Fran Costigan's vegan Dark Moist Spice Cake

Dark Moist Spice Cake

Your kitchen will fill with a divine spicy scent, reminiscent of gingerbread, when you bake this Dark Moist Spice Cake. Note: The cake is so moist that the bottom may be a bit sticky. I sprinkle a small amount of organic cane sugar on the serving plate. The bite of crunch is nice.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword spice cake, vegan cake
Yields 1 8 x 8-inch cake (8 servings)
Author Fran Costigan


  • 1/2 cup whole spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup white spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/ 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons neutral flavored vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sorghum molasses, or use molasses but not blackstrap
  • 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup, Grade A dark
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plant milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla pure extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat 350 degrees. Oil an 8-inch round cake pan, or use a square. The square cake will be closer to 3/4 inch than 1 inch. Line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit.

  2. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Measure both of the flours, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt, to the strainer and use a whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. Stir with a wire whisk to aerate.

  3. Whisk the oil, molasses, maple syrup, plant milk, vanilla, and vinegar in a separate medium bowl until emulsified. Pour into the dry mixture and whisk until you have a smooth, active batter. It will be thin.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and rotate to level the batter. Bang the pan on the counter to pop some of the air bubbles.

  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is well risen, its sides have pulled away from the pan, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist, not sticky crumbs. 

  6. Cool the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife between the cake and the inside of the pan. Invert onto a rack. Remove the pan and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Invert the layer again topside up on a rack. Cool completely.
  7. To serve, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with roasted apples or other fruit, Vanilla Pastry Cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, (Book Publishing Company 2006 by Fran Costigan)