If you like gingerbread then this recipe will delight you! These modest, miniature gingerbread cakes are not overly ornate; they are simply swathed with a slather of whipped cream. They are easy to prepare, yet, when you bite into the gingerbread, you will be amazed by the gigantic gust of flavor that takes over your taste buds. A great respite to a cold winter day is warming up with a hot drink and a slice of gingerbread cake.
This gingerbread recipe is somewhat versatile since it can be baked either as a one-layer 8 inch cake or as 3 miniature 4 inch cakes. I baked an 8 inch cake recently only to watch it disappear in front of my eyes as my family devoured it faster than I could add the whipped cream! I then decided to bake individual cakes using 4 inch, round spring form pans. I will confess that math has never been a favorite subject of mine and when I set out to bake the cakes I thought to myself that one 8 inch, round cake would logically equal two 4 inch round cakes.
But I was wrong; instead it made three 4 inch rounds! There was just enough batter left over to perfectly fit into one of my small ramekins which was designated for our camera man. This decision was impromptu and a bit disjointed since I decided on the spot to tell you about this treat for him while in the midst of filming. Take a peek at the video at the end of the post and let me know if you think his filming was worth the reward.
For our Tea for Modern Times I chose to bake a miniature version of gingerbread cake. These cakes transform from ordinary looking to extraordinary when lathered in homemade whipped cream and presented on individual serving dishes. I incorporated a crisp, monochromatic, blue color scheme with a wisp of whimsy by means of including a glittery, blown glass, Russian Matryoshka ornament as our mascot for this tea service.
The table was set with a blue and white lily of the valley 1950’s vintage tablecloth along with white damask napkins. The tea sandwiches adorned a Gorham light blue, hobnail, glass cake stand. The tea sandwiches were served on my every day swirled white china.
The gingerbread cakes were presented on blue and white floral, Spode china, cream soup under-plates. Linea’s creamer and a simple, white sugar bowl complimented the tea set. For a height and a splash of color, we chose bright blue wine glasses to substitute as water glasses. The silver tea spoons and salad forks are Wallace, Grand Colonial (circa 1945 – 2009). The lily of the valley undertone was reinforced with an English, Gibson fine china tea pot. This tea pot is precious to me as it belonged to one of the women that I admire and love most.
English breakfast tea was poured, which complemented rather than competed with the spices in the gingerbread. These mini gingerbread cakes provided a grand escape from a blustery, cold winter afternoon. Of course, you do not have to wait for winter to enjoy this gingerbread; it is delicious any day of the year!
Gingerbread Mini Cakes Recipe
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Prepare your favorite whipped cream topping and set in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
For the Cakes
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2.5 ounces light brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons grated lemon grind
1 ½ cups flour
2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
Grease three 4 inch, round spring form pans and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl combine flour, ground ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt with a whisk. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and light brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time beating just until each one is incorporated into the mixture. Add the lemon rind and the molasses and mix until combined. The mixture may look a bit curdled. Don’t worry; it will look like a thick batter after you add the flour and milk.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk in thirds scraping down the sides after each addition. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out dry and the top is lightly browned. Do not over bake as the cake tends to dry out quickly. Cool the cakes and add the whipped cream topping just before serving.
Note: I served these cakes with a traditional fresh, homemade, whipped cream topping. Another option would be a lemon glaze topping with a piece of candied ginger as a decoration. Enjoy!