My husband and I love all things British. So, it goes without saying that we are huge fans of Masterpiece Theatre’s Downton Abbey. It’s one of the best tv productions we’ve ever seen. Not only are the cast superb, but the scenery, writing, and stories are first-class. Since the premiere of season 2 is coming up in just a few days, I decided to celebrate by coming up with a British dessert for us…and you!
These mini gingerbread cakes are warm, spicy, and comforting. They’ve got just the right amount of spices to make this a perfect winter treat, and they pair very nicely with a cup of tea. They are great served by themselves or with a dusting of powdered sugar. If you want to really treat yourself (and wow your guests!), serve the cakes with creme anglaise. It’s the British thing to do…
Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes with Creme Anglaise
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ginger (I prefer a spicier cake, but you can reduce to 2 teaspoons)
- 1 cup half-and-half
- Seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini bundt pan or a cupcake tray, and set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat the oil, sugar, and molasses for 1 minute.
- Add the half-and-half and vanilla, and beat for another minute.
- Add in the flour, baking soda and spices, and mix on low speed until combined.
- Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Pour into the prepared mini bundt pan, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then cool the cakes completely on a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar, or serve with creme anglaise, and enjoy!
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together the half-and-half and vanilla seeds and bean. Once the milk begins to simmer, remove it from the heat.
- While the milk is simmering, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Once the milk has simmered, slowly whisk it into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk until combined.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens slightly. (Note: the sauce should thicken in about 5-6 minutes. I prefer a thicker sauce, so I cooked it for about 8 minutes.)
- Once the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency, remove from heat.
- Let the sauce cool slightly before serving. (You can make the creme anglaise a day or two ahead, and refrigerate it, covered.)
Makes 16 cakes.
Gingerbread cakes an original La Casa de Sweets recipe. Creme Anglaise recipe adapted from Epicurious.