P & Q: Gingerbread Baby Cakes

So seasonal! How do we make them delicious?

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38 thoughts on “P & Q: Gingerbread Baby Cakes

  1. Can I just substitute instant coffee for the instant espresso powder? I have the coffee, and if it’s okay, I’d rather use it than buy a whole other jar of something I might not ever use again.

    • I imagine you would be able to substitute instant coffee, or even leave it out. These ginger cakes have quite a few non-ginger spices.

      Supposing you buy a bottle, there are a few recipes that call for espresso powder. America’s Test Kitchen loves espresso powder for many recent chocolate recipes. Their Triple Layer Chocolate mousse and Better than Box Brownies both use it. In Baking With Julia, there is the Frozen espresso parfait.

      • Instant coffee is a good substitute. But I have to tell you, I throw a half teaspoon or so of instant espresso powder into almost everything chocolate I make. It makes chocolate taste chocolatier :-) (I get mine from either King Arthur Flour or Williams & Sonoma).

    • The instant coffee won’t be as strong as the espresso. I make a delicious brownie with the espresso (see my post on the brownies we just made). I keep mine in the freezer so I always have it on hand when a recipe calls for it.

    • With a little more research, I’ve found that instant coffee can substitute, as long as a little extra is used (to make up for the lack of the concentrated flavor you’dget with espresso) and you grind it up some to make sure it’s powdery. I’m probably just going to go with that. Neither my local grocery store nor Target had the espresso powder, and I’ve already hit my grocery money limit for this week. I’ll just make do with what I’ve got. Thanks for the input, y’all!

    • I am thinking to make half of the cake batter and bake in an 8-inch cake pan. Don’t have neither a 10-inch one nor baby cake pans. Wondering though if the height of the cake would not be in jeopardy :)

      Molasses question.

      The recipe calls for unsulphured molasses. On the jar that I have at home it says unsulphured blackstrap molasses. A bit of a molasses confusion moment here but what should I use?

      • Blackstrap molasses is pretty intense. I wouldn’t use in place of “regular” molasses unless I really really liked the taste. Try some on a spoon? You might really enjoy it. I’m thinking that candied orange would be nice with that dark flavor.

    • Maple or something else sounds like a nice swap for some of the molasses. Without really realizing it, I bought Brer Rabbit “Full Flavor” molasses — two 12 oz bottles in order to get the required 2 cups. I’d much rather only buy one bottle.

  2. I tried making teeny-tiny baby cakes in a muffin pan. I got 14 out of a half batch, baked them for 20 minutes and… burned them :(

    I guess I was only looking at the centers and waiting for them to firm up, completely ignoring the outer edges that were becoming overdone. I’m not sure if I just overcooked them by a few minutes, or if muffin pans were a bad idea… Did anyone else try?

    • I tried 2 muffins with extra batter from my 9 inch pan and they cooked up quickly- under 20 minutes. But no burnt edges- used silver/ aluminum tins.

  3. I used all of the molasses (not blackstrap) and they turned out fine. They took about 27 minutes. The hardest part for me was having the cakes bake evenly. I had to move them around on the rack a few times. Probably should have tried convection with so many little cakes. I read on Dorie’s blog that Johanne Killeen served them with coffee scented mascarpone and chocolate sauce.

    • I ended up with one loaf and 3 in silicone muffin cups. the loaf took FOREVER to bake. we tasted a mini one and its got quite the spicy kick at the end

  4. Way to strong for me..I even halfed the recipe and cut the molasses down in half..it was so overpowering…Could not eat but 2 bites. It cooked up perfect in 26 min.

  5. WOWZA! What lovely gingerbread! I replaced a half cup of molasses with strong brewed coffee and maple syrup. Was going to use ginger juice, but I’m full on into jam mode, and frankly couldn’t spare enough of the root. So, I just minced the normal amount. I twisted the finale. No Lemon or Orange here. Will post at midnight…on dancingwoolymasters.wordpress.com

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