour as they have a stick to it quality.
    And do let me know how it works.

  31. Evelyn November 5, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Sounds good, but I would replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil, since vegetable oil becomes a trans fat when heated. I would also replace the stevia with norbu. Can’t wait to try it though.
    Thank you.

  32. DD April 27, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    I’d like to email this to me & my daughter-in-law; I haven’t setup my Facebook acct yet

  33. Trudy February 1, 2016 at 1:43 am

    I would like to try this cake but will have to sub a few ingredients. I am making the effort of trying to eat green stevia and ginger to heal my ulcer and I will have to put it in a cake to eat it.
    Thankyou for posting recipe.. I will let you know how it turns out if I can convince my overworked spouse to get his apron on.
    Question is how to best incorporate the green stevia powder?? I’m guessing this cake recipe might have enough sticky and oil to make the green stevia powder less gritty if I add it to the dry ingredients. But we are new to stevia and don’t like artificial chemical sweeteners also for our mental health and senility sake.

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