keto gingerbread loaf {gluten-free, dairy optional}

Warm spices, a tender crumb, and an orange cream cheese frosting make this keto gingerbread loaf my number one pick for a sweet, holiday snacking cake. It’s packed with cozy flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and clove, and made with both almond flour and coconut flour for the most ideal keto cake texture. Best of all, the cake itself is dairy free, and I’ve included two simple (and dairy free) frosting options that work with this gingerbread loaf recipe.

It’s Christmas week, my kids are on winter break, and I don’t know who is more excited: my first-grader son, or me, realizing I don’t have to help him with online school for the next two weeks. Any guesses? 😉

We had to cancel a trip to see my sister and mom this Christmas, and my kiddos were so bummed about not getting to spend the holidays with their sweet cousins. But instead, we are cramming allll the holiday things in, including our favorite movies (Elf! The Santa Clause! Polar Express! The Christmas Story!) driving around to see holiday lights, and of course, this keto gingerbread loaf. It’s an easy snacking cake packed with flavor.

While you can certainly enjoy a slice of this gingerbread cake plain, I personally prefer dressing it up with a decadent cream cheese frosting. It’s infused with orange and topped with a sprinkle of orange zest for extra flavor. And if the Christmas spirit leads you, and you want to turn this keto gingerbread loaf into a full-on holiday showstopper, top it with a few cinnamon sticks or whole star anise for decor (not for eating).

let’s make a keto gingerbread loaf

If you can spare 10 minutes of prep and you have these basic keto baking ingredients on hand, you’re halfway there! This keto gingerbread loaf is quite dreamy and is one of those keto dessert recipes that even non-low-carb eaters will love.

the ingredient list

You will need the following ingredients:

  • orange zest
  • extra virgin olive oil  (can also sub melted coconut oil or grass-fed butter)
  • molasses
  • vanilla extract 
  • eggs (pasture-raised when possible)
  • unsweetened, full-fat coconut cream (the thick cream at the top of a can of coconut milk)
  • almond flour (I like blanched, super fine almond like this one)
  • coconut flour
  • granulated monk fruit sweetener (preferably “golden” sweetener like this one by Lakanto)
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • ground ginger
  • cinnamon
  • ground cloves
  • salt
  • pinch of black pepper

For the orange cream cheese frosting:

  • juice of half an orange
  • powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • cream cheese or dairy free cream cheese , at room temperature
  • butter (omit if dairy-free), at room temperature
  • cake decorations like grated or spiraled orange peel, cinnamon sticks, whole star anise, ground cinnamon, chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

is molasses keto?

In case you’re wondering, the answer is… usually not. Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar making process, and is essentially pure sugar. So, it’s not exactly viewed as “keto-friendly.” But since we’re only using 1 tablespoon in this keto gingerbread loaf recipe which equates to just over one extra net carb per slice from the molasses alone, I believe it can still easily fit into this keto gingerbread loaf recipe.

If you don’t have molasses or choose not to use it, simply omit it. But I find that it adds a nice, subtle flavor to this gingerbread cake.

the process

To make this keto gingerbread loaf, follow these easy steps:

  1. Combine the wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the orange zest, olive oil, molasses, vanilla, coconut milk and eggs until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Add the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, monk fruit sweetener, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and black pepper. Stir until the batter is well combined.
  3. Bake the gingerbread loaf. Pour the gingerbread cake batter into a prepared 9 x 6 loaf pan (I always line it with parchment paper for easy cake removal later). Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes. After it bakes for about 35 minutes, the top will start to brown. Place a single sheet of parchment paper or foil over the top to prevent it from burning, then return it to the oven to finish baking. Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes in the pan before removing (cool completely on a cooling rack).
  4. Frost and serve. Combine the orange juice and powdered monk fruit sweetener in a small mixing bowl. Beat in the softened cream cheese and softened butter. Spread the frosting over the cooled gingerbread loaf, decorate the cake with optional toppings, and serve!

