Hands up who loves a slice of moist sticky gingerbread?
Yes me too.
I haven’t made any for ages, but I had some bananas which were, shall we say rather ripe and I had to do something with them quickly before Graham lobbed them in the bin. Yep, I have to be quick, he has a thing about bananas once they start going brown. I see them as challenge to bake something, he sees rotten fruit that has no right being there.
I usually make some chocolate chip banana bread with them or if I have some silken tofu in the fridge I whip up some luxurious chocolate mousse, but this time I decided to make dark treacle gingerbread with bananas as a binder and for decoration.
Gingerbread has to be slathered with butter or dairy free spread, don’t you agree? It’s one of those comforting homemade cakes that would have been served by grandmothers across the UK with a cup of tea in decades gone by.
10 Gingerbread Facts
Gingerbread can be a loaf cake or a biscuit (cookie).
Gingerbread was allegedly brought to Europe in 992 AD by an Armenian monk who taught French Christians to make gingerbread.
In the 13th century German immigrants introduced it to nuns in Sweden who baked gingerbread to help indigestion.
In Tudor times gingerbread men were created for the court of Queen Elizabeth I.
In the 17th century gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties and was sold in English markets.
In the 18th century settlers form Europe introduced gingerbread (the cake) to America where molasses were added.
In America it is often known as gingerbread cake or ginger cake.
In Germany gingerbread biscuits (cookies) are called Lebkuchen.
In Switzerland gingerbread is called Biber and the cake is filled with marzipan.
In Poland gingerbread is called Pierniki and has been made since the middle ages.
Flax eggs or no flax eggs?
My original recipe for gingerbread contained eggs and butter, but this recipe is vegan. I usually use flax eggs in my cakes when I’m converting them to a vegan recipe, but my friend Nic over at Yumsome blog had mentioned to me that you don’t actually have to bother making flax eggs and popping them in the fridge to thicken.
Nic said you can just add flaxseed powder (flaxseeds or linseeds freshly ground in a food processor, blender or pestle and mortar) to the cake mixture and just add a little more liquid. I tried that this time and it worked fine. I also added a bit more self-raising flour as I knew the cake would be a bit denser with the bananas in it. It actually resulted in two cakes that are surprisingly light and airy but rich at the same time.
If you prefer to use flax eggs in cakes, mix 1 tbsp flaxseed powder with 3 tbsp water (for each egg) and pop in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until thickened.
Molasses or treacle?
Molasses and treacle are very similar dark syrups both made during the process of making sugar. Some molasses (blackstrap molasses) are very dark and almost bitter, so if you are using really dark molasses, you may want to use a mixture of that and golden syrup to sweeten and take the edge of the bitterness.
Both molasses and treacle add to the richness and dark colour of gingerbread.
Nutrition and Calories in Gingerbread
Each loaf cake can be sliced into 12 slices and there are 163 calories per slice, making it suitable for a low calorie diet like the 5:2 diet. Of course if you slather it with butter or dairy free spread you WILL be adding quite a few more calories. Just saying!
Yield: 2 loaf cakesAuthor: Jacqueline Meldrum
Dark Treacle Banana Gingerbread
A rich sticky gingerbread cake baked in a loaf tin. An easy bake with no dairy or eggs. Makes two rich flavoured cakes that are surprisingly light and fluffy.
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 45 MINStotal time: 55 mins
150g plain flour
150g self-raising flour
150g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 heaped tbsp ground ginger
3 tbsp mixed spice
250g black treacle
200 ml almond milk
80ml olive oil
2 mashed bananas
1 banana (for decoration)
Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
Line two x 2lb loaf tins with baking parchment (greaseproof paper) or loaf tin baking inserts. Little blobs of dairy free spread will stick the liners to the tin, anywhere the paper is bulging. You will thank me for this tip when you are pouring the mixture in.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and mixed spice into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and flax powder until well combined.
Whisk the treacle, almond milk, olive oil and mashed banana in a large jug or bowl.
Add the treacle mixture to the flour and fold in gently until just combined.
Pour half the mixture into each of the loaf tins, top with a long slice of banana for decoration and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
If you like, you can use golden syrup instead of black treacle, but the you will come out with a paler loaf cake which isn't as rich.
The banana on top is also optional.
fat (grams) 5.5
sat. fat (grams) 2.3
carbs (grams) 27.6
protein (grams) 1.8
sugar (grams) 14
If you like this gingerbread recipe, you may also like my vegan chocolate chip banana bread.