I make this vegan Christmas spice cake every December. Actually I end up making many – to give as gifts, to serve to guests, and to enjoy with ice cream (dairy-free) while watching Christmas movies! It’s also gluten-free and has no added oils.
Eventually, I dedicated myself to making a healthier version. And now it’s become my holiday tradition too. Baking one cake after another. My kitchen, filled with spices and memories. Old traditions merging with new ones.
This year, like no other, I’ll be baking my spice cakes in Taiwan and my mom baking hers in Newfoundland. It’s my first Christmas away from home, and it will be a hard one. My mom and I usually bake together. But this year, Facetime will help us connect and carry on Christmas traditions. Happy holiday baking everyone!
Equipment You Need
- Silicone bundt pan (if you want oil-free, otherwise a regular bundt pan). The one I use is 9.84 inches wide (diameter). Like this one on Amazon.
- If you don’t have a Bundt pan (see the one I use below), you can use two 8 or 9-inch circular pans lined with parchment paper and make two cakes or a two tiered cake. If you make the circular cakes, drop the cooking time down to 35 to 40 minutes.
- To make the cashew drizzle you need a high-speed blender. You can make it in a less powerful blender but will like not achieve as smooth a consistency. You can also make the icing as thick or thin as you like. For these pictures I wanted a drizzle rather than a thick icing so used more almond milk to thin it.
- Mixing Bowls/Measuring Cups
How To Make This Vegan Spice Cake
- Mix the psyllium husk with water to create a psyllium “egg”. This acts as the binder for the cake.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Blend the wet ingredients in a blender.
- Add wet mixture to bowl of dry ingredients. Mix.
- Transfer to bundt pan and bake.
- Let cool completely then remove from the pan. Add icing or desired garnishes and serve!
Tips, Tricks and How To Simplify
There are a few ingredients you might not recognize so here is a quick summary. I’ve linked to the ones I am using right now but there are many brands and these ingredients can be found in organic or specialty sections of grocery stores or in health food stores. Or, of course, online.
Psyllium Husk – A soluble fiber that acts as a binder in the cake. I use this one. Available as a powder or whole. I use whole psyllium husk. In general, 3 teaspoons of whole psyllium husk = 2.5 teaspoons psyllium powder.
Coconut Sugar – Also called coconut palm sugar, this is a less-refined sweetener with a lower glycemic index. I use this one.
Blackstrap Molasses – This is what’s leftover after sugar is boiled down. It’s very rich in flavor and offers lots of minerals and vitamins. I use this one.
Vegan Christmas Spice Cake (oil-free, gluten-free)
- 1 silicone Bundt pan
- 3¼ cups oat flour gluten free if desired
- 2¼ cups almond flour
- 1½ cups coconut sugar see Notes for tip!
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoons ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt
- 2 tablespoons whole psyllium husk
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses regular will work as well
Cashew Cream Drizzle
- 1 cup cashews soaked in water for 2-3 hours
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 to 10 tablespoons unsweetened almond or soy milk (see directions)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add the psyllium husk to a bowl with 1 cup of water (from "Wet" portion of recipe), mix and set aside for 5 minutes. It will become gelatinous and thick.
- Measure the flours and sugars by spooning each into dry measuring cups and running the straight edge of a knife across the top to level out the surface. Add the flours/sugar to a large glass bowl. Add remaining dry ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt) to the bowl and mix together using a whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- Add all wet ingredients, including the psyllium husk/water mix, to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the blended wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Use a whisk to break up any lumps.
- Transfer the batter to a silicon Bundt pan.
- Place the Bundt pan on the middle rack of the pre-heated oven and bake for 70-80 minutes. Resist opening the oven to check before the 60 minute mark! The cake is done with the sides have pulled away from the pan and the surface is firm to touch.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack and let it cool completely in the pan. The surface of the cake might sink a little, this is ok! Once completely cooled, flip the cake onto a serving tray. Pull the sides of the silicone bundt pan to release the cake. I also like to squeeze the center part of the bundt pan to make sure the inner circle of the cake also releases completely. The cook should easily pop out. Now drizzle with ½ the Orange Cashew Drizzle and garnish with toasted pecans (instructions below) and pomegranates. Use the remainder to drizzle over individual slices once served.
