Have you ever had the combination of lemon and gingerbread before? Perhaps a gingersnap cookie with a lemon creme filling? Or a spiced gingerbread cupcake with a fluffy lemon buttercream?
Like yesterday’s unique combination of flavors, today’s gingerbread and lemon combo just “works.” Spicy sweet gingerbread paired with zingy lemon is an unbeatable pair – and if you haven’t tried the two together, you are in for a real treat today. Promise.
Like most, I adore gingerbread during the holiday months. It’s a traditional holiday classic and between a chocolate gingerbread cake and soft gingersnap cookies, one may assume I am all gingerbread-ed out this year. Au contraire.
Today I am sharing a very simple gingerbread muffin recipe. The beautiful, deep brown color and rich flavor in this gingerbread recipe comes from the dark molasses. The ground ginger and cinnamon gives the muffins a spicy kick, and the quick lemon glaze finishes these beauties off perfectly.
Let’s dive into the nitty gritty.
The muffin’s themselves are like a giant cakey version of my Soft Gingersnap Molasses Cookies. You have those gorgeous crinkle tops and that robust molasses flavor in every bite. The muffin batter is quite simple to throw together. No mixer required!
Quite frankly, I am not looking for a tedious and complicated recipe in the mornings. During the workweek and even on the weekends, I’m usually go-go-go and I know you are too. Hand me my coffee (make it an XL cup) and give me something quick to throw together!
Not only are these muffins a piece.of.cake to whip up, but they taste like you woke up at the crack of dawn to make them. That can be our little secret.
You’ve got your easy, familiar ingredients like flour, spices, molasses, butter, eggs, and brown sugar. I used all-purpose flour for the muffin batter, but feel free to use white-whole wheat flour or a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose. I would stray from using ALL whole wheat flour, which would result in a tough-textured muffin.
Let’s move on to the ingredients that just have to be used in gingerbread. The little ingredients that make the muffins so special. To the flour, you’re going to mix in ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. The usual gingerbread suspects, and quite certainly my favorite warming spices. Next, a whopping 3/4 cup of dark molasses is mixed with a stick of melted butter to create the ultimate deep, dark, buttery rich spiced flavor you’ll taste in each bite.
I prefer dark molasses over light molasses or blackstrap molasses (the darkest variety). I’m a middle-of-the-road kind of gal when it comes to the thick sticky stuff. I find that blackstrap molasses is too bitter for me and light molasses is too mild – go with your preference, though.
*Tip: spraying your measuring cup with non-stick spray before measuring the molasses will save you a lot of sticky trouble!
What else makes these muffins so special?
Dark brown sugar. Mmm. My favorite form of the sweet stuff. I prefer using dark brown sugar over light brown sugar in my favorite chocolate chip cookies; it attributes to their super-soft texture. I’ve seen a lot of gingerbread recipes floating around using regular white sugar, but I opted for the softer, moister dark brown sugar since it would have such a positive affect on the muffin’s texture and taste.
Finish the batter off with an egg, a bit of yogurt, and milk. I used non-fat greek yogurt and almond milk in my recipe, since these are the types I had on hand. Bypass an extra trip to the store and use any type of yogurt (such as vanilla flavored or plain regular yogurt) and any type of milk (cow’s milk, soy milk, etc) you have in the refrigerator.
The batter is quite thick. Very, very thick. As you mix all these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, you’re going to wonder if you’ve done anything wrong. You didn’t. Expect a thick (and lumpy) batter and you’ll be golden.
You’re going to use my sky-high muffin dome tricks in this recipe. No flat, puny muffins here.
Like always, I initially bake the muffins for about 5 minutes at an extremely high temperature (450F) to create a burst of steam inside the muffin and rapidly lift the tops. Lower your oven temperature down to 375F for the remainder of the bake time so the centers may bake evenly.
What else makes a muffin have that beautiful bakery-size high dome top? A thick batter (which we’ve already established this recipe has). Read more of my muffins tricks here.
Let’s move on to that sweet and tangy lemon glaze. A drippy coating that pairs perfectly with the deep, dark, spiced muffin underneath.
Grab your powdered sugar, a touch of cream, and the juice of a lemon. There’s really no science behind the glaze. You truly can control the lemon flavor and the thickness of it – use more/less lemon juice, more/less sugar, and more/less cream. I used half-and-half, but heavy cream or milk will do the trick.
Dip those crinkly tops into the zesty glaze and watch it slowly trickle down the sides. Oh, and feel free to double dip. (!!!!!)
So there ya go. Lemon + Gingerbread at its finest. Boo-yah.
makes 12 muffins
- 3 cups all purpose flour (or white-whole wheat flour)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 3/4 cup dark molasses (or light or blackstrap)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup (6 oz) plain or vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 cup milk (any variety)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (or more)
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1-2 Tablespoon half-and-half (or heavy cream or milk)
- Preheat oven to 450F. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the molasses and butter on high for about 1 minute in the microwave. Stir until thoroughly mixed together. Set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, and milk. Pour into the butter. molasses mixture and whisk until everything is incorporated. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be very thick and lumpy.
- Fill your muffin tins to the very top and bake for 5 minutes at 400F. Reduce the temperature down to 375F and continue to bake for about 15 more minutes. Muffins are finished when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- As the muffins cool, prepare your lemon glaze by mixing all of the ingredients together. Add more powdered sugar if you'd like it thicker and more cream if you'd like it thinner. Dip muffin tops into the glaze.
- Muffins taste best eaten the same day, and can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Recipe source: sallysbakingaddiction.com
© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.
All of that drippy glaze reminds me of my Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread. Love.
Here are some of my favorite muffin recipes.
What is your favorite kind of muffin?
Skinny Chocolate Banana Fudge Muffins (sooo fudgy. sooo healthy. seriously!)
Single-Serving Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffin (when you don’t need the whole batch!)
Happy Birthday SBA!
On a final note, today December 11th 2012 is SBA’s one year anniversary. My first post ever remains a favorite recipe. I began a series of posts dedicated to the things I’ve learned the past year and to start conversations with others on the subject of blogging.
Read more about my first year of blogging in my recent blogging series posts.