Vegan Yorkshire Gingerbread

December 8, 2012

Is there anything that says “Christmas time” more than gingerbread? I guess not.
I’m not talking about cookies, men, houses, snowflakes or stars though; I’m talking about real gingerbread. Bread made with ginger, allspice, and blackstrap molasses.
Gingerbread doesn’t simply say “Christmas time”, it literally screams it. The aroma permeating the apartment, while baking, is the most Christmassy thing ever. Isn’t it?

As I’m in a very Christmassy mood myself (we just finished decorating the tree) I decided to make what I reckon to be the quintessential gingerbread: Yorkshire gingerbread.
It’s a nice dark gingerbread made with a good amount of blackstrap molasses. it will wake up your taste buds at breakfast. Nothing like those wishy washy cereal my girlfriend eats everyday.
I think this gingerbread it’s really more for the grown-ups, as you never know with children these days. I might be wrong though.
Just when I was about to bake it, I realized that I ran out of eggs. This gave me the excuse to make it vegan. I wasn’t sure about it at the beginning. The end result, however, exceeded initial my hopes and expectations. What came out of the oven it’s probably even better than the non-vegan version (which, by the way. you can still make if you’re not into vegan baking).
One way or the other, this gingerbread will put you right into a proper Christmas mood!

Vegan Yorkshire Gingerbread
Print this Recipe!
Adapted from Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright’s recipe

Yield 16 squares

1 ¾ cup / 8 oz / 230 gr whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground allspice (if you don’t have allspice, here’s a link to do your own)
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup / 4 oz / 113 gr vegetable oil*
½ cup / 4 oz / 113 gr brown sugar
3 flax eggs or other egg subs (here’s how to make flax eggs)*
¾ cup / 8 oz / 250 gr blackstrap molasses

* Note: to bake the non-vegan version of this gingerbread you can sub the vegetable oil with 1 stick of butter and the flax eggs with regular eggs.


Make the flax eggs first thing (unless you’re using already made egg subs or regular eggs).
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C) and place a rack in the center. Grease well and line a 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
In a bowl sift the flour, ginger, allspice, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
In another bowl, whisk the vegetable oil* with the brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the flax eggs one tablespoon at a time*; in order to avoid the flax eggs from curdling sift in a little flour mixture between each tablespoon.
Then mix in the molasses. The mixture will feel (and look) very gluey, that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Using a metal spoon (it mixes much more efficiently than a wooden one) gently fold in the remaining sifted dry ingredients, until it all comes together. Do not overmix, but at the same make sure that everything is properly mixed-in.
Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top spring back when pressed.
Cool in the pan, remove and slice. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar or spread with jam (apricot jam or cherry jam work beautifully).
If you’re not vegan you can enjoy it with butter or whipped cream.

*Note: if you’re baking the non-vegan version, work the butter with the sugar until creamy. As to the eggs, beat-in one egg at a time until fully incorporated.

Nutrition facts

One square of this gingerbread has 182 calories, 27.4 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein.
We shall not forget that blackstrap molasses are a quite unique vegetable source of iron as well as of manganese, calcium and potassium (among other minerals). Together with the flax meal, the whole wheat flour and the spices, this gingerbread is packed with precious nutrients.

The Iron You


  1. This should be fine to do with just dark molasses right?

    QS- I thought allspice was a spice on its own (we call it Jamaican pepper here in Mexico), does it have a different connotation in the US? I have heard it both ways and was wondering :-S

    1. Blackstrap molasses = dark molasses. I personally use Black Treacle. As you lived in the UK you probably know it better than me.

      You're right, allspice is the Jamaican pepper. However, it's not very easy to find here in the US and it can be pricey too. That's why I included the sub option.

  2. Now, that's a proper British gingerbread: bravo!

  3. Mmm, parkin. Yours looks perfect, the layers are really clear. I've never made my own, but it's simpler than I expected!

    If it's not too weird for you, try eating a slice with a teeny sliver of strong, creamy cheese (Wensleydale is the real deal, but I don't know if you get it in the US) - the tangy-sweet-crumbly-sticky combo is really moreish. Yorkshire tradition, though it's normally fruitcake instead of parkin. :)