Eat & Drink

Nathan Bakes’ vegan sticky ginger root cake with caramel sauce

Recipe from Nathan Bakes

2/39 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, SA 5000

Vegans across Adelaide rejoiced when Nathan Bakes opened their brick and mortar store on Grenfell Street this year. From a stint as the Adelaide Central Market Producer in Residence, husband and wife duo Hilary and Nathan discovered an insatiable appetite for delicious desserts that were free of gluten or dairy. This propelled them to open their store front, affording them more space to do what they do best – make delicious desserts.

Following official training as a Patissier and stints at hotspots like Steven ter Horst Chocolatier, Nathan has perfected the art of the ultimate sweet treat. The bakery is driven by an ethos that dietary restrictions are no reason to the joy of cake! Aside from being vegan and gluten-free, all goodies are also free from artificial flavours.

Vegan sticky ginger root cake with caramel sauce

Serves: 8 to 10 people

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour to 10 minutes



  • 225g Gluten Free Flour (at Nathan Bakes we use our own blend of various flours but any good gluten free flour will work, just make sure it has a vegetable gum, such as Xantham gum or Guar gum, as part of the flour. If it does not you will need to add 6gm of Xantham with the flour)
  • 5g baking powder
  • 5g bicarb powder
  • 6g ground ginger
  • 6g ground cinnamon
  • 115g vegan margarine (I find nuttelex works best)
  • 115g brown sugar
  • 115g treacle
  • 115g golden syrup
  • 115g non-dairy milk (soy or almond for example)
  • 115g grated fresh ginger root

Caramel Sauce

  • 330g caster sugar
  • 250g coconut cream
  • 150g vegan margarine (again, Nuttelex works well)
Nathan Bakes



  1. Pre-heat oven to 160C. Grease an 18cm square or round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Into a pot, weigh out the brown sugar, treacle, golden syrup and milk, stirring gently until just before it comes to the boil. Set aside to cool.
  3. Into a bowl weigh out flour, baking powder, bicarb, spices and margarine and rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the grated fresh ginger to the flour mix and add the sugar and milk mixture. 
  5. ix together until completely combined, don't worry about over-mixing the batter as this is impossible without gluten present, so keep going until it's fully incorporated. 
  6. Pour into the prepared tine and bake for 50mis – 1hr (the time will depend on which tine you used, square will make a thinner cake that bakes faster while a round one with make a thinking cake that takes longer to bake) or until a skewer comes out fairly clean. 
  7. Due to the nature of this cake (being Gluten Free and a rich, sticky cake) a skewer will never come out completely clean.

Caramel Sauce

  1. Melting the sugar, during this step avoid stirring the sugar with a spoon or whisk, if you need to move the sugar swirl it in the base of the pan. 
  2. Start by adding a little sugar into the bottom of a largish saucepan and begin heating. As the sugar melts sprinkle more over the top, continue to do this until all of the 250 grams of sugar is in the pot, melted and golden.
  3. Pour the Coconut 
  4. Cream on top of the melted sugar. It will bubble, violently, this is why you needed a largish pot, so it won't bubble over the sides. 
  5. Allow it to bubble and calm down, now you can use a whisk to stir the sauce and make sure all the sugar and coconut cream have mixed together. If there are lumps of sugar in the sauce turn it to a low heat and continue whisking.
  6. Take off the heat and pour into a separate bowl and whisk the margarine through

To serve

  1. Slice the cake into squares and serve warmed with the caramel drizzled over the top.
  2. For a little extra, adults only decadence brush the cake with a little rum before pouring the caramel or serve with an ice cream or sorbet (I find that a citrus flavoured one works extremely well)