Little Gingerbread Cakes with Lemon Icing


If there is one cake which I always look forward to making and eating at Christmas, it would have to be gingerbread. Whether it is gingerbread in the form of beautifully iced and spicy biscuits, or the more sticky and moist sponge cake, I love them all. Anything which is heady with the aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger is something I would be happy to sit down to with a big mug of tea.

For something a bit different this year, and given my recent experimental phase in the kitchen, I tried my hand at making gingerbread in little cake forms. I bought a set of brioche moulds one year, convinced that I would use them regularly to make brioche for my weekend breakfasts, but I have used them very seldomly and, on each occasion, for something other than brioche itself. They are a bit more fiddly to use than your standard cupcake or muffin moulds, but the results are, as you can see, so cute that it’s worth the extra effort :-)

Of course, you could use any cake mould you like – mini muffin tins would work perfectly here, or even a madeleine tin for a French twist on your gingerbread.

The resting period in the fridge allows the batter to swell and thicken, thus making the resulting cake much lighter than if you were to bake it right away. The advantage of this resting period means that you can make the batter ahead of time (even a few days), and bake them just before serving if you wish to eat them warm. Otherwise, the cakes keep well for a few days under a covered dish. For some contrast in taste, the lemon icing is very simple to prepare and provides a lovely tang against the spicy gingerbread.

If you can’t find golden syrup, you can substitute with honey or corn syrup.

Despite the gentle spiciness of these cakes, to my surprise, I found these gingerbread cakes to be quite popular with our friend’s 18 month old son. He gobbled up quite a few many cakes which was very endearing to watch and made me very happy that I had a little fan of this recipe :-)

{Please click on the image twice to view the recipe in full size}

Petits cakes au gingembre, glacés au citron

Ingrédients: pour 24 gâteaux réalisés dans des moules à brioche de 6 cm de diamètre.
150 g de beurre doux fondu
3 œufs
130 g de sucre roux
150 g de farine
1 cuiller à café de levure à pâtisserie
1/2 cuiller à café de muscade fraîchement râpée
1 cuiller à café de cannelle en poudre
1 cuiller à café de gingembre en poudre
1 cuiller à soupe de “golden syrup” (pouvant être remplacé par du miel ou du sirop d’érable)

200 g de sucre glace
2 à 3 cuillers à soupe de jus de citron

Faire fondre le beurre doucement. Laisser tiédir. Battre les œufs et le sucre. Ajouter la farine, la levure, la muscade, la cannelle et le gingembre. Terminer par le beurre et le sirop doré. Mélanger pour obtenir une pâte onctueuse que l’on réserve 1 heure au réfrigérateur.

Préchauffer le four à 270°C.

Graisser quelques petits moules à brioche ou à muffins. Les remplir aux 3/4 de pâte. Mettre au four en baissant aussitôt la température à 210°C. Cuire 8 à 10 minutes selon la taille des moules pour que les gâteaux gonflent et prennent couleur sur les bords.

Démouler sur une grille et laisser refroidir.

Glaçage: mélanger avec soin le sucre glace et le jus de citron pour obtenir une consistance épaisse mais encore coulante. A l’aide d’une cuiller à café, décorer les gâteaux tiédis (voir photo).


  1. Jo 26 November 2011

    Awwww! I love this post! From the adorable little brioche style cakes to the fact you made a little friend with them, so sweet and lovely Creme. I have brioche moulds ~1inch diameter that I haven’t used in a long, long time (last time was for Jean’s almond puffs, or micro mini bakewells – now that was fiddly!). Time for a reissue :)

    • eat, little bird 26 November 2011

      Goodness, 1-inch brioche moulds would indeed be very fiddly! But they do produce such cute cakes … I’m loving the sound of mini bakewells!

  2. Caroline 26 November 2011

    Dang it Thanh, I have to go get mini brioche moulds now cos these look rather irresistable! I have mini gingerbread loaves in the freezer, ready to be given out to friends next month. These pretty little beauties sound delicious. Shall be making them soon in the mini muffin pan :-)) Gorgeous photos, I know I’ve said it before, but this is gorgeous!

    • eat, little bird 26 November 2011

      Thanks, Carrie!! Oh your friends will be in for a real treat, real soon :-) I love loaf cakes in general and find mini loaf cakes just irresistible!

  3. Anita Menon 26 November 2011

    These look so festive. Love it. You are ushering in Christmas for us, Post by post.

    • eat, little bird 26 November 2011

      Christmas is less than a month away! And given that I (sadly) don’t get to do any cooking on the big day itself, I make up for it in the month leading up to Christmas :-)

  4. Liz Headon 27 November 2011

    How fascinating – I’ve always assumed cakes should be baked as soon as… I’ve never tried resting a cake batter but in this case it appears to work well. And I love ginger and lemon as a flavour combo.

    • eat, little bird 28 November 2011

      I also thought the same, Liz, until I tried a few recipes which required this resting period and was relieved that the cakes still rose in the oven! I think, though, that the batter needs to rest in the fridge, otherwise the baking powder stops acting. It’s all rather scientific … I’ll have to look into it more.

  5. Julia Levy 27 November 2011

    aren’t these the darlingest things ever, seriously cute :o)

    what’s next on the christmas bakeathon, i’m loving the blogs.

    • eat, little bird 27 November 2011

      Hi Julia! Lovely to see you here :-) I have a few more Christmassy recipes in the pipeline, along with a few other “regulars” :-) Sadly, I don’t get to cook on the big day so am making up for it in the month beforehand 😉

  6. Tori @ eatori 28 November 2011

    How divine. Gingerbread and a cup of tea is a Peter Pan ‘Happy Place’ for me. Can’t wait to try these.

  7. The Food Sage 29 November 2011

    I’m a big fan of gingerbread and all its variants – thanks for sharing.

  8. scarlett 30 November 2011

    they look so yummy! i will have to make them this friday night for a baby shower on saturday… thanks for the inspiration! we should get together as zurich based food bloggers, what do you think? maybe a monthly coffee somewhere, rotating locations, to update each other and talk about all things foodie / blogger?
    a warm hug

    • eat, little bird 3 December 2011

      Ooh please let me know if you do end up making these on Saturday! I hope everyone will love them :-)

      And a get-together sounds like a wonderful idea! Please count me in :-) I will send you an email shortly and hopefully we can arrange something for early next year. Ich freue mich!

  9. At Anna's Kitchen Table 30 November 2011

    They are very, very cute!

  10. Denise @ TLT 2 December 2011

    They look delicious, perfect size and wonderful for this season (I agree: Christmas=gingerbread)!

  11. Tara 14 November 2014

    Ah I just succumbed to buying some mini brioche pans after reading this! Can you tell that I’ve just discovered your blog and am making my way through all of your recipes!


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