Vegan Christmas Spice Cake

vegan spice cake

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. 

About This Vegan Christmas Spice Cake
The inspiration (and motivation) for this Vegan Christmas Spice Cake is my momma! Every Christmas for as long as I can remember my mom made the most delicious Christmas spice cake. I’m not talking about just one or two, she would make one after the other like she was opening up a bakery. 
 
Everyone who came to our house fell in love with this cake and hinted that they would love to have one. I don’t blame them….it really was the most delicious spice cake of all time; rich in flavour, dense and somehow light, spicy and sweet. 
 
The smell of cloves and cinnamon drifting through our house was a Christmas tradition. Even now when I smell these spices, I think of Christmas at home and my mom moving bundt cakes in and out of the oven while Dolly and Kenny play in the background. 
 
I haven’t had a slice of mom’s spice cake in almost 10 years. Once I switched my diet around, I decided I wouldn’t make any exceptions, even for this gorgeous cake. You see it’s made with butter (loads of butter), white sugar and white flour. Nope, nope and nope. 
 

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. 
  • Blender
    • 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

  1. Mix the psyllium husk with water to create a psyllium “egg”. This acts as the binder for the cake.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. 
  3. Blend the wet ingredients in a blender. 
  4. Add wet mixture to bowl of dry ingredients. Mix. 
  5. Transfer to bundt pan and bake.
  6. Let cool completely then remove from the pan. Add icing or desired garnishes and serve!

Tips, Tricks and How To Simplify

Read the recipe carefully. It includes a few tips to maximize recipe success! These tips include spooning the flours into the measuring cups and levelling them off with a straight edge rather than scooping the flour up with the measuring cup, as well as grinding or processing the coconut sugar so that it’s a finer consistency. Both of these steps will improve the final result. 
 
Leftovers. Warm leftover cake in the oven and serve with dairy-free ice cream. This vegan spice cake also freezes really well. Once the cake has cooled, I like to cut it into quarters, and freeze in a freezer-safe container. Then I take a quarter out of the fridge as needed and let it thaw on the counter.
 
Removing the cake from the bundt pan. To ensure that your cake doesn’t break or stick, it’s important to take your time when removing it from the bundt pan. Once the cake is completely cool, flip the cake onto a serving plate, pull on the sides of the pan to release the outer edges of the cake as well as squish the middle, circular part of the pan to release the inner part. 
 
Cashew icing. You can make the icing thick like traditional icing or thin like a drizzle – the way I made it for these pictures! See the recipe for how-t0.

Special Ingredients

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, 1 teaspoon 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 spice cake

Vegan Christmas Spice Cake (oil-free, gluten-free)

Author : Ashley Madden
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 12 slices
Course: Dessert
4.84 from 6 votes
This Vegan Christmas Spice Cake is inspired by one of my mom’s classic Christmas recipes but healthier! It's plant-based, gluten-free and made with coconut sugar. I like to drizzle the cake with a cashew icing but you can also serve as is!

Equipment

  • 1 silicone Bundt pan
  • BLENDER

Ingredients
  

Dry

  • cups oat flour gluten free if desired
  • cups almond flour
  • cups coconut sugar see Notes for tip!
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground ginger
  • teaspoons ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt

Wet

  • 2 tablespoons whole psyllium husk mixed
  • 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
  • teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt

Garnishes

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Instructions
 

Cake:

  • 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.

Notes

CAKE NOTES

  • 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

Spread the pecans out on a parchment-lined pan and bake in a 350ºF oven for 5 minutes. Watch them carefully as they burn quickly and easily!  They will start to brown and become fragrant when they're done. Once you remove from the oven, quickly transfer them to a glass plate to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop the pecans and set aside. 
Did you make this recipe? Tag @riseshinecook on Instagram or hashtag it #riseshinecook

Take a Peek Inside The Plant-Based Cookbook!

Order The Plant-Based Cookbook! These are recipes I use every day and have fine tuned over the years! Every recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and with no added oils! Get it here!

19 Comments

  1. Reply

    Maria

    December 1, 2020

    Hi Ashley,
    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.

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      December 2, 2020

      Hi Maria!
      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,
      Ashley

  2. Reply

    Reggie

    December 3, 2020

    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

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      December 11, 2020

      Yes, I’ve added the information in the post! Thanks for this question!

  3. Reply

    Claudia

    December 3, 2020

    4 stars
    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?

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      December 11, 2020

      No you really need psyllium. In generaly, 3 teaspoons of whole husk = 2 1/2 teaspoons powder! I hope this helps! Good luck!

  4. Reply

    Albertina

    December 4, 2020

    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.

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      December 11, 2020

      Yes! That’s a great idea Albertina! Let me know how it works out! Happy holidays!

  5. Reply

    Veena Acharya

    December 11, 2020

    Hi can I make this in a round cake pan. Of I don’t jave a Bundt pan??

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      December 11, 2020

      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!

  6. Reply

    Bernard

    December 11, 2020

    5 stars
    This recipe is so moist and delicious I can’t believe it. Blows moms non vegan cake out of the water.

  7. Reply

    Colleen

    December 11, 2020

    5 stars
    I made this for a group of people and everyone loved it! So perfect for Christmas!

  8. Reply

    Pam Mercer

    December 11, 2020

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Bravo Ashley. It’s so pretty too!

  9. Reply

    Gillian Millman

    December 21, 2020

    Hi, you mention arrowroot powder in the notes but I don’t see it in the recipe? Have I missed something? Thanks.

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      February 8, 2021

      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!
      Take care,

      Ashley

  10. Reply

    Isabel

    January 2, 2021

    5 stars
    This was amazing! Adding to my recipe book!

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      February 8, 2021

      That makes me so happy Isabel! Thank you for making it and reporting back! Take care!
      xo
      Ashley

  11. Reply

    Jules

    February 8, 2021

    5 stars
    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

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      February 8, 2021

      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!)
      Ashley

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