dessert Fall gluten-free loaves

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Loaf

October 22, 2013

This gluten-free gingerbread loaf is the perfect comforting breakfast or snack for cooler months. Enjoy as is or top with frosting or whipped cream for the ultimate treat. 

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Loaf //

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved to bake. Over the years boxed Betty Crocker Brownies turned into black bean brownies, but the premise is still the same, mix, stir, bake, eat. Baking has become my therapy! I bake when I’m stressed, I bake when I’m happy, I bake for others, I bake for myself. No matter how I’m feeling, baking tends to put me at ease.

I’ve had successes and failures in the kitchen over the years but lucky for you, this gingerbread loaf is a clear win!

Here’s What You Need

  • sparking water – yes, you read that right! Sparkling water helps this bread rise.
  • baking soda and baking powder – also help the bread rise.
  • blackstrap molasses – a key ingredient for the gingerbread flavor. You can swap for honey or maple syrup if you’d like but the flavor will be a bit different.
  • Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour – any gluten-free all-purpose flour works! I used a blend.
  • coconut palm sugar – white cane sugar works too.
  • dried and freshly grated ginger – can’t have gingerbread without ginger!
  • black pepper – I know this sounds odd but don’t be scared! It elevates the other spices in the bread.
  • salt – brings all of the flavors together.
  • applesauce – replaces the oil or butter traditionally found in gingerbread recipes.
  • eggs – helps the bread hold it’s shape and keeps the wet and dry ingredients combined.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Loaf //

How to Make Gingerbread

STEP 1: Bring the sparkling water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add in the baking soda. The mixture will foam up!

STEP 2: When the foaming subsides, stir in the molasses and coconut palm sugar. Set aside.

STEP 3: Whisk the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, pepper and salt in a large bowl.

STEP 4: Add the sparkling water-molasses mixture to a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, applesauce and grated ginger until combined.

STEP 5: Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in three parts. Stir continuously until the mixture is completely smooth. Transfer the batter to a loaf pan that is prepped with non-stick spray or coconut oil. Tap the pan against a hard surface to pop any air bubbles.

STEP 6: Bake at 350ºF for 35-40 minutes or until the top of the loaf is firm to the touch. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan.

How to Serve Gingerbread

Serve this gingerbread loaf much like you would serve banana bread or zucchini bread! It’s delicious with butter or melted coconut oil spread on top, topped with frosting (dreaming of a cream cheese frosting!) or even with some coconut whipped cream.

How to Store Leftovers

Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap or tinfoil and store at room temperature for up to 5 days. You could also freeze in a freezer safe container for longer storage.


Gluten-Free Gingerbread Loaf

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x


  • 3/4 cup sparking water*
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp dried ginger
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 T freshly grated ginger
  • 2 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8 X 4 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray or coconut oil.
  3. Bring the diet drink to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda (mixture will foam up).
  5. When foaming subsides, stir in molasses and coconut palm sugar. Set mixture aside.
  6. Whisk the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, pepper and salt together in a large bowl.
  7. Transfer the diet drink-molasses mixture to a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, applesauce, and grated ginger until combined.
  8. Whisk the wet mixture into the flour mixture in thirds, stirring continuously until completely smooth.
  9. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and gently tap the bottom of the pan against a hard surface to pop any air bubbles.
  10. Bake until the top of the loaf is just firm to the touch, about 35-40 minutes.
  11. Leave loaf in pan until cool, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from pan.
  12. Store leftovers in plastic wrap or tinfoil at room temperature for 3-5 days.

*the recipe originally used diet Dr. Pepper which is delicious but not the healthiest. Feel free to swap for pop or use sparking water!

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Loaf //

More gingerbread recipes to try:


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  • Reply
    December 14, 2015 at 2:30 am

    This looks so good. My question is, can I substitute a different sugar, I don’t happen to have coconut palm sugar? I really want to make this for Christmas! Please email me. 🙂

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      December 15, 2015 at 8:53 am

      brown sugar is a perfect replacement!

  • Reply
    Carrie E
    December 13, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    I love the pic of this bread! I’m curious about the role of the diet soda? I try not to do sugar free b/c it messes with me. I’m sure I could do regular soda, but would you have any other suggestions?

