What’s Up in Dede’s Bakery!


Completed today – Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies. In early May 2023, QC and I were in Kauai, HI. When available, we rent a cabana at the pool or ocean. Part of our rental included a box of Hawaiian macadamia nut cookies. Well, that was all it took. Stay tuned for my version.

Snuck in: FunFetti Practice Cake and Cupcakes. Our almost-seven-year-old asked for FunFetti cake for her birthday. We settled on cupcakes for the party which will be held primarily outside. Eighty cupcakes!

Second up: Zeppoles! A delicious Italian treat. Recipe thanks to Eat, Live, Escape. https://eatliveescape.com

Here is a list of bakes added to my calendar.

Further On Down The Road (Taj Mahal): Sometime down the road I want to remake some entremet. QC bought me the pans for them, but I haven’t used them in 6 years. I think some prinzregententorte 8 layers geniuses with chocolate custard coated with shiny chocolate ganache decorated with rosettes would be perfect.
Also: Puff pastry without all the chilling, folding and rolling. I think it would be a perfect base for some blueberry hand pies.

Completed: English Teacakes: These are more bread like than cake like and are definitely NOT the sweet, delicious, cookie like southern tea cakes. The American version were originally created to replicate the English Teacakes (one word) but using only ingredients on hand ended up as a wonderful sugar cookie. (There are numerous variations of the American tea cakes (two words.)

Field of Dreams

As they say, “Build it and they will come.” Dan and Frances built it and they came. It was our granddaughter Grace’s 7th birthday party and she requested FunFetti cupcakes as her party dessert. With an anticipated attendance of 100 kids and parents I figured 10 dozen cupcakes would be plenty. Well, I was wrong. They managed to eat only 40 cupcakes and we gave away an addition couple of dozen. Best laid plans of mice and men often go awry!

FunFetti Cake

makes one 3-layer 8″ cake or 24 cupcakes

• 2 ½ c AP flour
• 1/4 c cornstarch
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 ½ c sugar
• 4 large egg whites
• 1/4 c vegetable or canola oil
• 1 Tbl clear imitation vanilla
• 3/4 c whole milk (2% OK)
• ½ c rainbow sprinkles (artificially colored cylinders)

Pairs nicely with Edna’s Crusting Buttercream or Italian Meringue Buttercream or Less Sweet Buttercream.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Grease and line the bottoms of three 8-inch cake pans or line 24 cups of two muffin tins.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the oil and the extract.
  4. By hand add the dry mixture and the milk in two or three alternating batches and mix until just barely combined, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the sprinkles until they’re evenly distributed. Distribute the batter among the cake pans or muffin cups, spreading it out evenly if using cake pans.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (~200 F. Do not overbake!) Begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes for cakes and 15 minutes for cupcakes.
  6. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Buttercream Frosting – Less Sweet

For 3 cups of buttercream:


• 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, softened slightly
• 2/3 cups (208g) light corn or glucose syrup
• 1 1/4 cups (141g) powdered sugar (unsifted)
• 1/8 teaspoon fine salt (to taste, start with a pinch)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3-6 tablespoons of heavy cream, room temperature
• purple gel food coloring (optional)


  1. Add the softened butter to the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until it’s paler in color and slightly more voluminous.
  2. Add the corn syrup in 3 to 5 additions. Stop the mixer, add a little bit first, and mix it in at medium speed (still using the whisk attachment). Repeat until all the corn syrup has been added. Scrape down the bowl a couple of times to ensure everything is mixed well.
  3. Once all the corn syrup has been added, mix at the highest speed for two minutes. This is an essential step, so make sure to time it. You need the butter to emulsify the sugar syrup, which won’t be visually apparent because the syrup is clear. If you under-whip at this step, your final frosting will have an overly buttery (fatty or greasy) feel. Proper emulsification will ensure that the syrup integrates evenly within the butter, giving it a much more pleasant texture.
  4. Now give the frosting a taste. It should be smooth, creamy, and very buttery, with a slight sweetness. This is to gauge how much powdered sugar to add in this step. Notice how glucose (the sugar type in corn syrup) is not as sweet as the sucrose in powdered sugar.
  5. Add the powdered sugar in a few additions, mixing on low speed to reduce the mess.
    Once all the sugar has been added, mix on high speed for 30 seconds. Give it another taste. Do you want it sweeter or need a firmer consistency of buttercream? Add more powdered sugar.
    You can add as much powdered sugar as you like. This buttercream can handle more, but remember that the more you add, the sandier the finished frosting will be.
  6. Now let’s flavor and color the buttercream. Add the vanilla, a pinch of salt, and, optionally, a toothpick’s end of purple food coloring (to achieve a whiter shade). Mix on high speed for another minute.
  7. Give it a taste. If it’s too buttery, add some heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until you like the consistency. Whip it in on high speed for at least one minute when you like the texture. (See my footnotes about this below.)
  8. Switch over to a paddle attachment and run the frosting on low speed to get out any large air pockets. The finished buttercream will have minimal air bubbles and be ready to use.

