Gingerbread with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

January 11, 2011

On Saturday night, we had a little party.  It was to celebrate Randy’s birthday, the new year, and some fairly big news in our family (once again, I am not pregnant).  We have some friends who own a very cool art gallery.  Over dinner with them one evening, we threw out the idea of having a gathering there.  Being the lovely and accommodating people they are, not to mention the fact that they are both gorgeous and ridiculously talented, they thought it was a great idea.  We invited our nearest and dearest, I got some catering and organizational assistance from my good friend Julie, and a lovely time was had by all.  I hope.

The gallery has a kitchenette but does not have an oven or stove.  That means that all the food served has to be room temperature or cold.  Since we didn’t have seating, we wanted everything to be pick-up-and-eat food so that people did not have to worry about how to manage plate, fork, napkin, and drink.  Add to that, party time was 7pm.  People need to have dinner if it is 7pm.  5:30, appetizers are fine but by 7 folks are hungry.  I have to say I struggled with my menu.

But!  There is always dessert.  I toyed with the idea of doing a big cake, but decided in the end to keep the easy to pick up food theme going.  I made small versions of those amazing chocolate chip cookies (and was told by more than one person that it was the best they had ever tasted), mini lemon tartlets, and these mini gingerbread bundt cakes.  One of Randy’s favorite things in the world is ginger.  He loves ginger cookies and his favorite cake is gingerbread.  I have a few mini bundt cake pans and a terrific recipe for gingerbread, so it seemed like a no-brainer to make these little guys.

When I make the gingerbread in a standard bundt pan, I just dust the finished cake with powdered sugar.  For this party, I felt we needed something a little fancier.  I made a maple cream cheese frosting – super simple and a nice compliment to the ginger.  Each cake was garnished with some chopped candied ginger.  Now, this is some serious gingerbread.  There is a full cup of Guiness and a full cup of molasses in there, along with a very healthy amount of spices.  I would call it “grown-up” gingerbread if my six year old hadn’t inhaled a left over piece this evening.  Ahem.  If your eyes have glazed over at any point during this post, now would be the time to perk up.

Grease and flour your pan(s).  I know this.  I know the batter is thin and incredibly sticky and I know you can never trust a non-stick coating when it comes to bundt cakes.  I got lazy.  Everyone has their kitchen tasks that they hate and one of mine is greasing pans.  The idea of coating 24 mini-bundts with shortening and flour (my method of choice) was too much to contemplate so I crossed my fingers.  And guess what?  Prying completely stuck-on cake from 24 mini-bundts, washing each of them thoroughly to remove all traces of said cake, and remaking the entire recipe is much more time consuming than just greasing the pans to begin with.  Trust me.

Grammercy Tavern Gingerbread

Since most people probably do not have 24 mini bundt pans (it’s really just two pans with 12 slots each), I’m just giving the original recipe.  It says that the cake serves 8-10 but that can’t be right if I was able to get 24 individual servings (plus a mini-loaf pan) without even doubling the recipe.  And I apologize that the directions in this recipe are running together.  Not quite sure what is going on there.

1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Powdered sugar or Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Generously butter a 10-inch (10 to 12 cup) bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from the heat.  Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl.  Whisk together eggs and sugars.  Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture.  Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles.  Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes.  Cool cake in pan on rack for 5 minutes.  Turn out onto rack and cool completely.  Either serve dusted with powdered sugar or with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract; beat until smooth.


  1. I’m nosy. When do we get to the news part? ;)

    In all seriousness, that party sounds like so much fun! I love this gingerbread recipe – the way you’ve done it is super cute.

    Comment by Hilary — January 11, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

  2. I love individual desserts! The maple cream cheese frosting on top looks divine! I had a cake disaster the other day even though I greased and floured my pans. It was a sad day:(

    Comment by Maria — January 11, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  3. Dana!
    You never cease to dazzle me with your TREATS!
    These are the cutest little cakes!
    I know the maple frosting was the “icing on top of the cake!”
    All of your recipes seem so old~timey and wholesome…which I LOVE!
    Thanks for all you share!

    Comment by teresa — January 11, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  4. That must have been such a nice party. Lovely gingerbreads.

    Comment by Helene — January 11, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shauna James Ahern . Shauna James Ahern said: RT @danatreat: New post. Little gingerbread cakes topped with maple cream cheese frosting. […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Gingerbread with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting « Dana Treat – Treat Yourself -- — January 11, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  6. I’m regretting not having made a gingerbread cake lately. These look lovely! And, I’ve just read about a gingerbread recipe in one of Nigella’s books. I need to bake some gingerbread! And, what is the news?!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — January 11, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  7. next year when i make this i will try the maple in the frosting. i always forget the candied ginger.

    Comment by vanillasugarblog — January 11, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  8. Seems like randy and I would get along swimmingly. We would just sit around, eating ginger, shooting the breeze. It would be awesome.

    What a cute party idea, although I would be super stressed out about trying to adequately feed people on small bites alone. If anyone’s up for the task, though, it’s you.

    Comment by Joanne — January 11, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  9. I have been meaning to make gingerbread ever since it started showing up behind the counters in major coffee chains. I still haven’t done it, and I think this is the kick in the butt I needed! These little bites look delicious.

    Comment by Sarah — January 11, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

  10. I love ginger too – I really like it to kick back at you, so these sound perfect ;) I too, HATE greasing pans, and only do it for the very reason you suggested… I would be so sad scooping it out due to my stubborness!! Sounds like a great party, Dana.

    Comment by Sara — January 12, 2011 @ 12:05 am

  11. You are on a roll lately with the posts – and I, as a regular reader, appreciate it! The mini-gingerbreads look super tempting.

    Comment by Bridget — January 12, 2011 @ 12:13 am

  12. What a fun party! I love events at art galleries – they always feel just a little extra special. And, boy, I cannot get ENOUGH gingerbread! I could make it through summer if it didn’t feel absolutely ridiculous :)

    Comment by Kasey — January 12, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  13. I, too, am a HUGE ginger fan; I can literally eat slivers of it. The party sounds like a great event, I love little intimate get-togethers such as this. Your dessert choice was perfect!

    Comment by Chez Us — January 12, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  14. you had me at ginger!

    Comment by tracy — January 12, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  15. Love that you topped the gingerbread with maple cream cheese frosting! And I also love that the gingerbread has large amounts of guinness and molasses. I must try this when I have my next gingerbread craving!

    Comment by Ashley — March 17, 2011 @ 4:32 am

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