It’s Christmas Eve, and so my husband and I are about to hop in the car to visit his side of the family. I’m brining along these cute little gingerbread cakes to share for dessert.
These cakes are spicy and dense (in a good way) with just a tad of lemon cream cheese frosting to complement them. They have the consistency of a cake-y brownie but the flavor of gingerbread cookies. The petite cakes are about the size of cupcakes, but with a touch more style.
Frosting the sides of the cakes turned out to be a disaster. Feel free to try it, but all the cake crumbs made for a messy finish, even with a crum layer of icing to minimize them. I prefer the look of these bare-sided cakes, which has the extra benefit of better proportion of frosting to cake. If you like frosting but are easily overwhelmed by it, leaving the sides unfinished might be a good solution for you, too.
I baked these as 8×8 sheet cakes and then used a biscuit cutter to punch out small rounds after the cake had baked and cooled. You can also just make cupcakes if you don’t want to deal with the assembly.
Makes 9 small layer cakes
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Ginger
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Molasses (unsulphured, like Grandma’s brand)
2/3 Cup Hot Water
1/2 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Ener-g Egg, optional
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
1 lb Confectioner’s Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Zest from 1 Lemon
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Mix the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl until well combined.
Prepare two 8×8 baking pans as follows: grease the pans with margarine. Lay a square of parchment paper down in the inside of the pans, cut to fit the bottoms. Grease the paper as well. Use some of the try mixture you just made to flour the pans, shaking/tapping out any extra.
Whisk molasses and hot water together.
Cream the margarine and sugar. Whip the mixture with the optional Ener-g egg until light and fluffy.
Add part of the molasses mixture and part of the margarine and sugar mixture to the dry ingredients. Begin to combine. As the ingredients come together, add more of the margarine mixture and more of the molasses mixture until everything has been incorporated. Whisk to remove lumps, but to not over-mix.
Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans. Bake at 350º F for 30-40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean, or the top of the cake, when touched, springs back. Let cakes cool completely, then remove from the pan. You may need to use a knife to loosen the edges, but the parchment paper should keep the bottoms from sticking.
Once the cakes have cooled and have been removed from the pans, use a small biscuit cutter to cut 9 rounds from each cake.
Prepare frosting by beating all of the frosting ingredients in a stand mixee until well combined and fluffy.
Place a small amount of frosting on 9 rounds.
Stack the rounds.
Place the rest of the frosting in a piping bag and frost the top of each cake.
I garnished them with green and red nonpareils, but maraschino cherries would be awesome! Keep in an airtight container until ready to serve.
I hope you all have a great holiday season!