Kid-friendly Gingerbread Pear Carrot Cake Puffs on a Stick Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Gingerbread Pear Carrot Cake Puffs on a Stick

Recipe: Gingerbread Pear Carrot Cake Puffs on a Stick

Gingerbread Pear Carrot Cake Puffs on a Stick

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Lipik Stock Media/Shutterstock.com
prep time
20 minutes
cook time
15 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Gingerbread Pear Carrot Cake Puffs on a Stick

One of my favorite smells of the winter season is the smell of gingerbread. My girls and I love baking and decorating gingerbread people and eating them! Pears are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C for only 100 calories per serving. Plus, they're sodium-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free. That's a lot of nutrition in one sweet and juicy package!

I thought making some gingerbread cake puffs would be a great way to usher in winter with gingerbread's wonderful smells and tastes before we start our holiday baking, decorating, shopping, and celebration blitz. And I don't know about yours, but my heart (and stomach) says it's gingerbread time!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • wet vs dry :

    to mix wet and dry ingredients separately before combining them: dry ingredients are flours, leavening agents, salt, and spices; wet ingredients are those that dissolve or can be dissolved (sugar, eggs, butter, oils, honey, vanilla, milk, and juices).

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Mini-muffin pan
  • Paper cupcake liners for mini-muffin pan
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Grater
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Whisk
  • Popsicle sticks (if making cake puffs on a stick)
scale
1X
2X
3X
4X
5X
6X
7X

Ingredients

Gingerbread Pear Carrot Cake Puffs on a Stick

  • 2 pears
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free flour)**
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 eggs **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 2 very ripe bananas)**
  • 1/2 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 T unsalted butter, very soft **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub vegetable oil or applesauce)**
  • 1 C milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • popsicle sticks, enough for the class (if making cake puffs on a stick)

Food Allergen Substitutions

Gingerbread Pear Carrot Cake Puffs on a Stick

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free flour.
  • Eggs: For 4 eggs, substitute 2 very ripe bananas.
  • Dairy: For butter, substitute vegetable oil or applesauce. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk.

Instructions

Gingerbread Pear Carrot Cake Puffs on a Stick

1.
preheat + chop + grate

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line your mini muffin pan with paper liners. With your children, wash and chop 2 pears into little tiny bits. Grate 1 carrot and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger) and set the chopped pear, the grated ginger, and the grated carrot to the side.

2.
measure + mix

In a large mixing bowl, have kids measure and mix together 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice. This is the dry mix.

3.
crack + pour + whisk

Have kids crack 4 eggs into a medium mixing bowl and then pour in 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons unsalted soft butter, 1 cup milk, and the grated ginger. Whisk well. This is the wet mix.

4.
combine + spoon + bake

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and whisk until just blended. Add in the chopped pears and grated carrot. There will be some small lumps, and that is okay! Spoon batter into the pre-lined muffin pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

5.
cool + drizzle or dip

Serve the cake puffs after they cool, put them on a stick if you wish, and drizzle with or dip in Icy Lemon Icing (see recipe) or another icing.

Surprise Ingredient: Pears!

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Photo by Taras Grebinets/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Pear!

"I'm a fruit with a distinctive shape, except for an Asian pear cousin who is shaped like an apple! There's even a word for 'pear-shaped': 'pyriform!' We European pears have a thinner neck and a rounder end, but we're all juicy and delicious!"

History & Etymology

  • Pears have been around for a long time! There is evidence around Lake Zurich in Switzerland that pears have been eaten since prehistoric times! Pears were grown in China from around 2000 BCE, and the ancient Romans ate them raw and cooked with them. 
  • During the reign of Henry III, King of England, in the 1200s, court records indicate he received pears shipped to him from France.   
  • The word "pear" comes from Old English "pere," West Germanic "pera," related to the Dutch "peer," from the Latin "pirum."

Anatomy

  • Pear tree varieties come from the Pyrus genus of the Rosaceae or Rose family. There are 30 major pear species and over 3,000 cultivars (bred plant varieties). The European species include the D'Anjou, Bartlett, and Bosc. The fruit from the East Asia tree species is called by many names, such as apple, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, or nashi. 
  • The pear tree grows from about 30 feet tall, although it can reach 56 feet, and some species are shrub-like. The fruit has a stem, green to yellow skin, white flesh, and a core with seeds. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Pears are picked before they are ripe, still green, and can easily be snapped off the tree. They ripen at room temperature.
  • You can tell pears are ripe when you press them gently around the stem, and their flesh gives slightly. Many pear varieties do not change color when mature; however, the Bartlett pear turns yellow. To help pears ripen sooner, place them next to bananas. To delay ripening, put them in the refrigerator.
  • You can purchase pears fresh, canned, as purée, or juice. You can add pears to salads, soups, breads, desserts, and preserves. 

