I have a lot of kitchen stuff. A LOT. #Imightbeahoarder. I’ve been collecting kitchen gadgets since way before I started food blogging. I could probably open a small store, but you never know when you might need a Santa shaped jello mold or those conical things to shape ice cream cones with, right? (The answer for both of those it turns out is - never!) But there’s one semi-useful mold which I added to my collection because its cuteness trumps the square inches it takes up in my basement…. a cake mold for mini gingerbread houses.
It’s dusted off once a year, at most. I love this thing because everyone gets a mini house to decorate and eat, which 🌟newsflash🌟 is much more covid friendly than several sticky fingers decorating one big house. So here are my Mini Gingerbread Cakes with Grand Marnier Cream Cheese Frosting. The cupcake recipe is adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction. As for the frosting, I love orange with gingerbread, so I went the extra mile and added a little Grand Marnier to the frosting. This part is optional though, you can leave it out.
You don’t need to go out and buy one of these molds, but admit it, you kinda want to! This recipe works beautifully for cupcakes too. xoxo Kirsty
Ingredients for 12 cupcakes or 6 mini gingerbread houses
Gingerbread Cupcake recipe adapted from sallysbakingaddiction
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup (156g) molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups (167g) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside. If you have a gingerbread house mold like mine, one batch of batter makes 6 houses.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together using an electric mixer, until creamy. Add in the egg and beat until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the milk, molasses, and vanilla, combine. The mixture will be clumpy and not fully combined, but don’t worry, it’ll come together when you add the flour.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Fill the cupcake liners (or whichever molds you’re using) two-thirds of the way. Bake for 19-21 minutes (the gingerbread houses take 23-25 minutes) until the tops bounce back when gently prodded, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the Grand Marnier Frosting:
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces (115g) cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon (15ml) Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur (optional)
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
1-1/2 cups (195g) confectioners' sugar
pinch of salt
Beat the butter and cream cheese until well-combined.
Add the Grand Marnier (if using) and orange zest, then add the confectioners’ sugar bit by bit. Mix slowly, increasing the speed until all of the sugar is incorporated and the frosting is smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little milk a teaspoon at a time.
Transfer to piping bags and go to town!