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      December 15, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Unfortunately it must be soda. Regular soda will work just fine!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    This look amazing but what would you suggest as a replacement for the eggs? Flax or applesauce? Recently diagnosed with an egg-allergy in addition to my gluten-sensitivity and still don’t understand egg replacements yet, alas.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      Hi Mei! I’m sorry to hear about your egg allergy!

      I haven’t tried making this loaf egg-free so I can’t be certain but perhaps you’ll have luck with some flax eggs. That’s what I would go with. The loaf if pretty moist so I’m not sure how well it will hold up but if you have success, do let me know! Enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    Mathew Tragash
    October 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Baking is absolutely an excellent form of therapy. Food in general is an art of its own. To be able to go all Mad Scientist in the kitchen and concoct something of immense flavor or simple elegant proportions, to deconstruct and plate the simplest of dishes, or to craft a spaghetti or intricate part of a meal. Baking is the same. While the basic process doesn’t vary much, it certainly takes a keen eye for detail and respect and admiration for the end result.

    I really like your recipe. Bonus points for being gluten-free and looking so delicious. Perfect for the holidays, your gingerbread cake is easy to make and makes for a great Thanksgiving/Fall giveaway to friends and family.

    A little addition to the cake, I think a cream cheese frosting would make a nice topping, but that goes against the healthy concept in some ways. Thanks again for the great recipe.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 1, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you so much! Such a sweet and thoughtful comment. P.S. I totally agree on the cream cheese frosting 😉

  • Reply
    April 21, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Yum! Gingerbread is my absolute favourite 😀 Is there an alternative to blackstrap molasses? I can understand it gives a very specific flavour, but it is rather deathly for my diabetic FIL, who I try to include in my baking escapades. Otherwise I’ll just make it for the lasses at work, but it MUST be made! NOM NOM!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 24, 2014 at 7:41 am

      Ah there really isn’t an alternative since it’s the molasses flavour which really makes this a gingerbread loaf (plus the ginger of course!). You could try replacing it with honey though the flavour might be slightly different. If you do end up making a substitution, let me know!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Sorry to be a damper, but I don’t see the point of being gluten free when you are putting Dr Pepper in your gingerbread. To me, Dr Pepper is way more damaging than gluten. My two cents, anyway.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      November 23, 2013 at 12:37 am

      I think it’s a misconception that gluten-free is synonymous with healthy. I kept this gluten-free because I think people with gluten intolerances and allergies should be able to eat the same foods as everyone else, but that does not mean the rest of the recipe has to be healthy. And all things considered, when you do look at the ingredients, 3/4 of a cup of diet soda is far less harmful than most other baked goods and bakery goods currently being sold.

    • Reply
      Diane Dougherty
      September 30, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      I agree – can you make it with club soda or without soda? I CAN’T put that garbage into my body. Artificial sweeteners are poison.

  • Reply
    Nikki @ The Road to Less Cake
    October 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Baking is incredibly therapeutic. I always feel less stressed after I’ve baked, and then I get to eat tasty things to make the stress go away even more. Score!

    I love gingerbread, it reminds me of Christmas.

  • Reply
    Love What You Do
    October 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I love gingerbread! This looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
    October 24, 2013 at 7:10 am

    COOKING is my therapy! Baking gives me anxiety! Ha! And who are you kidding? Not artistic? With THOSE gorgeous pictures?! Please! And let’s get a HOORAH for some blackstrap!!! Seriously, I want to put that shit on EVERYTHING! Haha!

  • Reply
    Lee Hersh
    October 23, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    So now that you know where I live. I expect a loaf of bread on my doorstep for Christmas. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 24, 2013 at 1:28 am

      Done 😉

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    October 23, 2013 at 4:18 am

    I’m laughing at you saying ‘procastibake’ — too cute! I like to bake too but would consider cooking more of my therapy… and also hiking! Being out in nature exercising with just my dog and whatever other animals wind up being around is so therapeutic to me.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 24, 2013 at 1:28 am

      Ah I think I would be a way calmer person if I had your access to hiking and your doggie 🙂

  • Reply
    Karey @ Nutty About Health
    October 23, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Baking is a great therapy to resort to! I love to bake, but my problem is that I’m not very good at it & that I like to eat it ALL. LOL
    The bread looks amazing girl!! Yummy!!

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