Waste Not, Want Some

I am making FunFetti cupcakes for my older granddaughters birthday party this week. I made two practice batches of cupcakes and one of American buttercream. The cakes are now great but the frosting was too sweet. (Think 60 seven-ish year old kids on sugar highs.)

Today I made a recipe of Italian buttercream frosting. It uses about one fourth the amount of sugar and will (hopefully) stand up to the expected outdoor temperature.

I had about a dozen chocolate cupcakes frozen that needed to by used soon, and I had a nice frosting, so, why not?

Italian Buttercream


  • 10 large egg whites (5 egg whites)
  • 2 c sugar (1 c sugar)
  • ½ c water (1/4 c water)
  • 3 c (6 sticks) cubed, RT unsalted butter (3 sticks butter)
  • 1 Tbl clear imitation vanilla extract (½ Tbl vanilla.)

  1. Mix 1½ cups (3/4c) of the sugar and the water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook,without stirring, and bring to the softball stage (240°F).
  2. As the simple syrup is heating, whip the whites at high speed in a stand mixer until soft peaks form, approximately 5 minutes. With the motor running, add the remaining ½ cup (1/4c) sugar gradually, continuing to whip until medium peaks form.
  3. When the simple syrup reaches 240°F, and the motor running on slow, very slowly pour it into the egg whites in a thin stream, to avoid cooking the eggs. Raise the speed to high and continue
    to whip until the mixture has cooled to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Whip in the butter at medium speed, add the butter in 5 increments, stopping the motor between additions, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula before adding each addition of butter.
  5. With the motor running, add the vanilla, and whip just until it is blended.

    About 7 cups (3 ½ c)

Funfetti “Practice” Cake

Those of you who follow this blog know I almost always make a practice cake of any new bake. My almost 7 year old granddaughter wants a “FunFetti cake” for her birthday in a couple of weeks. I found this recipe and method and tried it this morning.

I think I over-baked the cake by about 3 or 4 minutes and know I over baked the cupcakes. I’ll try again making only cupcakes (as that is what we will serve at the party.) 80 cupcakes!

Funfetti Cake

• 2 ½ c AP flour
• 1/4 c cornstarch
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 ½ c sugar
• 4 large egg whites
• 1/4 c vegetable or canola oil
• 1 Tbl clear imitation vanilla
• ½ tsp almond extract
• 3/4 c whole milk (2% OK)
• ½ c rainbow sprinkles (artificially colored cylinders)
• 1 3/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3 ½ c powdered sugar
• 1/8 tsp kosher salt
• 1 ½ tsp clear imitation vanilla
• 1/4 tsp almond extract (omit for nut free)
• 2 Tbl whole milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Grease and line the bottoms of three 8-inch cake pans or line 24 cups of two muffin tins.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the oil and the extracts.
  4. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry mixture and the milk in two or three alternating batches and mix until just barely combined. Do NOT over beat!.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the sprinkles until they’re evenly distributed. Distribute the batter among the cake pans or muffin cups, spreading it out evenly if using cake pans.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes for cakes and 16 minutes for cupcakes. (Depends on your oven.)
  7. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Add the salt, extracts, and milk and beat to combine.
  9. Frost the cake or cupcakes as desired and enjoy.

Sometimes You Feel Like a Macadamia Nut…

Last night I made a clone of the macadamia nut cookies we had in Kauai. Basically, they are a shortbread cookie with fine ground macadamia nuts in the batter, and a dark chocolate coating.

Roll the dough into an approximation of a rectangle to minimize waste and chill for two hours. Cut the chilled dough into 1”x2” rectangles and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. They do not spread so they can be placed fairly close together (like 1/4” – 1/2” apart.)

Once baked and completely cooled melt ~200g of dark chocolate and 1 Tbl corn syrup and dip one corner in the mix. Transfer the remainder to a piping bag. Sprinkle some coarse crushed macadamia nuts on the still wet chocolate and let the piping bag of chocolate cool and thicken slightly. Snip the end off the bag and pipe a chocolate swirl across the cookie. Leave to dry at room temperature or in the fridge.

QC said these may be the best cookies Dede’s Bakery and Confectionery ever made! High praise indeed.

