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Mini Spice Bundt® Cakes

Imbued with warming spices, these little cakes make a lovely addition to an autumn dessert buffet. They're also perfect for gift-giving during the winter holidays. Using fresh, flavorful spices is key. If possible, buy them in small quantities, then keep in tightly closed containers in a cool, dark place. Whole spices stored this way will last for about 1 year; ground spices, for about 6 months.

Ingredients:

For the cakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple juice

Directions:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Generously grease and flour a 6-well bundtlette pan.

To make the cakes, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cardamom and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, alternating with the cream and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center of a cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cakes cool upright in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the apple juice to a boil and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir in the confectioners sugar mixture.

Gently tap the pan on a work surface to loosen the cakes. Set the rack over a sheet of aluminum foil or waxed paper and carefully invert the cakes onto the rack. Using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the warm cakes with the glaze. Let the cakes cool completely before serving.

Just before serving, in a small bowl, stir together the 1 Tbs. confectioners sugar and the remaining 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Dust the cakes lightly with the sugar mixture. Makes 6 mini-cakes.

Flo Braker, Author, Sweet Miniatures (Chronicle Books, 2000).