Gingerbread Bars (Gluten-free, Vegan)

Gingerbread is one of my seasonal favorites.

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Sweet and spicy, these gingerbread bars are made with buckwheat flour, one of my favorite pseudo-grains. Despite its deceptive name, buckwheat isn’t at all related to wheat, and is actually a seed that’s loaded with protein and fiber. It’s the perfect flour alternative for those who want to remain gluten-free and nut-free, without giving up the classic baked goods we all love.

You may also know that I love sneaking an extra dose of vegetables into my baked goods whenever possible, and these spicy gingerbread bars are no exception. They feature an entire cup of zucchini, which goes undetected in taste, but adds moisture and an extra boost of vitamins in each bite.

After all, who couldn’t use an extra dose of nutrition around the holiday season?

Gingerbread Bars (Vegan, Gluten-free)
makes one 8″ x 8″ pan

Ingredients:

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup zucchini puree
2 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds
3 Tablespoons water

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F and line an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper, to prevent sticking. In a small bowl, stir together the tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water, and allow to sit for 10 minutes, until gelled together.

In the meantime, whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, including the buckwheat flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Add the gelled flax mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir in the melted coconut oil, zucchini puree, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix well until a uniform batter is formed.

zucchini puree

*Note: You may choose to leave the skin of the zucchini on or off, depending on how you want the final baked goods to appear. I chose to leave the skin on, for added nutrition, but there were a few green specks visible in the final result. If you want to be really sneaky, feel free to peel the zucchini first!

Transfer the batter to the lined baking dish, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, or until the top begins to crack and the center is firm.

bake

Allow to cool completely, then slice into bars and serve! Feel free to top with a sprinkle of coconut sugar for presentation, if desired.

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4.5 from 2 reviews
Gingerbread Bars (Gluten-free, Vegan)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9-12
 
Sweet and spicy gingerbread bars that are allergy-friendly and pack a sneaky serving of vegetables!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup zucchini puree
  • 2 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line an 8" x 8" baking dish with parchment paper, to prevent sticking. In a small bowl, stir together the tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water, and allow to sit for 10 minutes, until gelled together.
  2. In the meantime, whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, including the buckwheat flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Add the gelled flax mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir in the melted coconut oil, zucchini puree, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix well until a uniform batter is formed.
  3. Transfer the batter to the lined baking dish, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, or until the top begins to crack and the center is firm.
  4. Allow to cool completely, then slice into bars and serve! Feel free to top with a sprinkle of coconut sugar, for presentation, if desired.
Notes
You may choose to leave the skin of the zucchini on or off, depending on how you want the final baked goods to appear. I chose to leave the skin on, for added nutrition, but there were a few green specks visible in the final result. If you want to be really sneaky, feel free to peel the zucchini first!

 Notes:

  • I used Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat Flour to create this recipe, so that is the brand of flour I recommend using for best results. Other brands or homemade flours may affect the outcome.

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: Are you a fan of gingerbread? Ginger cookies are my all-time favorite holiday cookie, so I’m definitely a fan of this flavor combination!

Comments

  1. says

    Gingerbread is one of my favourite holiday treats too!
    This looks so great, and I love you used pureed zucchini – since I totally am not a fan of the shreds of zucchini.

  2. Hannah says

    LOVE this idea. Going to test the recipe soon so I can make it for the big weekend feasts.

    Question – can I use pumpkin or beetroot puree instead of zucchini? They aren’t selling much zucchini around where I am right now because of the colder season.

    H

    • Heather says

      Hi, I made these with pumpkin puree instead and they were AMAZING. I also made them with the zucchini, but the pumpkin added that little something extra.

  3. Alia Vo says

    Ohhhh my gosh. I love gingerbread. I would like to try one day. Haven’t been doing a loot of baking as of yet, just eating my organic dark chocolate bars. My new fav is from Alter Eco Organic Dark Chocolate 85%. It’s soon gooood!

  4. Kathryn says

    I love gingerbread but . . . I don’t do well with buckwheat flour. Could I use rice or almond flour instead?

  5. Shenoha says

    Sorry for the obvious but do you puree the zucchini raw or steam it first before pureeing? Also can the molasses be replaced with something else like rice malt syrup or just more maple syrup? Thanks

  6. marlies says

    yes yes yes! i am so psyched about these, i love gingerbread but I had a gingerbread muffin last weekend and it was SO heavy and sweet! this promises to be so much more amazing :)

  7. says

    Just tried this!! It’s amazing!!! It was very easy to make, and it came out perfect! Thanks so much for your amazing recipe!!! <3

  8. Denise says

    Happy anniversary today! It’s our 4th anniversary too!!!!
    Congratulations and I hope you and your husband can find some time for each other today even with a newborn.

  9. Lindsey says

    Hi Megan, thanks so much for your website and recipes! It is my go-to for enjoyable and healthful recipes! I would LOVE it if you could talk about the pros & cons of different types of wheat and also varieties of sugars. Are whole wheats bad for us…is sugar (such as sucanat, raw sugar,evaporated cane sugar, dried cane juice, etc.) bad for us? We all need a source we can trust about these things, and thank you for being a great source! Thank you again! :) ~Lindsey

  10. Michelle says

    I know that buckwheat is not in the wheat family, but do you have a good suggestions for a flour to substitute for someone who is Gluten Free, Soy, Dairy, Egg Free and can’t have rice, tapioca! BTW you make awesome deserts!!! I have tried 4 so far and my kids LOVE them!

  11. Cindy says

    I made this for Thanksgiving dinner (Canadian) and served with home-made maple walnut frozen yogurt. It was very good! The texture was moist with a great pop of ginger and spices. You can’t even tell its good for you!

  12. says

    Any suggestions for zucchini substitutes? I prefer to cook with the seasons and I’m not sure which fall/winter vegetable would match the consistency of the zucchini when puréed. Any ideas?

  13. Gretchen says

    I used 1 cup of pumpkin instead of the zucchini and it was delicious. Also did not have maple syrup, so I increased the molasses a bit and used coconut sugar.

  14. Sanjana says

    These are AMAZING! I used apple sauce instead of zucchini and brown rice flour instead of buckwheat flour. Came out so delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  15. Emily says

    These are in the oven right now!! I added some nutmeg and some extra cinnamon (because you can never have too much!!) and if the finished product tastes as good as the batter did, I can’t wait!!!

  16. coleen says

    I didn’t have any zucchini, but I did have a cucumber. Haha, don’t laugh. It worked. I didn’t use a full cup…it was somewhere between 3/4 and 7/8. The cup of flour was slightly heaping, as was the tablespoon of flaxmeal, to make up for the extra water content of the cucumber. Very tasty.

  17. Anita says

    Hi and thank you for all fantastic recipes! I wonder I you ever use buckwheat germs, or any other germ, in your bakings?
    Anita from Stockholm, Sweden

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