These gingerbread baby cakes are loaded with gingery spiciness.
Eight little four inch baby cakes of buttery gingery brown sugary molasses-y peppery goodness. I absolutely love these cakes. They are so spicy, and well... hot! These cakes definitely have an adult taste.
I am thinking that even though they are butter cakes, the spices might speed up your metabolism enough to cancel the butter out.
I vote yes on that one.
These cakes have an adult appeal. The spice is very strong. I served mine with lightly sweetened whipped cream and it balanced the spiciness perfectly. Vanilla ice cream or sweetened flavored mascarpone would also be perfect. I'm also envisioning some caramel, butterscotch, or chocolate sauce....
What amazed me is that my five and nine year old grandsons fell in love with these cakes. Let's just say, if they don't like something that I've baked, they don't hesitate to let me know (politely of course). They were crazy about these and requested that we add them to their lunch boxes. Happy happy me! I am nuts about those little boys =)
The recipe calls for eight four-inch by two-inch cake pans, or one 10-inch cake pan. I had the 10-inch pan, but since I am hosting this week's Tuesdays With Dorie, I "needed" to be authentic and buy the pans. Oh darn.... (well, not really). Aren't they adorable?
This recipe is from Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan, and is based on the PBS series of the same name. The recipe was contributed by Johanne Killeen.
Gingerbread Baby Cakes
2 C (10 oz according to the book) unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 C espresso powder
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
8 ounces (2 sticks) of room temperature unsalted butter
1 C packed dark brown sugar
4 large room temperature eggs
2 1/2 T peeled and finely minced fresh ginger (I used a mini food processor)
2 C unsulphured molasses
Garnish the cakes with sweetened whipped cream, sweetened or coffee scented mascarpone, and/or chocolate or other flavored syrup. Ice cream would be good too.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F.
- Grease and flour eight 4x8 inch cake pans. I used parchment and spray oil (no flour) and it worked out well.
- Whisk the flour, espresso, cocoa, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
- Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Double the time if you are using a hand mixer.
- Add the eggs one at a time, and beat on high speed for about half a minute between additions.
- Add the fresh ginger and the molasses and mix on medium for about two minutes.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated.
- Evenly divide the batter among the mini cake pans.
- Place the cake pans on a baking sheet and place them in the oven.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (mine took about 27 minutes), rotating the sheet pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out pretty clean. The middle should be springy, and the cake should have just cracked.
- Place the cake pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes to cool. Run a knife to loosen the cakes from the pans and turn them out onto the racks. Remove the parchment if you have used it, and allow the cakes to continue to cool. These cakes can be served warm or at room temperature.
- The cakes can be stored in an air tight container for 3 or 4 days, or individually wrapped and frozen for about 30 days.
This recipe can also be baked in one 10-inch cake pan and baked for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.