This Vegan Sticky Gingerbread Date Cake is extra soft and moist, with chewy medjool dates, warming spices and rich dairy-free caramel sauce. Serve with vanilla ice cream for a delicious, sweet treat perfect for the holidays or anytime.
Ingredients in Sticky Gingerbread Date Cake
(Full ingredient list and instructions in recipe card at bottom of the page)
Medjool dates: pitted dates make the cake moist and chewy while adding natural sweetness.
Non-dairy milk: I used soymilk, but feel free to use your favorite plantbased milk.
Vegan butter: The Earth Balance baking sticks are my go-to, but other vegan butters will work well too. I don’t recommend using coconut oil instead because this may change the texture.
Molasses: For that classic gingerbread taste, molasses adds depth and richness to cake while also keeping it moist.
Cane sugar: This gingerbread date cake gets doused with a good amount of caramel sauce, so the cake itself isn’t too sweet. If you’re strictly vegan, make sure you buy vegan cane sugar.
All purpose flour: I haven’t tried this recipe using other types of flour, so I don’t recommend making any substitutions.
Baking powder & baking soda: Baking powder allows the cake to rise while baking soda helps soften the dates by breaking down their tough exterior.
Cinnamon, ground ginger & cloves: For that classic gingerbread flavor!
How to Make Sticky Gingerbread Date Cake
This gingerbread date cake comes together a little differently than most other cakes because of the dates, but it’s still pretty easy to make.
Start by preparing the cake pan. You’ll need an 8×8 glass baking dish. I like to grease the pan and line it with parchment, leaving about an overhang for easy removal.
Start by placing the dates in a small sauce pan and covering them with non-dairy milk and a bit of water. Bring the mixture to boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the dates have softened. Turn off the heat and stir in the baking soda. It will probably bubble up quite a bit and this is ok! Let the mixture cool off for a few minutes and allow the baking soda to break down the dates.
Meanwhile, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set those aside. Once the date mixture has cooled off, stir in the melted vegan butter, molasses and sugar. Pour the contents of the saucepan over the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold until just combined. Try not to over-mix or the cake may be too dense.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 35-40 minutes. Begin checking at 35 minutes by inserting a cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s ready to come out. The middle should also be firm to the touch. Let the cake cool for 20-30 minutes before removing it from the pan and slicing.
While the gingerbread date cake bakes, make the vegan caramel sauce. It’s super simple, just vegan butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and non-dairy milk. Everything gets combined in a sauce pan and simmered over low heat for a few minutes until smooth. Careful not to let it boil or the caramel will harden and become like candy when it cools! Store the vegan caramel sauce in a jar and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Tips for Serving
I recommend serving this sticky gingerbread date cake slightly warm or at room temperature. You can either drizzle the caramel sauce over the whole cake and let it sit for a while to seep in, or drizzle on individual portions. Either way, serve each slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and extra caramel sauce.
This cake also tastes delicious the next day! Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
More Vegan Dessert Recipes to Try:
- Miso chocolate chip banana bread
- Apple Butter Blondies
- Cinnamon roll muffins
- Raspberry chocolate chip cookies
- Salted chocolate tahini cream pies