Gingerbread Cupcakes.

Spiced gingerbread cupcake recipe with tangy, sweet cream cheese frosting. Moist and flavorful, these homemade cupcakes are the perfect treat during the holidays!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - easy homemade recipe at

Today is our first snowfall! Only appropriate I make some wintery cupcakes to celebrate the snowflakes, right?

Kevin has lived in both Colorado and Utah. He loves the snow. And Jude was born in Colorado, so he’s a natural snow bunny. I, on the other hand, can brave the snow if there’s a steamy hot chocolate waiting for me afterward. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fresh blanket of snow. But I once tried snowboarding (Kevin’s a natural) and got the wind knocked out of me. Ouch.

I better stick to what I’m good at – cupcakes.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - easy homemade recipe at

Kevin described today’s spiced cupcakes as one of the best things I’ve ever made. Coming from the man who taste-tested all 75 recipes in my cookbook, as well as 95% of the recipes found on this blog – that says A LOT!

What may look like your typical gingerbread cupcake is anything but average.

Deep inside each super-moist crumb you’ll taste cinnamon, ginger, and other warming winter spices. The taste of molasses is pungent, yet not overpowering in the slightest. Buttery and rich, these easy cupcakes are Christmas in a wrapper. There are no flavors I associate more with the holidays than cinnamon, ginger, and molasses.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - easy homemade recipe at

It took me a few tries to perfect this gingerbread cupcake recipe. I used some trusty trial-and-error techniques to find the perfect ratio of ingredients. The cupcake batter starts with creamed butter. Batch #1 was made with oil instead of butter. Oh my gosh. The batter separated and the cupcakes were so oily, they were impossible to pick up and eat! Batch #2 was made with less oil. Dry. Dry as a bone! Batch #3 was made with melted butter and more flour. Again, oily.

(About to give up at this point, but my gingerbread perseverance pushed me through.)

Batch #4 won. Creamed butter! Brown sugar and molasses are the sweetening (and flavoring) agents in this cupcake recipe. Not only that, brown sugar brings moisture to the baked cupcake. Since you’re not using oil (which is more moisture-rich than butter), brown sugar is a simple way to not only sweeten the cupcake, but to leave a moist texture as well.

The rest of the cupcake ingredients are quite standard: flour, spices, milk, leaveners, egg. Use room temperature egg for this cupcake batter. Surely you saw what happened when I didn’t use room temperature egg in this cupcake post, right? Though not necessary for all cupcake and cake recipes, I prefer to use room temperature egg(s) when the rest of my ingredients are room temperature. This allows the egg to incorporate easier into the batter.

Here’s what my baked cupcakes look like – don’t they look like little crinkle cookies on top?

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - easy homemade recipe at

I top the flavorful gingerbread cupcakes with my favorite cream cheese frosting. The frosting is quite similar to the cream cheese frosting I slather on my Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake. I simply increased the cream cheese for a thicker consistency. If you love cream cheese frosting, this is a recipe you need. Seriously, look how thick and creamy!

Simple Cream Cheese Frosting recipe at

(Yes, that is a pink hand mixer. Yes, that is a pink mixing bowl. I knowww.)

Frost the gingerbread cupcakes – I used my Wilton #12 tip for piping, though you could simply frost them with a knife or your favorite piping tip.

I know you’re wondering about the adorable little gingerbread men decor, right? They kind of steal the show. Found them for super cheap at Michael’s craft store. You can buy them here.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - easy homemade recipe at

You could also decorate the cupcakes with festive holiday sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, or even flavor the cream cheese frosting with maple extract or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

You could even do a simple whipped cream topping as well. I’m pretty certain gingerbread goes with everything. If you’re a gingerbread lover, you have to try these holiday cupcakes. Crowned with tangy cream cheese frosting, each bite is super moist and high in gingery flavor. Sugar and spice at its finest!

