I like gingerbread cake. And, last year I was asked to bake cakes for a church dinner and decided to make them look like gingerbread houses. It was so successful, this year I decided to give mini cakes a try. I only wish the temperatures here in SoCal weren’t in the mid 80s. My buttercream frosting was so soft by the time the house was finished, you could see it melting.
Just how did I put it together? Simple. First you bake a gingerbread cake. I used only half the batter at a time to bake off layers. I knew I wanted them to only be about a half inch thick and a half batter would do that. Once the layer was cooled I cut it into fourths.
With a third piece of the gingerbread, cut it into fourths, diagonally, making your roof. This is the point at which you’ll have the most difficulty in assembling your cakes. You will want to use buttercream to sandwich them together, laying them on top of the second layer, the widest side on top of the icing to form the roof.
See? A cute little house. Almost.
Give your house a thin covering of buttercream and let it chill for a bit, 30 minutes or so. While the cake is chilling mix up your colored frostings and get your pastry bags filled with icing. You will now decorate your cakes. I used red to make a brick covered house. Add green for bushes on all sides with red berries. Added a door with the same brown I used for the roof. The last step was to add the snow to give it that winter wonderland feel. The cakes are large enough to feed at least two people dessert. I like the way they can dress up a table and then be used as the dessert for a holiday gathering.
* 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 1/3 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup molasses
* 1 egg
* 3/4 cup hot water
Heat the oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray. Add a piece of parchment paper to the bottom of the pan to assist in layer removal once cooled.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in molasses, egg, and water. Combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl all at once and beat on medium speed for about a minute, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula occasionally.
Pour half of the batter into the pan and bake it for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool and remove from pan. Repeat with balance of batter. Once both layers are cooled you can begin assembling your mini gingerbread cakes.