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

• 1 cup butter, room temperature
• 3/4 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
• 8 oz. dark chocolate
• 1 Tbl corn syrup
• 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped


  1. Beat the butter until smooth and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Gradually add flour then mix in the 1 cup of chopped macadamia nuts.
  2. Transfer the batter to a sheet of parchment paper. Lay a second sheet over top and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Try to shape into a rectangle as much as possible. Place it onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 300°F and remove dough from refrigerator.
  4. Slice the cookie batter into 1×2 inch rectangles. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. The edges should be slightly browned.
  5. Cool the cookies completely.
  6. Melt and mix the chocolate and corn syrup then dip the corner of the cookies in the chocolate. Gently remove any excess chocolate, lay it out on a sheet of parchment and sprinkle with some finely chopped macadamia nuts.
  7. Place into the fridge to set the chocolate and then serve.

Tea For Two and Two for Tea

An early episode of GBBO featured English Teacakes. They simply called them Teacakes but as American Tea Cakes are very popular in the southern US, I added the ‘English’ modifier for clarity.

Teacakes are a classic sweet yeasted bun with dried fruit and aromatic spice. English cafes serve teacakes, usually toasted, liberally buttered along side a pot of tea.

The term, teacake, derives from a tradition of ‘yeast cakes’ and are more bread-like than cake-like. They are basically a simple bread dough enriched by adding extra fat (usually butter and/or eggs) so it becomes softer with a delicate crumb.

Teacakes – Traditional English

• 1 cup milk (236 ml) warmed to 100 – 110 °F (38 – 43°C)
• 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
• 4 tablespoons sugar
• 3 ½ cups (455 grams) all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon all spice
• ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 cup (128 grams) dried currants, raisins or cranberries
• 6 tablespoons unsalted melted butter
• 2 large beaten eggs
• Zest of a large lemon – optional replacing some spices from above
• 1 additional beaten egg combined with 1 Tbl water for an egg wash


  1. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the milk, yeast and sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes (maybe more) until you start to see it bubble a little.
  3. Add the flour, salt, spices and currants and mix well.
  4. Add the butter and beaten eggs. Use a flat beater to incorporate the liquids into the flour. When the dough comes together, use a dough hook and knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. It should be slightly but not overly sticky. Add more flour by the tablespoon until that is achieved. It should not clean the walls of the bowl.
  5. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel and leave in a warm place for about 45 mins to rise.
  6. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly for a few minutes until smooth. Divide the dough into 12 balls (~90g each) and shape each into a bun that is a flat round.

(12 balls will make a traditional teacake size. Divide into 45g balls for small snack sized cakes. Adjust the bake time accordingly.)

  1. Place evenly spaced onto the baking sheet and cover loosely with a towel. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until they double in size.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F /200°C.
  3. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown (time may vary depending on your oven). I rotate the pan after 8 minutes to compensate for uneven temperature in the oven.)

Pane Italiano For my friend Rita

My friend Rita, and her daughter Sarah, recently returned from an Italian vacation. This bread’s for them!

I woke up this morning and decided to cut the Next Up list in Dede’s Bakery and Confectionary list with Italian bread. This loaf has a nice crumb, open structure, good chewy crust and great taste. “ ‘O sole mio!”

Italian Bread

• 2 ¼ tsp (7g) active dry yeast
• 1 ¾ c (413g) warm water
• 1 tsp (4g) sugar
• 3 ¼ c (455g) bread flour
• 2 tsp (12g) salt
• 1 egg white


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix your yeast, warm water, and sugar. Allow the mixture to sit until the yeast becomes frothy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Once the yeast is ready, add the flour and salt to the bowl. using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the dough comes together, about 3-4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix it for 3-5 minutes to develop the gluten. Add additional flour by the Tbl until the dough barely cleans the sides of the bowl.
  3. Once the dough is done mixing, remove it from the mixer and place it into an oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough rest until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. It should weigh ~862g.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and pound the air out of it, fold it back in on itself into a round and place it back into the bowl, seam side down. Cover and let it rest for another 30-40 minutes.
  5. Once it has rested and risen back up again, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and degas it again. Cut the dough in half and toll them both up into 10 inch baguette-like loaves. Place the loaves onto your prepared baking sheet, seam side down and cover them. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  6. Whisk egg white and 1 tbl water to use as an egg wash
  7. Proof your loaves until they are nearly double in size about 30-45 minutes. Once the loaves are ready, score your loaves and bake them for 25-30 minutes After the first 15 minutes brush egg wash on the bread, sprinkle with sesame seeds and return to finish baking.
  8. They should have a light golden crust and bake to interior temp of 190F.