PS: See how to make them mini size in my recipe notes below!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - easy homemade recipe at

Ok, enough reading – start baking!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes, plus cooling

Print Recipe

Spiced gingerbread cupcake recipe with tangy and sweet cream cheese frosting. Moist and flavorful, these homemade cupcakes are the perfect treat during the holidays!



  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature1
  • 1/2 cup (156g) molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (167g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Cream Cheese Frosting2

  • 8 oz (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the egg until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the milk, molasses, and vanilla on medium speed. Mixture will be piecey and not fully combined. That's ok.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice together until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  4. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full, no more. Bake for 19-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and 1 Tbsp cream. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and 1 more Tbsp cream if needed to thin out. Beat for 1 minute. Taste the frosting and add a pinch of salt if too sweet.
  6. Frost cooled cupcakes immediately before serving. Unfrosted cupcakes remain fresh covered tightly at room temperature for 2 days. Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  7. Make ahead tip: Prepare cupcakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and the frosting covered tightly in the refrigerator. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.

Additional Notes:

Mini cupcakes: To make about 30 mini cupcakes, make the cupcake batter as directed and bake in mini muffin pans for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cake: You can use one 9x2 (deep dish) cake pan to make a single layer cake. The bake time is around 30 minutes; use a toothpick to test for doneness. Or you can divide the batter between two pans to make a layer cake-- though the layers will be thin.

  1. Egg and milk should be at room temperature. I used skim milk, though any milk would be fine. Buttermilk would be great.
  2. Do not use cream cheese spread; use brick style cream cheese. If cream cheese frosting isn't your thing, try these cupcakes with my milk chocolate frostingcinnamon-swirl frostingwhite chocolate frostingpumpkin cream cheese frosting, or basic vanilla frosting.

© 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.

A few similar favorites. 

Glazed Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze

Caramel Molasses Cookies

Caramel Molasses Cookies

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes

Butterscotch Filled Brown Sugar Cupcakes by

See more cupcake recipes.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe!
Gingerbread Cupcakes with the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe!
Gingerbread Cupcakes with the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe!

188 Responses to “Gingerbread Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Silvanaposted April 14, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Sally I am finding it hard to get hold of molasses in the UK, please can you advise what this can be substituted for?

    Thank you!


    • Katereplied on April 15th, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      In the UK you can buy molasses from Holland & Barrett :)


    • Annabellereplied on October 28th, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Hi sorry I know this will be irrelevant now but I substituted using black treacle and it seemed to work! :)


  2. #
    Kateposted April 15, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Hi there. Thank you for this recipe, I have made it a couple of times and the cakes went down a treat.
    I am also from the UK and a little confused about the molasses. Is it liquid molasses that you use in this recipe? I have seen 2 types in the shops, the dark liquid, and then also a dry version that looks like brown sugar.
    I used the liquid version, but the cakes were a lot darker than yours, so now I’m wondering if it was the wrong sort?



    • Sallyreplied on April 15th, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Yes– liquid molasses. Perhaps you used a darker version? I’m glad you enjoy them.


      • Katereplied on April 15th, 2015 at 4:52 pm

        Great, thank you for confirming!

    • Catherinereplied on October 25th, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      You can use treacle if you don’t want to buy molasses, or find it difficult to source. I am also in the UK.


  3. #
    Orlaposted September 16, 2015 at 6:35 am

    I made this yesterday and they are gorgeous. I live in Ireland and could not get hold of molasses so I used Maple syrup instead. Gorgeous. Thanks.


  4. #
    Monaposted October 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I made these today and they smell great, but don’t look that good. I think i filled the muffin cups to much, but they also taste almost like candy, like the brown sugar never dissolved or something. Not sure what went wrong or is that how they re supposed to taste?


  5. #
    Lara Massanoposted October 17, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Sally,

    these look gorgeous however where I am at the moment I cannot get molasses. How I replace that AND the all spice?

