Made with an heirloom grain, coconut sugar, and blackstrap molasses, this old-fashioned einkorn gingerbread is a traditional holiday favorite. Plus, it’s vegan.
As an early Christmas gift, I got myself The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories. Instead of the vintage version, I purchased the updated edition because it includes Laura’s gingerbread recipe.
Baking this old-fashioned gingerbread was a lesson in slow living. I’m talking slow as molasses.
You see, the recipe took a little tinkering because I wanted to use my favorite ancient grain, einkorn, which is easier to digest and behaves differently than modern wheat. In place of shortening, I used coconut oil. Additionally, I opted for coconut sugar, and I reduced the amount of sweeteners overall.
I didn’t cut corners. I used two bowls, as instructed, and took the time to sift the flour. Sure, it meant more dishes, but I embraced it. I even washed them with peppermint castile soap, which seemed fitting for the holiday season.
Speaking of scents, the house was filled with a delightful aroma as this old-fashioned einkorn gingerbread baked. It smelled like Christmas. That alone was reason enough to bake this again and again.
- This gingerbread has a tendency to sink in the middle. (The photo in the cookbook even showed it this way.) If this happens, you didn’t do anything wrong; einkorn, by nature, has a weak gluten, and this is a wet, heavy batter. It will still taste delicious.
- The recipe in the book did not call for eggs; however, Laura’s handwritten recipe did. I went with the cookbook version and decided not to use a vegan egg substitute.
- Laura noted that raisins, nuts, and/or candied fruit could be added, if you wish.
- I chose to use unsulphured blackstrap molasses, since it’s the most nutritious. It gives the gingerbread a rich, dark color.
- You can make this old-fashioned gingerbread in a brownie, loaf, or bundt pan.
How to Make Old-Fashioned Einkorn Gingerbread
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a baking pan with coconut oil.
Whisk together coconut sugar, molasses, boiling water, and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Then whisk in baking soda.
Combine flour, spices, and salt and sift into a large bowl. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
How to Serve Einkorn Gingerbread
Laura was said to have topped her gingerbread with chocolate frosting. I prefer to drizzle mine with a maple sugar lemon glaze. (From lemon poppy seed pancakes to whole lemon lemonade, I can’t seem to get enough lemon.)
Powdered sugar, coconut whipped cream, and caramel sauce are delicious on top as well. In the cookbook, it is suggested to serve this gingerbread with applesauce. Next time I make it, I’m going to try it with homemade apple butter.
The Little House Cookbook
If you’re interested in adding The Little House Cookbook to your collection — or putting it under the Christmas tree for a loved one who loves Laura Ingalls Wilder — it can currently be found on ThriftBooks. If you spend $30 or more and use my special code at checkout, a free book credit will be added to your account and mine as well.
Enter the following code at checkout: 43E40BEA2
The printable recipe is below. Hope you enjoy it!
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- ⅔ cup molasses
- ⅔ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup coconut oil + more for baking pan
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose einkorn flour
- 1 teaspoon each ground ginger, ceylon cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a baking pan with coconut oil.
- Whisk together coconut sugar, molasses, boiling water, and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Then whisk in baking soda.
- Combine flour, spices, and salt and sift into a large bowl. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
P.S. ~ If you’re interested in baking more einkorn holiday recipes inspired by the Little House books, check out this one for pumpkin pie.