My Secret Ingredient in Vegan Baking

01/31/2013 02:58 EST | Updated 04/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Apple Gingerbread cake gluten free vegan

Let's get this straight right now -- baking with whole grain, gluten-free flour, while avoiding butter, refined sugar and eggs does not typically make for super moist, easy and delicious baking. Until now mes amis.

See, a new baby arrived in my family in December and the only person who loves a slice of dry cake with tea more than my mom, is my sister-in-law Carly and she was well in need of some great cake.

I failed her though. I did.

This cake wasn't dry at all. It was super moist, just sweet enough and way too good to have around the house. What was my secret weapon?

Apple gingerbread cake recipe that is gluten and dairy free. Vegan friendly.

Apple sauce. I love using apple sauce in my gluten free baked treats because it works in three magical ways to make for baking success.

1. Apple sauce has a naturally occurring pectin which acts as a binding agent to help with gluten-free baking.

2. Apple sauce has a natural sweetness to it so less additional sweetener is needed.

3. Apple is fibre rich which helps to hold in and retain moisture. This means it can also replace some of the oil in most recipes.

Something about using apple sauce whether it be in muffins, pancakes, brownies or cake, always seems to do the trick.

The inspiration for this recipe came from the gorgeous version created by my dear friend Kristin.

Apple gingerbread cake

Apple Gingerbread Cake

by Meghan Telpner

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Keywords: bake breakfast dessert snack gluten free dairy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian apple Ginger cake whole food fall winter


Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

Dry Ingredients

  • ¾ cup gluten-free brown rice flour
  • ¾ cup gluten-free buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
  • pinch of clove
  • pinch of sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup succanut or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup black strap molasses
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ghee, butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia, ground and mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
  • Note: You may wish to use 2 cups of your own favourite gluten-free flour blend.


Preheat oven to 350 F

Line cake pan with parchment or grease with butter/oil and dust with flower.

Mix together all dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl or blender, whisk/gently blend together the grated ginger, sugar, syrup, molasses, apple sauce, water vinegar and butter/oil.

Mix wet into dry and add the chia paste.

Pour into cake pan and smooth out with a spatula

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick, inserted into the centre comes out clean.

What are some of your favourite baking substitutions?