Vegan Chocolate Orange Gingerbread Cake

Recipe by Savannah Lloyd

This taste-tempting gingerbread is intensely flavorful, with rich, fudgy texture and a dressy topping of orange-cardamom buttercream and silky chocolate ganache. Savannah Lloyd’s vegan version of this nostalgic cake is destined to become a classic in its own right.

1 hr
33 to 35 mins
3 hrs 15 mins
one 8” or 9” cake
Vegan Chocolate Orange Gingerbread Cake
Vegan Chocolate Orange Gingerbread Cake
Vegan Chocolate Orange Gingerbread Cake - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8” or 9” round pan and line it with parchment, then grease the parchment.

  2. To make the cake batter: In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vinegar. Set the mixture aside; it will curdle quickly.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices.

  4. In a separate bowl combine the melted coconut oil, molasses, and coffee. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth.

  5. Stir in the curdled milk and orange zest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  6. To bake the cake: Bake the cake for 33 to 35 minutes (for a 9” cake), or 42 to 44 minutes (for an 8” cake). The cake is done when it just begins to pull away from the edge of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

  7. Remove the cake from the oven and cool it in its pan on a rack.

  8. To make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, whip the vegan butter until it’s light and fluffy.

  9. At low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar, cardamom, vanilla, and orange juice. If the frosting is too thick to spread easily, add a tablespoon or two of non-dairy milk as needed. Set aside.

  10. To assemble the cake: Once the cake has cooled, run a knife or spatula between the pan and the cake’s edges to ensure a clean release.

  11. Gently turn the cake over onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. Remove the parchment from the bottom and turn the cake right side up onto a cooling rack.

  12. Set 3/4 cup (185g) of the frosting aside to use for decorating. Using an offset spatula, frost the top of the cake with the remainder, making sure to level the top. Chill the frosted cake for 30 minutes on its rack.

  13. To make the ganache: While the cake is chilling, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

  14. In a small saucepan set over medium heat bring the cream to a simmer, stirring frequently.

  15. Remove the cream from the heat and immediately pour it over the chocolate. Add the butter, stirring until the ganache is smooth.

  16. Place the cake on its rack onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Slowly pour the ganache over the cake in a zigzag pattern to ensure an even coat. Use an offset spatula to level the top and encourage the ganache to run down the sides of the cake.

  17. Transfer the cake from the cooling rack to a serving plate; a giant spatula is helpful here. Once the ganache has set, decorate the top of the cake with the reserved buttercream and orange slices, as desired.

  18. Storage information: Store any leftover cake, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to five days; freeze for longer storage.

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