Pumpkin-walnut gingerbread with spiced buttercream frosting [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Pumpkin + molasses + spices = WOW! This delicious quickbread is amazing on its own but to make it really stand out, it's topped with an airy spiced buttercream frosting. If you're wondering how to win friends and influence people (especially about how great vegan food can be), this is your answer.

This recipe is inspired by Oh She Glows, one of my very favorite food blogs. With a focus on vegan deliciousness, the recipes never fail to delight and I have yet to test out a recipe from this site that I haven't enjoyed -- they're great as they are and yet always leave room for some personalizing, which I love since I rarely ever make a recipe using the exact ingredients or directions. And there's a cookbook on the way. Yay! Anyway, if you like this version of the recipe, be sure to check out Oh She Glows for another version and many other fantastic vegan dishes.

Also note, for a gluten-free recipe, simply substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free cup-for-cup style flour blend. My favorite is Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour. I always have a store of this in my cupboard and it works wonderfully for making gluten-free versions of quickbreads, muffins and so on without having to rework the original recipe.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Ingredients for the pumpkin gingerbread:
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp water
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or gluten-free cup-for-cup flour blend
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (here's a great recipe for making your own)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Ingredients for the buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup vegan margarine, such as Earth Balance
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp unsweetened original almond milk or rice milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a regular loaf pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and water, and stir. Let sit for 2-3 minutes.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, sugar, oil, molasses, and the soaked chia seeds with remaining water. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, blend ingredients well.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder. Stir with a fork to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well with a fork until just combined. Add the chopped walnuts and stir. Be careful not to overwork the batter.

4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing loaf from pan.

5. While the bread is baking, make your frosting. Put the vegan margarine in a medium mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip until it is smooth.

6. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and almond milk. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and blend on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until the frosting is light and airy.

7. When the gingerbread is completely cooled, remove from the loaf pan and frost with the butter cream. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Cooking | Recipes | The Cooking Project | Vegan | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian