Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake landscape image

Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

This Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake is a showstopper perfect for the festive season. Two layers of lightly spiced gingerbread sponge with a goldenberry tangy jam all coated with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream (naturally vegan and gluten-free).

This cake was such a joy to make, bake and eat, too. It is so delicious and so much fun to share with my friends and family and I hope you will have just as much fun enjoying this cake, too. This cake really makes the most of dried goldenberries which are bright orange coloured and are sweet yet tangy. I have shared some more information about the berries below.

Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake on a wooden board
Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake

What does this Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake taste like?

This cake is something very special to eat and to look at. It is:

  • Light and fluffy
  • Moist and tender
  • Spread with the best vanilla swiss meringue-style buttercream
  • Easy to make in a few steps
  • Lightly spiced with gingerbread
  • Filled with a tangy delicious goldenberry jam
  • A great showstopper cake
  • Festive and feel-good
  • Naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and nut-free

I hope you will fall in love with this cake just as much as we did. If you are already keen to bake this one, skip ahead to the recipe card or let’s discuss the ingredients and method in a bit more detail.

Close up of inside the Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake
Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake

What ingredients go into this Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake?

The cake recipe is loosely based on my favourite self-raising flour sponge that I use for my Coffee Cookie Dough Cake and my Pumpkin Spice Cake and it works every time.

  • Plant-based milk: any milk will do like oat, almond, soya or coconut (from a carton).
  • Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar: this curdles the milk to form a buttermilk which will bind the cake batter.
  • Coconut sugar: I made this cake with coconut sugar as I love the rich caramel-like flavour which works really well with the tart goldenberry jam and the lovely warming gingerbread flavours. That said, caster or golden caster sugar will also work here.
  • Sunflower oil: this keeps the cake really moist and springy but you could also use another light taste oil like olive or vegetable oil or try melted and cooled coconut oil, too.
  • Vanilla essence: for the flavour.
  • Self-raising flour: or use a self-raising gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum. This helps the batter rise beautifully.
  • Bicarbonate of soda: this adds just a little extra rise.
  • Gingerbread spices: for this cake I’ve used ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Salt: to bring together all the flavours.
A slice of Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake with a fork
Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake

The buttercream is my favourite, it is so light and fluffy thanks to a simple but effective mix of:

  • Vegan butter: always make sure your butter is room temperature for buttercream as it yields the fluffiest and smoothest texture. Typically take the butter out of the fridge for 1-2 hours before you need it. This is block butter, not margarine spread, too.
  • Gingerbread spices: extra ginger and vanilla make this buttercream deliciously spiced.
  • Icing sugar: essential for the buttercream.
  • Aquafaba: to make this the fluffiest it can be, use aquafaba. This is the water from a tin of chickpeas and transforms normal buttercream into a swiss meringue-style buttercream which typically uses egg white to achieve the fluffy texture. If you don’t have any aquafaba (or chickpea tins) use plant-based milk and it’s still delicious.
A glass jar of Goldenberry Jam
Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake

How do I make the goldenberry jam? What are goldenberries?

I’ve used dried goldenberries for the jam, which are rehydrated in hot water before being blended up with maple syrup and some vanilla essence to make a quick jam. Goldenberries are also called physalis or gooseberries and when fresh they are bright orange (similar size to large cherries) with a green or light orange-brown leaf around them. I use the dried goldenberries from Natures Heart.

How do I make this cake?

The method for the cake is very simple. Whisk together the wet ingredients, sift in the dry ingredients and whisk to a smooth batter. Divide between two 6-inch cake tins and bake. Once cool, fill with some of the buttercream, sandwich the cakes together then decorate the rest of the cake.

A slice of Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake
Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake

Is this cake gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes, this cake is easily gluten-free if you use gluten-free flour and to keep this recipe nut-free, make sure your milk is nut-free (and gluten-free where needed).

How long will this cake last?

Not long, for sure! It is so delicious and slightly smaller at 6-inch so it serves 8-10 people well. Once decorated, the cake will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge in a sealed container or for 2-3 days at room temperature. You can freeze un-frosted cakes for up to month.

What other cakes can I make?

I hope you will really love this Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake and if you are looking for more festive bakes, how about my:

Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake is a showstopper perfect for the festive season. Two layers of lightly spiced gingerbread sponge with a goldenberry tangy jam all coated with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream (naturally vegan and gluten-free).

Ingredients

    For the gingerbread cake:
  • 240ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 140g coconut sugar
  • 80ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 210g self-raising flour or GF self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the goldenberry jam:
  • 200g dried goldenberries
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • For the gingerbread buttercream:
  • 80g vegan butter, room temperature
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp aquafaba or plant-based milk
  • To decorate:
  • fresh goldenberries, gingerbread biscuits, redcurrants

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line two 6-inch cake tins with parchment paper.
  2. Add the milk and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to a bowl and leave to curdle for 5 minutes. Whisk in the coconut sugar, sunflower oil and vanilla essence.
  3. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and add the salt. Whisk to a smooth batter with no lumps but to not overmix.
  4. Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 23-25 minutes or until golden on top and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tins to cool fully on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, make the jam. Add the goldenberries to a bowl and submerge in boiling water. Leave for 1-2 hours until really plump.
  6. Drain the goldenberries, saving some of the water. Add to a high-sped blender or food processor with the maple syrup, vanilla essence and 2 tbsp of the drained water. Blend until smooth and no lumps remain. Once cool, store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  7. To make the buttercream, add the softened butter to a bowl and beat with a handheld electric or standing mixer until fluffy. Now gradually beat in the ginger, vanilla, icing sugar and aquafaba until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat for 1-2 minutes more to make the buttercream really fluffy.
  8. Once the cakes are cool, check they are level on top. If they are domed, carefully slice off the dome to make the cakes flat. Remove the parchment and have a serving plate to hand. Add a smear of buttercream to the plate and add on the first cake (this holds the cake in place).
  9. Pipe or spread on a ring of buttercream around the edge of the first cake and fill the middle with the goldenberry jam (you will use about 1/3 – 1/2 of the jam). Add on the second cake.
  10. Spread the frosting around the edges of the cake using a tilted spatula and evenly coat the top of the cake, too. Turn the cake as you work to make it easier and save some frosting for the piping.
  11. Pop the cake in the fridge to set thee buttercream for 10 minutes.
  12. Using a piping bag and star-shaped nozzle, pipe on small stars on top of the cake and decorate with fresh goldenberries, gingerbread shapes and redcurrants or anything else you like.
  13. Store the cake at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 3-5 days. Best eaten at room temperature. The unfrosted cakes can be frozen for up to 1 month, wrapped well in clingfilm.
Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake landscape image
Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Gingerbread Goldenberry Christmas Cake so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make this cake, I would love to see your creations so please tag me in them, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With gingerbread goldenberry love x

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