Nutrition

  • Pears are part of a healthy diet. They have a moderate amount of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. They have antioxidants that are concentrated in the peel. Pears also have a high water content and are low in calories. 
  • Fiber aids digestion and slows sugar absorption, which is good for blood sugar. Vitamin C strengthens your immune system, contributes to wound healing, and helps build strong bones. Potassium is good for heart health, and the antioxidants in pears help prevent cancer and heart disease.

History of Gingerbread!

Photo by EvgeniiAnd/Shutterstock.com
  • Gingerbread was brought to France in 992 CE by an Armenian monk from a Roman province in western Greece. It eventually spread throughout Europe. It was a popular treat at medieval European fairs. 
  • In England and Sweden, gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties, helping with digestion and stomach ache. This makes sense since ginger is often used today to help resolve nausea and other stomach issues. 
  • Gingerbread can be sweetened with sugar, honey, or molasses, although molasses is often used to give gingerbread more flavor and color. 
  • Gingerbread can be a moist cake or a cookie-like pastry used to make gingerbread people and houses. 
  • In 2013, a club in Texas was awarded the Guinness World Record for having the world’s largest gingerbread house. It was 60 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 10 feet tall!

Let's Learn About Medieval Europe!

Photo by matrioshka/Shutterstock.com
  • The Medieval era in Europe is also referred to as the Middle Ages. It lasted about 1,000 years, from the 5th to the 15th century!
  • The Middle Ages was a time of feuds and manors, lords, ladies, knights, serfs, and peasants. This era came after the fall of the Roman government. During the Middle Ages, thousands of small, regional feudal governments ruled medieval Europe, where the local lord was in charge.
  • The church dominated every aspect of a person's life. Whether you lived on a manor, in a castle, or in one of the growing towns, life in the Middle Ages was very religious and often violent.
  • Times were difficult for people during this era, as there was much fighting and turnover of ruling parties and lords. Life varied for people depending on which period of the Middle Ages they lived in: Early, Middle, or Late, and what status a person held. Nobles had different things to think about than peasants, such as governing their lands, keeping the loyalty of their workers, and staying in favor with the king. Serfs were considered the lowest class, and they were also the busiest. They farmed, spun yarn, and sewed clothing for people of higher classes. 
  • Some of the inventions and discoveries in medieval Europe were: stirrups, which allowed people to stay on their horses more easily; schools, which started in monasteries (science and grammar were promoted); windmills; spectacles; the compass; the spinning wheel; the spice trade along the Silk Road between the West and the East; and the printing press.
  • The primary language taught in schools of the time was Latin. Languages based on Latin include Italian, French, Spanish, English, Romanian, and Portuguese. 
  • Although education became more widespread during the High Middle Ages (1,000-1,300), it remained much more common for a male to go to university than a female.
  • The Black Plague was a disease that took many lives during the Late Middle Ages (1300-1500). People focused on obtaining the best food possible to avoid catching the plague. After this time, a whole new world of art, technology, and culture emerged and improved people's lives at the end of this challenging era. 

Words and Sayings that Originated in the Middle Ages

  • A BAKER'S DOZEN: A group of 13 items (a dozen is 12). Bakers of this time developed a reputation for selling underweight loaves of bread to save money. But, then, a standard weight law was set for bread. So bakers started giving away an extra loaf of bread with every dozen loaves to avoid paying the penalty of selling underweight goods!
  • TO PLAY DEVIL'S ADVOCATE: To take a position you may not necessarily agree with for the sake of the debate or to explore the topic further.
  • BELLYTIMBER: The word for "food!" Example: "Let's go grab some Bellytimber for dinner, shall we?"
  • WOODNESS: Another word for blasphemy, madness, or insanity. Example: "This is Woodness!"
  • PITCHKETTLED: Confused. Example: "The complicated instructions left her rather pitchkettled."
  • BEAUTEOUS: Beautiful.
  • SINK OR SWIM: A medieval practice where the authorities would toss a person believed to be guilty of a crime into a lake to determine their guilt or innocence. If the person floated or swam, they were considered in league with the devil, guilty, and were executed. On the other hand, if they sank and drowned, they were deemed innocent, but the result was the same!

The Yolk's On You

What is a rabbit's favorite cake?

Carrot cake!

Lettuce Joke Around

Where do Sticky Fingers Cooking chefs live? 

In gingerbread houses, of course!

That's Berry Funny

What fruit never goes anywhere alone?

Pears!

That's Berry Funny

Why was the apple uncomfortable in the fruit bowl?

Pear pressure!

That's Berry Funny

What will the gingerbread man use when he gets old? 

A candy cane!

THYME for a Laugh

What are twins' favorite fruit?

Pears!

That's Berry Funny

"Knock, knock!" 

"Who's there?" 

"Pear." 

"Pear who?" 

"Pear-haps I will stop telling silly jokes now!"

Lettuce Joke Around

What did the gingerbread man put on his bed? 

A cookie sheet!

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