Baked Good / Brunch / Cake / Dessert

Gluten Free Ginger Olive Oil Cake

... and turning it onto a plate

Gingerbread cake in April?! The Farmer’s Almanac prediction for spring in our neighborhood has proven true: cooler than normal temperatures with near normal rainfall. We served this spicy cake at tonight’s end-o-season Paddle Tennis round-robin and dinner. With temps in the low 40s and a crackling fire inside Karen and Ford’s log cabin, the Ginger Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Icing suited everyone’s tastes.

One reason to make this dessert is that you’ll get to experiment with flavors one doesn’t often combine. Whole Foods and many independent health food stores sell spices in “bulk”, so it’s possible to purchase only a teaspoon or two of (cardamom or ground coriander) since you might not need or want a whole jar.

Ginger Olive Oil Cake


1/2 cup extra virgin organic olive oil

3/4 cup organic molasses (Blackstrap has a robust earthy flavor)

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup (4 oz.) dark brown sugar

2 large organic eggs, room temperature

1 cup organic buttermilk, room temperature

2 cups (12 oz.) GF flour mix (yours, ours, or Trader Joe’s)

1/2 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon fresh (finely) ground pepper corns

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Grated zest of one whole lemon, divided into two equal portions (half for the icing)

1/2 cup chopped candied organic ginger


1 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 Tablespoon packed lemon zest (about half the amount harvested from the lemon above)

1/8  cup lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F and wipe or spray one tube pan plus one 5 x 7 loaf pan (or a 6 cupcake pan) with a light coating of (olive) oil.
  2. Combine the honey, molasses, and oil in a medium sized saucepan, bring to a boil; set aside to cool a bit.
  3. Combine the eggs and sugar in a standing mixer. Using a paddle attachment, mix until frothy, about a minute.
  4. Combine the flour mix, spices, xantham gum, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl; whisk to blend.
  5. Add the buttermilk and flour mixture to the egg and sugar mixture alternately in 3-4 batches, finishing with a portion of the dry mix.  Beat for 30 seconds on medium speed to blend, scraping down as needed.
  6. Fold in the chopped ginger.
  7. Pour all but ¾ – 1 cup of the batter into the prepared tube pan. Pour the rest of the batter into the loaf pan or cupcake tin.
  8. Bake the cake for 70 minutes, or until a little more than slightly firm on top.  (Bake the loaf/cupcakes for 25 – 30 minutes depending on their size and how fully they are filled.)
  9. To make the icing: Measure the confectioners sugar in to a small mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, mixing until well blended.
  10. Let the cake cool 30 minutes before piercing the top in 10-15 places with a toothpick. Drizzle the icing over the warm cake.
  11. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the pan to a plate. Serve with lemon sorbet or ice cream.




12 thoughts on “Gluten Free Ginger Olive Oil Cake

  1. I don’t see any proportions for the icing ingredients – they aren’t on the list of ingredients.

  2. I love the added buttermilk in here too,..must be very tasty! I only discovered molasses a while ago & I am not really fond of the special taste! 😦

  3. This looks lovely! I made a gluten-free ginger cake a couple weeks ago, but it turned out dry. I’ve found that gluten-free cakes need the addition of other ingredients to make them moist so this cake looks perfect! I look forward to trying it soon 🙂

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