Friday, September 21, 2012

Little Cake Molds

by Sheila Connolly

I'm sure I've said before that I love antiques fairs and yard sales and tag sales and all their ilk, because that's where I seem to get all my bakeware.  This month I went to the Brimfield Antique Show, the largest open-air event of its kind in the world, and it didn't disappoint. I came home with several treasures.  And for the first time, I actually haggled! (After learning from a cable TV show that I was supposed to, and that vendors expected it—I'm a slow learner.)

Remember those adorable little tartlet pans (also vintage) that I wrote about a while back?  Well, I discovered at Brimfield that they have big sisters, and of course I had to have them.  It's a mismatched set, all in good condition.  Now, what to do with them?

I believe that once upon a time, ladies who lunched made cute little cakes and served them as individual desserts, perhaps with some sliced fruit, a dab of whipped cream, and a mint leaf for garnish.  I decided that's what I'm going for—a basic pound-cake type recipe that's easy to make, and can be baked ahead and prettied up for serving.

Plain pound cake can be pretty blah (more vanilla!), so I added some ginger.  You might serve these with some fresh pears, in season now—there's a vendor at the Plymouth Farmers' Market who makes a Ginger Pear Jelly that I am addicted to.  It's a good combination.



½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened

½ cup sugar

1¼ cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground ginger

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

(if you feel daring, you can add some candied ginger, chopped fine and dusted with flour so the bits don't sink during baking)


Cream the butter and add the sugar gradually.

Beat the eggs until thick and lemon-colored. Sift together the dry ingredients.  Add the eggs and the dry ingredients alternately to the butter-sugar mixture.

Grease your molds (a cooking spray works well for this).  Fill each mold with about a quarter-cup each (this will depend on the size of your mold; you don't need to smooth them out).  Place the filled molds on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden.

Let sit in the molds for a few minutes until they come out easily. Unmold and let cool on a rack. Once cool, place them in an sealed container to keep them moist.

When the ladies are assembled for lunch, garnish and serve!

My first standalone ebook, Once
She Knew, has been in the Nook
Mystery Top Ten most of this
week, and in the top 100 among all
Nook books.  It will be released in
other e-formats on October 3 (no,
there are no recipes--my protagonists
barely have time to eat!)


  1. These are adorable Sheila--I can see I'm going to have to start haunting tag sales...

  2. Sheila, these are so pretty! I know we don't do much lunching lady stuff, but there are so many times when we're having company, and we need a little treat that's pretty. My mother would flip over these. Exactly the way she likes it -- no sugary frosting, just great cake, fruit, and whipped cream. Yum!

    ~ Krista

  3. Sheila, these are pretty, and I remember having some of these molds way back when. My stepmother got them from her grandmother. We made little vanilla pound cakes. Nice memory!

    Daryl aka Avery

  4. Pretty AND tasty ... I love ginger! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Sweet treat for coffee and tea breaks - whether "ladies" are present or just kids and tomboys. :) Love that picture from the antique fair, too, and good for you on trying your hand at haggling. I know what you mean about being shy about doing it; that's me, too. It's definitely a skill...if not an art! (And congrats on the success of your e-book, Once She Knew. Great news!) ~ Cleo

  6. The cakes look yummy, but I'm really interested in Ginger Pear jelly! May have to try it. As for haggling, I am a past master! I actually had a car repair man tell my husband to have me talk to the insurance company about a repair on his car because "she can talk anyone into anything!" I think that's a compliment...maybe. Oh, well, as long as I get it at a lower price! Nurse JudyMac

    1. The guy at the fair calls himself Backwoods Al, but his jellies are good. Cold Spring Orchard, near Belchertown, also make a ginger plum jelly, but I don't get out there very often. With the end of the season coming, I'm going to have to stock up!

  7. These are darling. I have some tiny little molds meant for making bite-sized pastries and hors d'oeuvres, but I bet they'd work for this, too.