{Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free} Pear Gingerbread Cake

{Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free} Pear Gingerbread Cake
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I don’t know about you, but just the words “pear gingerbread cake” make me salivate a bit (especially knowing that this is a gluten free gingerbread cake). In real life, it’s just as good as you imagine it. Not so bad for a recipe stemming from an epic flop, eh?

Let me back up a minute and explain. As I mentioned a while ago, a friend gave me some beautiful Asian pears from his family’s tree. Needless to say, I ignored every warning on the internet about how canning low-acid fruit will kill you, and made a pear vanilla jam from them. Don’t worry, I’m keeping it in the fridge. (Recipe via Marisa at Food in Jars.)

My pears were pretty tart, so I added an extra cup of sugar, and they took almost an hour to cook down from their former crispness. When they were soft and mashed, I stupidly looked at what was obviously jam already, and dumped in my pectin and more sugar. (Because…the recipe said to?) The result was gluey and oversweetened, and I have almost three pints of the stuff.

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But when life gives you inedible jam, make cake, right? It just so happens that pectin helps gluten-free things hold together. This gluten free gingerbread cake is dense and moist, without a whiff of apology for being gluten- and dairy-free. You can even sub the eggs with a vegan egg replacer if you let it rest overnight before cutting in.

This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. I love their bow-tied host, and everything they make actually works. ATK blocks their recipes behind a paywall, but I accessed this one via a different site.

Please, please make this cake during the holidays this year.You’re going to need a minute to sit down with something hot and caffeinated, so why not enjoy some cake, too? Molasses, spices, and coffee are a heavenly trio.

 
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Pear Gingerbread Cake
Serves 16
ATK calls for Guinness, but it's not gluten-free. I had one Omission lager left, and opted to drink it while I baked and use almond milk in the recipe--a fine compromise. Buckwheat flour adds a nutty goodness to this cake, and melds well with the molasses. Pear preserves are optional, as I realize they're an odd thing to have on hand--you could sub with apricot jam or even apple butter (but skip the spices if you go the apple butter route). If you have the luxury of a bit of cream in your fridge, whip it up and dollop on top. I'm going to put some chia-coconut pudding on mine to excuse eating it for breakfast.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 c. (85g) brown sugar
  2. 1 tsp. ground ginger
  3. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  4. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  5. 1/2 tsp. salt
  6. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  7. 1 1/2 c. (240g) gluten-free flours (I used buckwheat, brown rice, and tapioca starch)
  8. 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  9. 1/2 c. (115g) almond milk
  10. 1/2 c. (150g) molasses
  11. 1/2 c. (150g) pear preserves
  12. 1-2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger, to taste
  13. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  14. 1/3 c. (80g) vegetable oil
  15. 2 eggs, beaten, or equivalent egg replacer
Instructions
  1. Oil an 8"x8" pan (glass is preferable) or line with parchment, and set aside. Whisk dry ingredients (brown sugar through xanthan gum)
  2. Put almond milk, molasses, pear preserves, and ginger in a glass bowl or measuring cup, and microwave on high for 90 seconds. (Alternately, heat on the stove until very hot.) Stir in baking soda, and pour into a mixing bowl before it overflows like a science fair volcano. Allow to cool for two minutes.
  3. Add molasses mixture to dry ingredients, pour in oil and eggs, and whisk until no lumps remain.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes, until cake tests done. Allow to cool completely before cutting into it.
Notes
  1. If you use a vegan egg replacer in place of the two eggs, let the cake sit for a day before eating. It will be a little gummy on day one, but the texture improves markedly with a day's patience.
Adapted from from America's Test Kitchen
Wooden Spoon Baking http://www.woodenspoonbaking.com/
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