Orange Cashew Drizzle:
- Drain cashews and add to a blender along with all other ingredients. More almond milk will give you a thinner icing, and less almond milk will result in a thicker, spreadable icing. I usually use 7 to 8 tablespoons. For these pictures I used even more to have a "drizzle" effect. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Add more almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to reach your desired consistency.
- Make your own oat flour by processing rolled oats in a blender or food processor until a flour-like consistency is reached.
- For the best results, grind the coconut sugar before adding it to the dry ingredients. Do this by adding the sugar to a food processor or blender and processing until the sugar reaches a fine powdery consistency. You can also do this in a coffee grinder.
- If you don’t have pomegranates, you can use garnish with dried cranberries or any fresh berry.
- If you don’t have a silicone Bundt pan, be sure to lightly oil the Bundt pan so the cake doesn’t stick.
TOASTED PECAN DIRECTIONS
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Can you use a flax egg instead of the psyllium egg and what about date sugar instead of the coconut sugar? Asking because I have these items on hand and would have to purchase the others which is no problem, just asking.
Great questions. I actually wouldn’t suggest using flax eggs instead. Psyllium husk is much more absorbent than ground flax and the cake texture would be different. I think you can sub date sugar for coconut! It will be a little sweeter, maybe a strongly flavor, but I think this flavor will work well with all the spices! I hope this helps! Thanks again,
You have in the recipe to check out the pan you use below bu there is no information about it such as size brand etc can you provide the information and can we get it on Amazon
Yes, I’ve added the information in the post! Thanks for this question!
I only have psyllium husk powder, so I wasn’t sure how much to use in place of the whole. Could chia seeds be substituted?
No you really need psyllium. In generaly, 3 teaspoons of whole husk = 2 1/2 teaspoons powder! I hope this helps! Good luck!
I love to eat spice cake and they are very yummy! I’m going to try this before Christmas so that I don’t make any mistakes while making it on Christmas eve.
Yes! That’s a great idea Albertina! Let me know how it works out! Happy holidays!
Hi can I make this in a round cake pan. Of I don’t jave a Bundt pan??
Yes you can! Split it into two circular (9-inch) pans and you’ll have to reduce the baking time. I think check around the 40 minute mark!
This recipe is so moist and delicious I can’t believe it. Blows moms non vegan cake out of the water.
I made this for a group of people and everyone loved it! So perfect for Christmas!
Absolutely delicious! Bravo Ashley. It’s so pretty too!
Hi, you mention arrowroot powder in the notes but I don’t see it in the recipe? Have I missed something? Thanks.
Excellent catch Gillian! I’m so sorry for the delay in response! The arrowroot comment in the body of the post was a mistake! The recipe is correct! Thank you again for pointing this out!
This was amazing! Adding to my recipe book!
That makes me so happy Isabel! Thank you for making it and reporting back! Take care!
10/10!!! I was extremely impressed with how delicious this cake was. I made the recipe as is except substituted date sugar for coconut sugar. I was a little concerned it wouldn’t turn out because of the texture when putting it in the silicone mold. It was dreamy and so satisfying. It was so moist and the flavor was out of this world!! Ashley, any suggestions to modify this for a vanilla birthday cake or chocolate? Would love to use the base recipe for a more everyday cake. TIA
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Jules! It is a magical cake! And I did use this cake as the inspo for the chocolate bundt cake in my cookbook! Thank you so much for sharing your love for the recipe! I really appreciate it!
Take care (let me know if you get the book!)
I found my answer in the comment section about the psyllium ratio of whole to powder of 3 teaspoons whole to 2 – 1/2 teaspoons powder.
