Do you like gingerbread? I didn’t like it when I was a kid, but as I got older I started to like it. And now that it’s the holiday season, it’s the perfect (and only?) time to eat all the gingerbread things.
I got a Williams Sonoma gift card a while ago and decided to shop for some things during Black Friday. Let me tell you – shopping with a gift card online is such a pain. It’s not like at the store where if you go over the amount on the gift card you can just pay the balance. When you use one online you can only use one form of payment so I always try to get it to as close to the amount as possible. It took me over an hour to figure out what I could get that wouldn’t go over my gift card!
The one item I did not want to have to delete from my cart was the Nordic Ware Tree Cakelet Pan. It looked so cute and I thought little cakelets in the form of trees would be perfect for Christmas and it is just as cute as it looks!
I used the Gingerbread Cake recipe from Williams Sonoma (the recipe is on an old product page) and it took 2 tries to get the cakes to come out right (not in terms of taste but in terms of coming out of the pan in one piece!) but I got it and I am so pleased with how they turned out!
I followed the recipe except I didn’t have Allspice so I just left it out and I cut down on the brown sugar because I don’t like things to be too sweet. I also halved the recipe because the recipe was originally for the Williams Sonoma giant Christmas Tree pans, and my pan is a cakelet pan. With the recipe, I could still make 2 batches of the pan and still had a bit left over.
Here are my tips to get the trees to come out perfectly!
Brush the pan with oil (brushing helped to ensure that every nook and cranny of the molds were coated) and then dust with flour tapping out the excess.
Now for the batter.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside. The allspice would also go in here, but I didn’t have any.
In the electric stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Then, add in the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time until incorporated. On low, add in the molasses and vanilla. Once that’s all mixed in, add in half the flour mixture and half the water. Then, add in the remaining flour and water.
Once the batter is all done, spoon the batter in to the cake pan and fill only 3/4 of the way. Bake at 350 on a baking sheet, since the mold will not sit evenly on the racks, for about 15 minutes and do the toothpick test to see if it’s done.
When they’re done, put the whole pan on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes. Now to take the cakes out, first firmly hit the bottom of the pan down on the counter. I actually put a kitchen towel down and pretty much slammed the pan down. Then I used a toothpick to separate the edges of the cake from the pan to make for easier removal.
This is where it takes 2 people. One person has to hold the pan upside down, the other person has to hit the bottom of the pan until the cake comes out and you cross your fingers the tree comes out whole. My hand actually started hurting, hitting the bottom of the tree mold so I put an oven mitt on the bottom of each tree (I removed one tree at a time) and used a meat mallet to hit the trees out without scratching the pan.
The first round was a complete fail – the cakes wouldn’t come out so I had to scoop them out. They tasted good, but were basically chunks of cake on the plate haha. So follow my steps and hopefully that works for you!
Finally, sprinkle with powder sugar to give that wintery, Christmas look!
The gingerbread cake is so good and the trees turned out really pretty!
I’m planning to make these again for Christmas Eve, but I haven’t decided if I’ll do gingerbread or try making chocolate cakes in the pan.
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