Gingerbread is probably one of the oldest, and definitely one of the most traditional Christmas cakes in Poland. It obviously contains egg, butter and honey, lots and lots of honey. The classic gingerbread recipe tells you to make the dough five to six weeks before Christmas and let it rest and mature until the big day.
(Yes, you got it right, it said SIX WEEKS)
What is more, it should rest in a dark and cold place, without being disturbed because any small changes to its surrounding can affect the taste.
I think you get from this procedure that gingerbread in Poland is quite a big deal and when I told my mum that we’re going to have vegan gingerbread this year, you can imagine she wasn’t particularly keen on the idea.
For me that only meant that the challenge is on and I need to create the most perfect vegan gingerbread recipe that will taste just like the traditional sacred cake. It took a few trials and I honestly thought I had to give up, but I finally got there.
This gingerbread is 100% vegan and it tastes so good I really cannot tell you enough (and trust me I know my gingerbread). But it’s not just the taste; the consistency is beautiful, too. It grows big and fluffy yet still dense and heavy like a good gingerbread should. It’s moist but not wet, soft and firm in one, and it really just melts in your mouth reminding you it’s Christmas with every bite.
Traditionally, you cut it lenghtways in two (or three if it grows big), spread plum jam on each layer and then put it back together like a massive sandwich. You then coat it all with chocolate and let it set. The jam and the chocolate coating ensure the cake is always moist and fresh and you don’t really need to worry about covering it. It gets softer and softer each day (that is if you manage to stop yourself from eating it all on day one).
I haven’t yet tried to add nuts or dried fruit to this recipe but I have done so before with regular gingerbread and it always worked well so I don’t see why you couldn’t try it with this one.
Gingerbread tastes best with a warming mug of mulled wine – why not try this beautiful recipe?
- 400g plain flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 100g brown sugar
- 100ml maple syrup
- 100ml almond milk
- 250ml apple juice
- 100ml sunflower oil
- 2 flax eggs*
- 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cardamom
- 2 tbsp. cacao or cocoa powder
- a pinch of salt
- 3-6 tbsp. plum jam (depending how many layers your cake has)
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 100g dark chocolate
* To make flax eggs use this recipe
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a loaf tin and set aside.
- Make the flax eggs using this recipe.
- In a large mixing bowl, put flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda and then add cacao and all the spices and mix thoroughly.
- In a separate bowl combine maple syrup with apple juice, sunflower oil, almond milk and flax eggs.
- Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients mixing continuously using electric mixer. You want everything to be thoroughly mixed and the dough to be light and fluffy.
- Pour the dough into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a wooden stick comes out dry.
- Take out of the oven and set aside until completely cool. Do not take the cake out of the tin until it has cooled down completely or else it won’t set properly.
- Once cooled down, take the cake out of the tin, place on the side on an even surface and cut it lengthways in two or three (depending on how tall your cake is). Spread 2-3 tablespoons of plum jam on each of your sliced pieces and put the cake back together.
- To make the chocolate coating melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a saucepan, add the chocolate, take off the heat and keep stirring until all chocolate melts. Mix in 2 tablespoons plum jam and cover the whole outside surface of the cake using a spatula, then put aside to set.
- Once the coating has set, the cake is ready to serve. You can store it in room temperature for up to five days.