Dairy-free Gingerbread Cup Cakes

By Vaani Wadman - Sugar Plum Bakes -

This one is for the kids – a very easy recipe that little hands will love getting stuck into. It’s a little bit messy but that makes it all the more fun. The spices in this recipe make it perfectly seasonal for Easter and is a great activity for the school holidays.

These cup cakes are a healthier option as they contain sunflower oil, maple syrup and wholemeal flour. As my children grow older, I find I’m keen to create recipes that contain healthier fats and have less refined sugar. I always try and incorporate whole grains into their diet to maintain their fibre intake and to provide slow-burning healthy treats. I find from the taste perspective that maple syrup gives an additional depth of flavour. Especially in gingerbread where black treacle and golden syrup would be traditionally used.

I hope you have fun whipping these up with your children.

Sugar Plum Bakes healthy cakes


Ingredients (use organic where possible):

140g sunflower oil
175g pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
310g wholemeal plain flour, sieved
1tbsp pure cocoa powder
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp cinnamon powder
2tsp baking powder
240ml almond milk
1tsp vanilla extract (high quality extract not essence)
Zest of 1 orange, grated

If you wish to make these cup cakes gluten free, you could substitute the wholemeal flour for coconut flour or gluten-free flour but add an extra teaspoon of baking powder too (making sure it’s gluten-free baking powder).

Optional decoration:
4tbsp unrefined icing sugar
1-2tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Sprinkles / toppings

Makes 20 cup cakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 180degC.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk with the spices, cocoa powder and grated orange zest, stirring until it just begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat together the oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and eggs. Add the sieved flour and combine. Then add the hot spiced milk and stir in till you have a smooth mixture.
  4. Place your cup cake cases in a tray and half fill each case with the mixture. It is quite runny – so don’t worry!
  5. To bake, place the cup cake tray in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  6. The cakes are ready, when you insert a cake skewer and it comes out clean. Transfer the tray to a cooling rack and allow the cakes to cool in the tray. Only remove when the cakes are cool enough to touch.

As this recipe is ideal for children to bake. The optional icing will also be a hit. To be able to drizzle the icing, it needs to be of a runny, smooth consistency. So start off by adding only 1tbsp of the freshly squeezed orange juice to the icing sugar. Add juice as required to get the perfect drizzling consistency.

Drizzle, add sprinkles, then eat! Enjoy!

sugar plum bakes healthy cakes 2

To read more about Vaani please click here

You can purchase some of the wonderful ingredients for this recipe from the natural health star health shop

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