It wouldn’t be Christmas without gingerbread and on most holidays, I would bake a gingerbread house for my family display, but this year feels different, so I skipped it. Over decorating and creating towers of cookie trays is not in the cards this Christmas because of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean I’m not baking something seductive with those unique gingerbread flavors.
Espresso and gingerbread seems like a match made in heaven because they both have slight bitter notes, yet are different in taste. The espresso becomes almost a silent partner in this cake recipe, but not without recognition. The wintery spices of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves are fragrant, and gracefully represented, but in a different way than traditional gingerbread.
A drizzle of frosting with a splash of espresso and rum create a snowy contrast to the darkened crumb of the cake. I happened to make four individual cakes, instead of one large Bundt, but you can go either way. Like Santa’s not-so-little elf, I quietly dropped them on my neighbor’s doorsteps, so they too could share in my gingerbread creations. Merry Christmas.
1/2 molasses or sorghum
1/2 cup strong coffee or a tall espresso
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs + 2 yolks
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons brewed espresso or coffee
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/4 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, optional
(Makes 4 Mini or 1 Bundt Cake)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pans or pan with Baker’s spray or butter and flour pan, set aside.
- In a measuring cup, add molasses and brewed coffee, whisk. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, espresso powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar for 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add eggs and yolks one at a time, mixing in between.
- On low speed, add flour mixture in thirds, alternating with brewed coffee mixture until combined.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes if making mini cakes, or 40 minutes if baking one Bundt cake. Remove and cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack. Cool for 1 hour before glazing.
- In a small bowl, whisk together Glaze ingredients. Spoon over tops of cakes and top with crushed chocolate covered espresso beans, if desired. Enjoy!