The smell of gingerbread just makes me smile. And I love these little two-bite cupcakes. The orange cream cheese frosting is a great dancing partner. I’m taking some to a reception where chocolate will be king but I hope gingerbread will reign as queen.
This is my favorite gingerbread recipe, which originally comes from Kitchen Klatter, published in 1975. The frosting is mine – a basic cream cheese frosting with orange flavor.
Now a confession: I forgot to take any pictures as I was making the cupcake batter. Dancing with the Stars was on TV as I was baking and I just got carried away with all the drama and beauty of the program. But I’ll waltz, err walk, you through this.
I wanted to decorate the cupcakes with jelly beans and when I was in Target looking for some tiny ones, I asked a girl who was stocking the candy aisles to recommend some tasty, but tiny beans. She was a storehouse of knowledge and led me to the Starburst Tropical, Brach’s Tiny Beans and Lifesaver Pastels. Another shopper got involved, a woman in her ‘70’s I’d guess and she concurred that these were good choices. I bought all three kinds and am happily munching on them as we chat now.
½ cup boiling water
½ cup shortening – all vegetable
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 beaten egg
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp ginger
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Directions for Gingerbread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour boiling water over shortening in a mixing bowl.
Add the wet ingredients and mix until blended.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Batter will be thin. Don’t add more flour.
Grease either an 8″ square pan, or 12 regular cupcakes or about 30 mini cupcakes. Or use cupcake wrappers.
Bake 30 min for the 8” pan.
Bake about 12 – 15 minutes for the regular cupcakes or 8 – 10 minutes for the minis.
Note: Both Pampered Chef and Wilton Cakes have a mini cupcake pan.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 TBS butter, softened
1 tsp orange flavoring
2 cups powdered sugar
Mix butter and cream cheese until blended.
Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
You may want to divide frosting into smaller bowls and add different colors to each bowl.
Add orange zest to give more texture to the frosting.
Use lemon, rum or almond flavoring to give the frosting unique flavors.
Decorate as you wish.
Gingerbread and orange cream will tango in your mouth when you experience this partnership.