tips for gingerbread loaf recipe success

  • Two dairy-free (and delicious!) frosting alternatives:
    • Omit the butter and substitute a plant-based cream cheese for the regular cream cheese to make a dairy-free orange frosting; OR
    • make a simple orange glaze by whisking together the powdered monk fruit sweetener with the fresh orange juice until smooth. Drizzle it over the top of the gingerbread loaf.
  • Use parchment paper! It’s especially handy with a loaf pan, since you can use the “wings” to easily lift the gingerbread cake out of the pan once it has cooled. No one needs extra stress in their life, and that includes the stuck-cake kind of stress too. Especially during the holidays. 🙂
  • Don’t forget to cover the cake after 35 minutes of baking or the top might turn too brown.
  • This keto gingerbread loaf yields about 10 slices. Store leftover cake in the refrigerator– covered- for up to 5 days. Remove cake decor like star anise and cinnamon sticks before storing, as their flavors can slightly seep into the frosting.

This keto gingerbread loaf is such an easy recipe and the perfect holiday treat! I love the warm spices in gingerbread, especially alongside a cozy cup of tea or eggnog. I hope this gingerbread cake brings a bit of joy to you over the holidays, however different yours may look this year.

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*This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you purchase something from one of those links. I will always recommend brands and products that I use and love. Thank you for supporting Stem and Spoon! -Abby

keto gingerbread loaf {gluten-free, dairy optional}

keto gingerbread loaf {gluten-free, dairy optional}

Yield: 10 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours

Packed with warm spices and topped with an orange-infused cream cheese frosting, this keto gingerbread loaf is a decadent holiday snacking cake. It's a gingerbread cake recipe that is easy to make, gluten/grain-free, low-carb and dairy optional.

Ingredients

keto gingerbread loaf

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (can also sub coconut oil or butter) 
  • 1 tbsp molasses (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs (pasture-raised when possible)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut cream (the thick cream at the top of a can of coconut milk)
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated monk fruit sweetener (I like Lakanto "Golden" sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of ground pepper

orange cream cheese frosting

  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice 
  • 3 tbsp powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened (or substitute plant-based cream cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened (omit if dairy free)

Instructions

keto gingerbread cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x6-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving excess overhang on the sides to easily lift the cake out later. Set the pan aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the orange zest, olive oil, molasses, vanilla, coconut cream and eggs until the mixture is smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, monk fruit sweetener, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, and the pinch of black pepper. Stir until the batter is well combined.
  4. Pour the gingerbread cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After it bakes for 35 minutes, the top will start to brown. Place a single sheet of parchment paper or foil over the top to prevent it from burning, then return it to the oven to finish baking. Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes in the pan before removing (and then cool completely on a cooling rack).


orange cream cheese frosting

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the orange juice and powdered monk fruit sweetener, whisking together until the mixture forms a smooth glaze.
  2. Beat in the softened cream cheese and butter, mixing for about 2-3 minutes. The frosting should be smooth, without any cream cheese lumps.
  3. Spread it over the cooled gingerbread loaf, then top with optional cake decorations like grated orange zest, whole star anise, cinnamon sticks or chopped walnuts.

Notes

Two dairy-free frosting alternatives:

  • Omit the butter and substitute a plant-based cream cheese for the regular cream cheese to make a dairy-free orange frosting; OR
  • make a simple orange glaze by whisking together the powdered monk fruit sweetener with the fresh orange juice until smooth. Drizzle it over the top of the gingerbread loaf.

Store leftover cake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. Remove cake decor like star anise and cinnamon sticks before storing, as their flavors can slightly seep into the frosting.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 9gNet Carbohydrates: 6gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

2 Comments

    • Hi Rose- I’m not quite sure the batter is dense enough, it may just crumble with a second bake. I haven’t tried it but if was going to give it a try, I’d probably add an extra 1/2 cup almond flour (at least) to thicken up the batter.

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