    Thanks for the help!!


    • Sallyreplied on October 18th, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      All of the cupcakes flavor is from the spice and molasses– so I don’t suggest replacements. How about a different cupcake recipe?


  6. #
    Madelyn Maldonadoposted October 17, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Sally,

    wanted to know if I can use the Gingerbread Cupcake recipe to make a Cake and if so do I only use one 8″ pan since it only makes 12 Cupcakes? Can I double the recipe if I can make the Cake ? Thank you :)


    • Sallyreplied on October 18th, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      Madelyn– see notes.


  7. #
    Traceyposted October 28, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Hi Sally
    , I’ve just made these and they look and smell delicious (not tasted yet but I’m hopeful!) However, my frosting is really thin- I didn’t even add the cream/milk because it is already so thin and runny, I’ve put it in the fridge but it doesn’t appear to be working so far. There’s no way it is pipe-able or even spreadable to be honest. Any ideas at all? Thank you for sharing the recipe. x


    • Sallyreplied on October 28th, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Are you using cream cheese spread? Or block-style cream cheese? Never spread and never lower fat.


  8. #
    Lauren Rposted November 13, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Hi Sally! 
    I love these! They’re always a huge hit around the holidays!

    I was wondering if you have any tips for making these gluten free. I’ve been using gluten free flour with xathum gum but they’re still slightly drier than regular cupcakes. And I’ve tried adding an extra egg for the moisture, but I wasn’t a fan of how eggy the texture was (though everyone else loved them)

    Not sure if you can help, but I figured it was worth asking! Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on November 13th, 2015 at 7:10 am

      I’m not the one to ask about GF baking, Lauren. Little experience. What about a cup-for-cup GF flour instead? And an extra splash of milk?


  9. #
    Lynnposted November 14, 2015 at 2:13 am

    I haven’t seen the brick style cream cheese here in the UK. Anyone have any success with what is available here?


  10. #
    Tina collinsposted November 17, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I am struggling to get molasses – what is the closest replacement? Also what is all-purpose flour? We have plain flour and self raising flour.  Thank you very much


    • Jennyreplied on November 19th, 2015 at 9:03 am

      From Australia?  :) it’s plain flour. I think i saw molasses in coles!


    • Elienreplied on November 21st, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Black Treacle is the equivalent of molasses :)  


  11. #
    Lulu Howeyposted November 22, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Hi Sally, sorry no personal URL. I hope you still post from this, or rewrite the info.
    Hi all!  bit of a difference, I live in France! That has it’s baking challenges as here they are not so into cakes! Normally tarts but they love my bakes! We can’t get thick double cream here. The highest fat content is 35%, double cream normally above 40%. Surprising as this is the land of Creme Chantilly! See chantifix below.
    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Amazon as a source of Molasses, they sent me Grandma Molasses to France. Postage not too bad if sourced and dispatched by Amazon. Just add in other bits and postage doesn’t increase.
    I have recipes for ginger cake using half golden syrup, half black treacle as substitute for Molasses too as find Black treacle too bitter. Or half maple syrup half black treacle. I lower to 1/4 black treacle,3/4 golden syrup etc so not so bitter. Beware bitterness.
    In France & UK we only have cream cheese spread but still makes yummy frosting although not as thick but swirling consistency, does the job.
    For France, use Chantifix in your frosting. Made by Vahine (little yellow box)Whisk for few minutes and it makes your frosting a little stiffer. I will try this cupcake recipe in a loaf tine using my Grandma molasses as haven’t tried it yet as had black treacle I drove over from the UK to use up!


  12. #
    Natashaposted November 25, 2015 at 3:53 am

    Heyy! These look amazing! <3  Instead of cupcakes, I was wondering if I could turn them into gingerbread cake pops…. using your gingerbread cupcake recipe and the cream cheese frosting to hold it together! It would be so much easier to give away :-) Anyone tried it? 


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