Swirled Sugar Cookie Development

While traveling last week I saw a recipe for 3 ingredient sugar cookies. QC loves sugar cookies so they moved to the top of DeDe’s Bakery and Confectionery ToDo list.

The original recipe called for just three ingredients, butter, powdered sugar and AP flour. After following the recipe I determined it was not nearly slack enough to pipe into swirls, so I added a fourth ingredient, milk.

I used the first attempted recipe to judge if, with modification, the batter could be modified to allow it to pipe. The second go round (below) I actually measured the amount of milk required to produce a very, very, firm peak, pipeable batter.

I used an Mi piping tip on the first attempt. The piped cookies were very nice, much like roses, but as expected they lost definition after baking. Typical of this type of cookie the butter melts out during baking.

For the second attempt, I used a B4 tip and expected the same result, but perhaps due to the less pronounced ridges it held its shape a bit better. Lucky guess in piping tips. Also, I froze the second attempt rather than just refrigerating.

Swirled Butter Cookies

• 227g (1 c) Unsalted butter
• 118g (1 c) Powdered Sugar
• 256g (2 c) AP Flour
• ¾ c + 2 Tbl milk to thin to piping consistency


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F Convection.) Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add butter and sugar. Cream at highest speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. The mixture should turn from yellow to white and look like whipped cream when you are done. Make sure to stop and scrape the sides of your bowl a few times with a spatula so that all the butter gets creamed.
  3. Add in the flour ½ cup at a time. Mix in at low speed and then gradually increase speed once flour is incorporated. The mixture will be crumbly at first but then should form a thick, soft dough, almost like a thick paste.
  4. Add milk sparingly until the dough achieves a firm piping consistency. (Think very firm peaks.)
  5. Transfer the dough to a piping bag. Using a large open star tip (an M1 or B4 with a 1/2 inch opening), pipe swirls or whatever design you prefer. Space cookies 1 inch apart. Place piped cookies into freezer for 30 minutes so the dough is chilled. This will prevent them from spreading as much when they bake.
  6. Place the cookie sheets into the middle of your oven. Bake for ~20 minutes or until edges and surface start to turn a light brown. (Rotate cookie sheet after 10 minutes). The fine detail of the piping will flow out as the butter melts, but the swirl should remain.
  7. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet before removing. Store uneaten cookies in an airtight container.

Bicolor Brioche

I originally saw this brioche on FB. It was published by Cookist. I tried it as presented and it was a disaster. I decided to try again using my own brioche recipe and it was good. Maybe not good enough to make again, but perhaps with more modification it could be a success.

My brioche recipe is easy to make. It’s a basic bread recipe enriched by adding eggs and milk. To make the bicolor, divide the dough in half and add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa, (enough to make a solid chocolate dough.) To incorporate the cocoa and end up with a soft pliable texture I added two more tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of milk, You should have a soft, pliable but slightly sticky dough.

The resultant brioche crumb was tighter that this type of bread should have, however it was a nice soft bread with a pleasant taste. It’s probably not worth making again, however I plan to replace the chocolate component was a pumpernickel brioche. Stay tuned.

BiColor Brioche

• 1 c milk –
• 3 Tbl sugar
• 5 g yeast
• 2 eggs, separated
• 4 Tbl softened butter –
• 4 1/3 c AP flour
• ½ tsp salt
• 3 Tbl cocoa powder


  1. Whisk milk, sugar and yeast together in a stand mixer bowl
  2. Add and whisk one egg
  3. Cube butter and add with salt and flour
  4. Mix with dough hook 8 minutes
  5. Divide in half
  6. Add cocoa powder to one of the halves and knead to mix thoroughly
  7. Cover both halves (in separate bowls) for 2 hours
  8. Roll the white dough into a rectangle approx 12×14”
  9. Roll the chocolate dough into a rectangle 11×13”
  10. Lay the chocolate dough over the white leaving ½” border
  11. Roll the two layers together.
  12. Use pizza cutter, cut approximately 1” wide cuts though half the rectangle
  13. Add hazelnut cream to the uncut half of the dough. Spread to approximately 3” wide and 1” from the ends
  14. Twist each 1” cut portion of the dough approx 8 times
  15. Start rolling from the uncut end, carefully pick up and place in a bread pan
  16. Preheat oven to 360 degrees
  17. Let rest 30 minutes
  18. Coat with egg wash
  19. Bake 360 deg for 35 minutes
  20. After 10 minutes, remove from bread pan to let cool
  21. Best if eaten warm.

