If you’re looking to spread holiday cheer, look no further than these adorable Christmas mini bundts. December often inspires me to combine two of my favourite things – baking and Christmas, which is how these little gingerbread cakes came about. And if the smell of freshly baked gingerbread wafting through the house isn’t enticing enough, there’s the bonus fun of dressing them up in festive icing.
I first envisioned these as a sort of cheat get-into-the-Christmas-groove project and planned to top them with lemon glaze, mini holly leaves, and some red and green sprinkles. But after two hours of grocery shopping that yielded neither lemons, mini holly (real or fake or sugary) nor Christmas coloured lollies, I raided the pantry and settled on royal icing instead. Things escalate quickly in my kitchen, but this is just to assure you that you don’t have to go the whole hog – topping with lemon juice and icing sugar glaze plus some red and green M&Ms looks as cute and is a whole lot quicker.
Despite never having had a winter wonderland type Christmas, for some reason I associate the festive season with cold weather. There’s something familiar and comforting about gingerbread, even if it doesn’t belong in the tropical summer heat. I usually make gingerbread cookies but wanted to switch it up this year – and this is a lot quicker and easier.
These treacle and gingerbread spiced cakes are delicious on their own, dusted with a bit of icing sugar. Cook them for two minutes longer to get a slightly crunchy exterior, or follow the allocated baking times for a more traditional cake. The cakes can be frozen until ready to be iced, or kept in an airtight Tupperware overnight.
I’ve iced these with a #67 leaf tip because I wanted a traditional leafy look, but a regular circle piped with a flat tip, or wavy piped petal tip will work too. To get the deep Christmas green, I used ChefMaster gel leaf green, mixed in with a touch of brown and an even tinier bit of yellow. Getting a true red is also surprisingly difficult, it takes a lot of red mixed in with a tiny bit of brown. To pipe the leaves on the Christmas wreath, I used a medium stiff royal icing and piped each leaf at an angle. Explaining it is nowhere near as good as video, so I’m quite excited to share my first ever video on the blog.
- 150g plain or cake flour
- 8g (2 tsp) baking powder
- 1½ tsp ginger powder
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- pinch of salt
- 150g butter
- 80g dark brown sugar
- 50ml treacle or golden syrup
- 2 eggs
- 60ml (¼ cup) milk
- 1½ tsp Wilton meringue powder
- 230g icing or confectioners sugar
- 2½ tbsp warm water
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (oil free)
- ½ tsp almond extract (oil free)
- gel based food colours (oil free)
- Preheat oven to 180ºC.
- Grease and flour a mini bundt tray. I find the easiest way to do this is to use a light coat of cooking spray to grease the tray as it gets in all the little crevices, then use a large sieve to coat with flour, dusting off any excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, mixed spice and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy - about 3-4 minutes. Add the treacle or golden syrup and mix again until combined.
- With the mixer on a low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.
- Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on the lowest speed until all the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the bowl as you need to, aiming to mix it as little as possible to get an even batter. Add the milk and mix again.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tray, filling each mini bundt tin only half full.
- Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean - about 8 minutes.
- Cool the cakes in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently invert the baking tray onto a baking rack to remove the mini bundt cakes. Allow to cool completely before icing.
- Make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are clean and grease free before beginning. Put meringue powder and icing sugar (sift if it is clumpy) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on low speed to combine the two.
- Mix water and flavourings in a small jug, then add to the icing sugar mixture. Mix on low until combined, then increase speed to medium and whip until fluffy - about 3-4 minutes. If needed, thin out the icing to a medium consistency - use a spray bottle or add a drop of water at a time.
- Colour as needed using oil free gel colours - I used leaf green mixed with a touch of brown, and christmas red and plain white.