In your story the ratio was 1 teaspoon whole to 2 – 1/2 teaspoon powder. Just thought you might want to know that. I can’t wait to make! Thank you for sharing!
I really want to make this cake but am a little confused regarding the whole psyllium husks. In the narrative u mention using whole psyllium husks but when u show what u use it says psyllium husk powder. If I were to purchase what u suggest wud the amount of psyllium remain as stated. Thanks
Hi Pam! I’m not sure where I say I use powder but you can use either whole psyllium husk (which is what I use) or psyllium powder. 3 teaspoons whole psyllium husk is the same as 2 1/2 teaspoons psyllium powder. I use Now whole psyllium husk. I have it linked above in the post 🙂 Let me know if this is helpful!
Hi, Ashley. What a wonderful tradition of baking with your mother even across the miles.
I mill my own wheat berries and think a combination of whole red wheat , soft wheat and spelt would complement the spices in your cake. In your quest for the perfect cake did you test with any wheat flour? If so, can you please offer amounts? Thank you
Hi Priscilla, I didn’t test with wheat or spelt flour but I think it’s a great idea! Especially if you’re milling your own, how fantastic. Since red wheat is harder wheat with more protein it’s best for more artisan breads but I think you could use a small amount in the cake if you wanted. If I were to guess, I’d use 2 1/2 cups of spelt flour and 2 1/2 cups of soft wheat! This is where I’d start! Let me know if you try!
Ashley, thank you so much for your quick response and suggested amounts. I look forward to trying this and will take your suggestions!
I’m going to make your spice cake recipe and would like to add pumpkin purée to it to make it a pumpkin spice
cake. Do you think I could use the pumpkin in place of the water to mix with the psyllium husk powder ?
Hi Stephanie! I’ve never done this so I can’t say for sure but I would try it! I would use an equal amount of pumpkin puree but when you’re mixing everything together you may need to add more liquid if the batter is too dry. The cake will likely be more dense, but I kind of like a dense texture. Please report back if you try it!
I will try it with the pumpkin purée and if the batter seems too dry, I’ll add a little water at a time to look more moister like in your photos of the batter made with water. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’ll have to order the psyllium powder first because I don’t have that one ingredient yet !
Thank you Ashley for the quick and timely response and thank you for this great recipe !
You’re welcome:) I use NOW whole psyllium husk. The link is in the post above! Looking forward to hearing how it goes 🙂
I’m not sure if you’ve receive my previous comment. My question about your Christmas Spice Cake recipe is if I can replace the oat flour for Trader Joe’s all purpose gluten free flour and still get good results. I have a member of my family who cannot have oats in her diet,not even gluten free oats because of Crohn’s disease.
I’m sorry Stephanie! I missed this question. I would definitely give it a try. Once poured into the pan the batter should look like mine above. I would probably just check in on the cake after 50 minutes, just a quick check to see if it’s cooking quicker. Let me know how this goes and if it works out, I’ll add a note!
Thank you Ashley!
I will let you know how it turns out !
I made this cake, but have the same problem I’ve been having with several other recipes which is the outside comes out burnt but the inside is not fully baked, and still very wet. I have tried to read a lot and I have checked that my oven temp is accurate but I still have this issue. The taste is great but I am not getting a true cake form/texture. Any ideas?
Hey Madeline! Sorry it’s not working out for you. If your oven’s temp is correct the next thing would be the brand of products you’re using. Can you send me the psyllium, oat flour, and almond flour you’re using?
I made your holiday spice cake recipe and let me tell you it is so delightfully delicious. My husband had seconds
I want to share photos of it. Not sure how. I’ll try e-mailing the photos to you.
Thank you so much for such wonderful recipes you make . I want to purchase your latest cookbook! And I know you work hard at creating them!
Stephanie A. ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you, Stephanie! I’d love to see pictures! Email me ashley @ ashleymadden.ca
My next cookbook is almost here… 🙂