Mini Butter Cakes with Cranberry Topping
- Nonstick baking spray
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch fine salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons half-and-half, at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from about half a lemon)
- Cranberry Topping:
- 3/4 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
1. For the cakes: Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Generously spray a mini molded cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk the flour, allspice and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs, half-and-half and vanilla together in a measuring cup.
2. Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the granulated sugar. Turn the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the lemon zest, and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture about ¼ cup at a time, stopping the mixer a few times to scrape down sides of the bowl. Then slowly drizzle in the egg mixture until just incorporated, being careful not to over-mix the batter.
3. Divide the batter equally among the prepared cake molds and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan on a rack about 10 minutes, then invert onto a kitchen towel and place upright on the rack to cool completely.
4. For the cranberry topping: Warm the cranberry sauce in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the cinnamon and mash the berries slightly with the back of a spoon until you have a chunky compote. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.
5. For the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar and milk together until smooth. If the glaze is too thick to pour easily, add more milk a ¼ teaspoon at a time to adjust the consistency.
6. To serve: Spoon the glaze over the tops of the cakes and put a rounded teaspoon of cranberry topping in the center.
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