Beautifully spiced and with a truly amazing crumb), this low carb gingerbread loaf (made with some actual blackstrap molasses) might just be, well, what Christmas tastes like.
Low Carb Gingerbread Loaf
You see, we’ve got here all the hallmarks of a terrific gingerbread loaf: a tender and ultra moist crumb, that buttery melt in your mouth situation, and a beautifully complex spice mix (which only intensifies after an overnight rest).
Just be sure to top it all off with the glaze to hit those ultra citrusy notes.
We’re doing things a tad bit different here vs traditional pound cake methodology (i.e. creaming the butter with the sweetener). You see, I’ve found the texture and final crumb come out *much* better if you whisk the sweetener with the eggs instead until light and fluffy.
The texture of the eggs and sweetener will thicken and grow in volume significantly after beating it for a couple minutes with an electric mixer or a whisk (but only go for the latter if you’re an actual pro).
I like a mixture of super fine almond flour and coconut flour (I always use Anthony’s!). Add a touch of (grass-fed) whey protein isolate (for structure), xanthan gum (you know, to replace the gluten) and we’re golden.
And if just grain free (i.e. carbs aren’t a constraint), feel free to sub 1/4 cup almond flour with arrowroot starch for an extra fluffy loaf.
The Gingerbread Spices
When you think of gingerbread, perhaps needless to say, but we’re talking about predominantly about a mix of ginger and cinnamon, with highlights of cloves and nutmeg (freshly ground preferably) and a touch of freshly ground black pepper to round everything up.
Still, I had a mishap this time around where I swapped cloves for allspice… and I gotta say it was a beautiful accident and I’ll now be adding this pungent spice forever more :).
So don’t be afraid of the seemingly long list of ingredients, as most of them are spices (and salt etc) and I’m fairly certain that they’re staples in your pantry.
This recipe is what I like to call a prime example of how adding some actual sugar (i.e. the blackstrap molasses) to what is otherwise a fully keto recipe helps a better rise while baking and ultimately a better structure as the cooled loaf doesn’t collapse much at all (take my keto lemon pound cake as a comparison).
I think sometimes it’s easy to ‘blame’ the gluten… but imo sugar can have an even greater effect (also in the browning, as my edges even got a little crisp!).
Otherwise I gotta say, you guys, that I’ve found that imho keto muffins, (white) cakes, pound cakes, etc. work best with erythritol sweeteners (per usual here, my favorite is Lakanto).
You see, I find that erythritol behaves much more like sugar in these cases in terms of texture and rise… while allulose has the unfortunate quality at times of behaving more like a wet ingredient, resulting in dense, over-browned (deep yellow/orange?) and wet centers. It’s a bit of a weird one (feel free to chime in the comments).
If you’re opting for the lemon glaze (and I’m totally twisting your hand about it!), your best option is allulose (or xylitol*) because barely any after taste. But it must be powdered.
So get your blender out, make sure it’s completely dry, and process your sweetener of choice until powdered. Just make sure you wait a few moments for the dust to settle before opening the blender or food processor.
Or you can always grab a bag of Lakanto powdered.
And if just gluten free, use regular cane sugar.
*pssst!! if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys!
Pssst! Looking for a fully keto option? My (2g net carb!) gingerbread cupcakes are the way to go!
Low Carb Gingerbread Loaf (with actual molasses!)
- 128 g almond flour *
- 42 g coconut flour
- 15 g whey protein isolate
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 4 eggs at room temp
- 3/4 cup erythritol or regular cane sugar if just gluten free*
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 84 g unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temp
- 120 g sour cream or coconut cream + 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
For the lemon glaze
- 3/4 cup powdered sweetener
- 1 1/2-2 tablespoons lemon juice as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line (or grease and flour) a loaf pan.
- Whisk together in a medium bowl almond flour, coconut flour, whey protein isolate, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
- Add the eggs, sweetener and molasses to a large bowl and beat together with an electric mixer until truly lightly and fluffy (about two minutes). This *really* helps with the rise and final texture, so take your time.
- Mix in the melted butter until well incorporated.
- Add in the dry flour mix in two parts, alternating with the sour cream. The dough will be very elastic (and prone to climbing up your electric mixer). So just do your best to mix quickly and use a spatula at the end to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.
- Distribute batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top with wet fingertips. Bake for 50-60 minutes (I did 60 minutes on the last trial and a new gas oven... kinda wish I'd done 55 as the molasses does brown your loaf quicker). Check in on it after minute 15 though, and tent with aluminum foil (ensuring its not resting on the loaf!) as soon as the top is fully set and beginning to brown.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before removing, and cool completely on a rack before glazing.
- Make the lemon glaze by mixing the powdered sweetener with the lemon zest and juice. Add lemon juice as needed until desired consistency is reached, but watch out as you want it fairly thick so it sticks nicely.
- Store in an airtight container for 3 days and freeze for up to three months.
- Pssst! I've definitely noticed that gingerbread spiced goods in general are *always* better the day after (in both taste and texture), once all the flavors have had a chance to properly mingle. i.e. plan accordingly!
Hi! I’m excited to try this Christmas in my mouth recipe! Wondering if subbing arrowroot flour for the xanthan gum would work well? Or, soaked chia seeds, or egg whites? I have all of those on hand and have read they sub well, but I’ll buy xanthan gum if it’s really needed. Thanks!
You know Jess if you can I would suggest getting a hold of some xanthan gum (particularly if you enjoy gluten free baking as there really isn’t quite an ingredient like it). Having said that, you can technically sub it for 3x the amount of golden flaxseed meal. The results are a tad bit more gummy though (which is why I’m no longer using it as an ingredient in muffins and quickbreads!). xo!
Made it last night, had a slice this morning… it’s terrific! OK so question, I don’t mind adding 4-5 more carbs a serving if it means the texture of baked goods improves this much, do you think it would be possible to sub part of the sweeteners with sugar in keto recipes and get better results overall? I’m guessing that because it had some sugar I also found it actually satisfying… interesting recipe Paola thank you!
That’s awesome to hear Mary Anne! And wait a day or so and the flavor just keeps getting better 😉
And you know, that’s a really interesting question and I def think you’re onto something. I def think right off the bat that subbing 1/4-1/3 of the sweetener with sugar in muffins, cakes etc should give you similar results here as with the molasses. On the other hand I’m not sure how it will work in cookies (say, will the cookies become crisp even if your other sweetener is allulose?). I think I’ll need to experiment a bit more and find out!
Hi Paola, I’ve made many low-carb cookies and added only 2-3 Tablespoons of sugar along with the erythritol sweetener and what happens in most cookies like Chocolate Chip or Snickerdoodles, is that they have a much better chewy texture. I also noticed they tend to be less crumbly since Sugars have that extra stickiness that’s stretchy, unlike alternative sweetener. I’m Diabetic though so I can’t use as much sugar as someone else.
Hellooo!!! I LOVE your blog and I am sooooo excited to make this!!! Question : does Greek yogurt work instead of the sour cream 🙏
I haven’t tried Megan but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be a very suitable sub (just make sure its the greek style so that you maintain roughly the same fat to liquid ratio) xo!!