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 the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

↑ 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 or even some adorable candy canes right here!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - easy homemade recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com-13

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 the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ok, enough reading – start baking!

Print

Gingerbread Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (156g) molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (167g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • cream cheese frosting for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. 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. Prepare cream cheese frosting. 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Hand Mixer, 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Measuring Bowl, Flex Edge Beater, KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Cupcake Pan, Wilton #12 Round Frosting Tip, Frosting Bags, and Decorations
  3. 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.
  4. Cake: Here is my gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting recipe.
  5. Room Temperature Ingredients: Egg and milk should be at room temperature. I used skim milk, though any milk would be fine. Buttermilk would be great!
  6. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: gingerbread cupcakes

 

Gingerbread Cupcakes with the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com
Gingerbread Cupcakes with the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com
Gingerbread Cupcakes with the BEST cream cheese frosting recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

228 Comments

  1. Sally, I’m from Buffalo and I know snow and I am not one to do anything snow related. I fell on the ice, and chipped my tailbone, I fall when ice skating, skiing and snow boarding forget it and sledding,the safe sport, I always fall off the sled and always, always end up twisting my arm or fingers. The cold is not my thing, that’s why I moved to California and I have been complaining that it’s been in the 40’s here. lol However, I would do all of the above and suffer the pain if I knew I had one of these cupcakes waiting for me! They look just amazing and I can only imagine how wonderful they must taste! I think I need to make these today! I don’t have cream cheese, but I may try one of your other frosting’s!

    1. My goodness, Jennifer. You have had a ton of bad luck in the snow!! Your poor body. No wonder you moved to sunny CA. You have to try these cupcakes. I know you’d LOVE ’em. Clearly, you deserve one.

  2. These look delicious and so perfect for this time of year! I have all the ingredients for them except the molasses; will hit the shops tomorrow so I can give them a go! (And how cute are those little gingerbread men.)

  3. Sally!

    Oh my gosh! Your timing could not have been more perfect! I need a couple of Christmas-y recipes for two events. This is soooo perfect! I think the other recipe I will use is the peppermint mocha cupcakes.

    Keep warm!!
    Sally

  4. Those little gingerbread men are the cutest! We have had snow here since October, that is crazy that you just had your first snow fall!

    1. Sometimes it won’t even snow until January here. The weathers been so weird lately – it was 60 degrees a few days ago!

  5. Lovely recipe Sally, I will have to try these out! I like that you also write your measurements in grams, as that’s what we use in the UK and I find it hard sometimes to convert recipes out of cups!
    Great post
    Kim x

  6. Gingerbread and peppers & onions are two things I love to eat and to make “just” for the smell it leaves in the house!

  7. Hey Sally,
    these look mouthwatering!
    I’ve tried a lot of your recepies and love them all.
    Even bought cups and table/teaspoon measurements, since we don’t usually use them in Germany and I got tired of converting.

    Can you explain to me what exactly “allspice” is? I don’t know what it is, and don’t know if it’s available in Germany…
    Thank you so much!
    Jana

    1. Hi Jana! Allspice is a peppery sweet spice also called Jamaica pepper. Do you have ground cloves? You can use those instead. OR just leave it out completely and perhaps increase the cinnamon by 1/4 extra teaspoon.

  8. How cute are those little gingerbread men? These cupcakes look great, I can smell the holidays from here! Yum!

  9. I love Spiced gingerbread and molasses to the point I do make stuff with it all year. It’s my total thing. I just can’t blog about it except for 4-6weeks a year. Darn. Lol

    The fact that Kevin who’s tested ALL those recipes deems this as one of the best things ever speaks volumes. I get that every now and then too. Usually with this one coffeecake/buttermilk cake base I have that I relay and parlay. I wish there were other GB/molasses fans in my house as much as I am!

