Earlier this year when my friend Leanne (of the Leanne’s Apple Bundt Cake with Apple Butter Bourbon Glaze) was visiting us in the Cape, we picked up a couple of the Nordic Ware Cakelet Pans at Williams Sonoma. Leanne’ bought the Apple one and I chose the Leaf. We had a glorious baking day together, making Apple Spice Cakelets and these Gingerbread Leaves.
The recipe is for a gingerbread loaf, in case you don’t have a specialty pan. We used it to make twelve gingerbread leaves and a small loaf. When baking in these pans, it’s important to use a good quality baking spray, such as Bak-Klene. Don’t use Pam – it sticks like glue to the pans and makes an unholy mess, very difficult to remove.
The gingerbread is even better on day two, when the flavours have had a chance to meld and enrich each other. It also freezes well.
It’s delicious served with Lemon Curd, too. Just sayin’…
We filled the leaf pans up to the top, on the premise that we could slice off any excess, and that’s exactly what we did.
The “shrapnel” made for delicious snacking while we were waiting for everything else to come out of the oven.
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 c granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 c molasses
- 1⁄2 c minced crystallized ginger
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1⁄4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk or plain low-fat or whole
- Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-4-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. If you're using a specialty cakelet pan, spray it with a good quality baking spray.
- In a bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar until creamy and fluffy. Stir in the molasses and crystallized ginger. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
- Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture; mix until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the top. Bake until the gingerbread is golden and springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes for the large loaf pan, 30 minutes or so for the cakelet pan.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Turn the gingerbread out onto the rack.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1 loaf; serves 10 to 12.
- If you're using a cakelet pan, after filling it with the batter, be sure to tap it firmly on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles.
- This tender, moist, dark gingerbread is good served warm with poached pears and their syrup or with yogurt. Or, try it with afternoon tea or coffee. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.