Serious Eats: Recipes

Gingerbread Baby Cakes: Because Winter Isn't Over

I don't know where you are, but I'm in Connecticut looking out at a bunch of snow. Sure, I've seen a robin or two, but it's not feeling rhubarbish around these parts yet, which is why these baby cakes, which Johanne Killeen, she of Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island, made when she came to bake with Julia Child, look so good to me.

I know they look like moist little chocolate cakes, but they're really moist little hot and spicy cakes, sweet little things pumped up with ginger and black pepper and fortified with cocoa and espresso powder.

Johanne, a fabulous baker and a mistress of all that is small, likes to make this recipe in pans that are 4 inches across and 1 inch deep. If you don't have mini pans, you can try making the cake in muffin pans or use one 10 inch pan, in which case it will have to bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

The cakes are great with whipped cream and candied lemon zest and just as good with ice cream—particularly coffee ice cream. A couple of bites could give us northerners the patience we'll need to wait for spring.

About the author: Dorie Greenspan is the author of several books on dessert, most recently Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie can also be found at and on the Bon Appétit website, where she is a special correspondent.

Johanne Killeen's Gingerbread Baby Cakes

Adapted from Baking with Julia

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