Key Lime Meringue Tartlets – 2 Updated

QC reported back that the mousse of the previous attempt wasn’t sharp enough to balance the sweetness of the meringue. I, on the other hand, didn’t think the meringue itself was up to snuff. (Interesting phrase, up to snuff.)

Today, I modified the mousse recipe to give it a bit of a punch and resurrected my pavlova recipe rather than use the Italian meringue recipe I used in the previous.

I added 1/2 teaspoon of freeze dried raspberry powder for a little more acidity.

Both revisions were spot on. (Another interesting phrase.)

Here is the new recipe and method for the Key Lime Merengue Tartlets.

Key Lime Mousse Meringue Tartlets



6 (180 g) large rm temp egg whites
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp corn starch
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ Tbsp lemon juice
½ Tbsp vanilla
½ Tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder

1 ½ c. heavy cream
¼ c. powdered sugar
1 c. sweetened condensed milk (try reducing to ½ c)
1/3 c. key lime juice
30 g of fresh squeezed lime juice
5 g of zest from the same lime
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract



  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream and powdered sugar into stiff peaks.
  2. Zest the lime, then squeeze and collect the juice.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix condensed milk, key lime juice, lime juice, half the lime zest and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add to bowl of whipped cream. Gently fold ¼ – ½ c. in until just combined. (It wasn’t thick enough. Try to cut the sweetened condensed milk in half. Slowly add the lime mixture to the whipped cream ¼ cup at a time. Refrigerate to thicken.)
  5. Keep refrigerated until ready to fill the meringue cups.


  1. Preheat the Oven to 215˚ F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment (or Silpat) paper. Using your stand mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.
  2. Whisk together sugar and cream of tartar. With the mixer on high, gradually add sugar and cream of tartar one tablespoon at a time, waiting between each addition.
  3. Beat 10 min on high speed, or until firm peaks form. It will be smooth and glossy.
  4. Add the cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Continue whipping until very firm peaks.
  5. Divide meringue saving a few tablespoons for the kisses. Add the raspberry powder and whip until incorporated.
  6. Pipe a disk of meringue about 2”-2 ½” diameter then pipe around the disk to make walls about ½” – ¾” high.
  7. Pipe kisses of raspberry meringue on the silpat using a star piping tip. Each kiss should be ¼” – ½” high and ½” – ¾” diameter.
  8. Bake for 30-45 min. If the temperature is too high, or you leave them in the oven to long they will begin to brown. Check after 30 minutes and add 15 additional minutes if necessary for the surface to no longer tacky.
  9. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue cups in the oven to slowly cool.
  10. Once cool, store in an airtight container for 3-5 days at room temperature (in a low humidity place).


  1. When both the mousse and meringue cups are cool, pipe the mousse into the well of each tart shell.
  2. Place a kiss on each, sprinkle some lime zest on top of the tart and kiss.
  3. Serve and enjoy.

Do You Know The Ginger Muffin Man?

For the life of me I don’t know why I put off making these ginger muffins! They are delicious, have a great texture and are relatively easy to make. Oh! I used 1 1/16” inch diameter cupcake papers so they are bite sized.

One of the best things about making these is you don’t have to peel the fresh ginger. Just cut off the required amount and grind it up in a food processor.

The unfrosted muffins have a nice heat from the ginger while the frosted ones have a nice balance of cool sweet and heat.

Fresh Ginger Muffins

• 2-oz (58g) piece unpeeled ginger root
• ¾ c plus 3 tbl sugar
• 2 tbl lemon zest with some pith
• ½ c (1 stick) butter, room temperature
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¾ teaspoon baking soda
• 8 oz (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
• ½ c. (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
• 3 c. (360g) confectioners’ sugar, plus an extra 1/4 cup (30g) if needed
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease 16 muffin pans. I used small cupcake papers to make mini muffins.
  3. Process the ginger in a food processor until it is in tiny pieces. You should have about 1/4 cup. It is better too much ginger than too little.
  4. Put the ginger and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture is hot. Do not walk away from the pan – the sugar will melt quite quickly. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.
  5. Put the lemon zest and 3 tablespoons sugar in the food processor and process until the peel is in small bits. Or, sprinkle the sugar over the zest and chop by hand. Add the zest and sugar mix to the ginger mixture and set aside.
  6. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter slightly, then add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the buttermilk and mix until blended. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and beat until smooth. Add the lemon-ginger mixture and mix well.
  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups so that each cup is about 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer use the paddle to beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  9. Add 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar.
  10. Cover and store leftover frosting for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting for a few seconds so it’s creamy again.