    They’re gorg and glad you used 1/2 c molasses AND the spices. Bold, beautiful, pinned to my GB & Molasses board 🙂

    1. Thanks for pinning Averie! I must confess, I’m typing this as I drink gingerbread coffee. I stocked up on these seasonal K-cups so I could enjoy gingerbread coffee for a loooooong time lol

  10. Looking absolutely delicious as always! No wonder Kevin complimented you on these, I am nearly licking my computer screen to catch a few crumbs 🙂
    I love you little gingerbread men, so gorgeous.
    I am also a little jealous of your snow! I live in Australia and I’ve never seen the snow (next year though!) so I have always longed for a white Christmas. I can’t complain too much though, the beach is pretty awesome too 🙂
    Happy Holiday Baking 🙂

    1. Amy, I love the beach and consider YOU lucky for living near it all year! I hope you’re excited to see the snow – are you traveling to the US next year?

  11. These are beautiful and omg look delicious! Pinned for christmas baking! Thanks sally for yet another amazing new recipe to try 🙂

  12. These are absolutely adorable! I love gingerbread but sometimes can’t stand all the crunching. These would be the perfect alternative. The little gingerbread men make the cupcakes. Too cute!

  13. Love it, Sally. I’m stressed out with finals and I have been baking more than ever. I hope you’re having a great Holiday season!

    1. Good luck on finals, Audrey. My fiancé has a final this week and he appreciates the sweets right now for sure. Hope you have a great holiday as well!

  14. I can imagine, since we both get purple hands, you are like me in the cold: just numb. It actually snowed here for a hot minute on Saturday and after a few minutes I told Jordan she had to be out in it alone, because I could no longer feel my hands, feet, or nose. Skiing is out of the question! 🙂

    I love gingerbread so flipping much, and these cupcakes are perfect!

    1. Dorothy! I am so happy you mentioned that – I forgot we both experience raynaud’s from the cold! I went outside with Jude yesterday with his dog friends at the dog park and was out for an hour. My fingers were white when I came back in. It hurts so much!

  15. These look absolutely delicious. So moist! The flavor combination of gingerbread and cream cheese is brilliant. Plus having Kevin’s endorsement must mean these truly are winners! 🙂

  16. Oh my goodness can I have dozen please!! Those little gingerbread men are so freakin cute! Michaels always has the best stuff!

  17. I trust Kevin’s judgement for sure! What a high compliment coming from someone who gets to taste all these delicious things you make, Sally! I’m never a huge fan of gingerbread cookies for some reason, but I love the flavor – gingerbread cupcakes for the win!

  18. I almost made gingerbread cupcakes today! They have been on my mind for weeks, and these look even better than what I was imagining in my head! Not to mention, if out of all of your amazing treats, these are still a favorite for Kevin, they MUST be amazing!

  19. Read my mind–I was, indeed, wondering about the adorable gingerbread men decor. Your kitchen has got to be a heavenly place to taste-test! Out of curiosity, what do you do with batches that don’t turn out? I ask because I always feel terrible throwing out batches of things when I’m testing recipes (which I’ve starting doing more these days), and often I’ll compromise by using over-dry cake or blondies in a bread pudding or cake ball–I can’t stand to waste if I can help it 🙂 looks delectable!

    1. Hey Ala! If my test recipes are completely inedible, sadly I have to toss them. But batch number 3 were OK (though not perfect in my standards for what I wanted to share on my blog) and I brought those to the church where we donate extra goodies.

  20. These are stunning, Sally!! I love all the molasses and the spices!! KILLER! Gingerbread is on of my favorites! I just made something over the weekend, but now I really, really want the cupcakes!! They look incredible!

    1. I can’t wait to see your gingerbread recipe, Tieghan. It’s my favorite this time of year. Ok, gingerbread is acceptable any time of year for me!

  21. Sally, these are so stinking cute! And that gingerbread man garnish – ADORABLE!

    Btw, do I spy a pink KitchenAid mixer? I have the same one 🙂

  22. I will trust Kevin!! 🙂 And I just have to say that the pic of the cupcake with 2 little gingerbread buddies together is just cute!

  23. We live in South Africa so we are in the middle of summer, see if that can put me off baking these cupcakes! I love anything ginger, winter or summer!

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