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!

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!

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

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

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

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!

Ok, enough reading – start baking!


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


Spiced gingerbread cupcake recipe with tangy, 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 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


  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.


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


  1. Amy, I was so upset when I tasted batch #3 and was ready to just move onto something else. But I really, really, (REALLY!) needed a delectable cupcake at that point lol. I know you understand. Thanks for the kind words! xo

  2. These look amazing Sally the pictures are beautiful! And I love the little gingerbread men so cute! 🙂

  3. Ohhh these could be dangerous {which I’m totally okay with!} annnnd I love those little gingerbread men! Too cute!

  4. Hehe, me and ice skating isn’t very pretty:) But I do love the snow! And I love these cupcakes! If Kevin (who has been a busy tastetester from the sound of things) says this is one of the best, I’m doubly impressed! And those gingerbread men are adorable!

  5. These cupcakes are so stinkin’ cute! I love those tiny gingerbread men. I made some gingerbread cupcakes last year but they were super dense. These look like they have the perfect texture, though! I’ll have to give this recipe a try if I decide to make gingerbread cupcakes again this year. 🙂

    1. I know what you mean about too dense gingerbread cupcakes. My second or third test batch (can’t remember at this point) was super dense as well. These were much lighter, which I love about cupcakes. Let me know if you try these Beth!

  6. How cute are those little gingerbread men!! Love them. These cupcakes look so delicious – I don’t bake with gingerbread flavors nearly enough, these must be made this year! Pinned 🙂

  7. I’m so glad you pushed through (I know it can get discouraging after several attempts), becasue these babies look amazing! I love those cute little g-men.

  8. I can’t get over those adorable gingerbread men! They are so cute! These cupcakes look and sound absolutely delicious – definitely Christmas in a wrapper!

  9. LOVE LOVE LOVE your mini gingerbread men. So cute! I live in south Florida, we can switch places for a weekend 🙂 I want a snowy winter!

  10. No worries, I have pink mixing bowls (the same) and a pink stand mixer and pink immersion blender and pink spatulas…need I go on? 🙂

    Love that fluffy frosting!

  11. So cute, Sally! I love the idea of making them mini, and a maple cream-cheese frosting sounds amazing! I was also thinking maybe lemon buttercream, since gingerbread often gets lemon sauce or glaze. I’ll try to add lemon to anything 😉 I was surprised that you used regular milk, because it seems like you usually do almond or something; I see that you noted that any milk would work, but are you including “milks” like almond/soy/coconut in that? Just curious :). I usually stick with almond milk (I’m vegan-ish).

    1. Yep! I mean any milk or milk product – I’ll go ahead and add that. These would be great with almond milk. Kevin drinks skim, so that’s what we had on Sunday when I made them!

  12. I am OBSESSED with your pink baking tools! I have a lot of pink in my kitchen too, but it’s never enough :-). These cupcakes look so delicious and beyond adorable!

  13. I just made these, and they smelled so good that I ate one before they cooled! I just have a quick question though, my cupcakes turned out a dark chocolate brown instead of a light brown like the ones in your pictures. Is it because of the type of molasses maybe?

  14. It’s snowing at this very moment here in NJ! Oh if only I had a few dozen of these pillowy cupcakes and a cup of cocoa to keep me company! 😉 heehee

  15. I totally agree with you about snow. If there is hot chocolate promised at the end, it’s okay; otherwise, I will refuse to go into the snow until someone comes up with my cocoa-relief. Lol! I saw these decorations in Michaels the other day. SUCH a cute idea to put some on cupcakes! I might have to go buy them!

    1. Hot cocoa is the best part about a snowfall. Right? Go buy those mini gingerbread men, Lauren! And put them in some hot chocolate. 😉

  16. I’m new to your blog and I’ve really enjoyed looking at some of your recipes!! I’m about to give these a try! They look perfect! Thanks for taking the time to perfect them and share the recipe! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  17. My mother is always making gingerbread cookies for Christmas but I have never thought about making cupcakes instead of that! I am sure they are super tasty 🙂

    Oh and of course these little gingerbread men are outstanding! What a pity we don’t have them in my country…

    But at least we have snow here too!

  18. those little gingerbread men…i could look at them whole day !! but then i look at the cupcakes and i feel like i need to make them and eat them all

  19. These sound and look absolutely delicious! And the gingerbread men are so adorable on top of the cupcakes! But I think my favorite part of this post is the pink mixer AND pink mixing bowl!

  20. Hahhah, I have red mixer, mixing bowls and red spatulas :O. These cupcakes looks amazing Sally and the gingerbread men are so cute. It must be the snow because I made a gingerbread cake this weekend too but now I want to try your recipe!! Stay warm 🙂 PS: Your gingersnaps are finally being posted tomorrow on the blog!!

    1. If we combined our pink and red kitchens, it would look darn perfect for Valentine’s day – am I right?! Can’t wait to see the gingersnaps Zainab!!

  21. Heavens to Betsey! No wonder Kevin proclaimed these cupcakes the best he’s ever had! Look at those beauties!! First of all, how apropos that you make these on the first snowfall day — the frosting itself looks like a cloud of heavenly white snow! And I LOVE homemade gingerbread cake. There’s something so homey and spicy about it that I can’t get enough of. Bravo, miss thang!!

  22. SALLLLEEEE! These are FANTASTIC! I made the mini ones and didn’t have any wrappers so they (tragically) stuck to the pan. But did that stop me from inhaling them? Um, NOPE. Seriously AWESOME gingerbread cupcakes. Everyone should make these. Also, what is the deal with offering so many icings? Are you trying to make the button pop off my jeans? Because that’s fine. I don’t care. Your icings are WORTH IT. :o)

    Love-LOVE this recipe. Thanks SO much for all the hard work you do to develop these majestic treats that are sure to put the happy in my holidays. You’re a gem. Always.

    1. Hey London! Woohoo! So happy you loved these cupcakes. Definitely spray the pan with nonstick spray next time if you do not use liners. I would love a mini gingerbread cupcake right about now – perhaps a few of them for breakfast with my coffee. And all the frostings. I know, I couldn’t help myself!

  23. *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.

    Is this true for all your cupcake recipes?

  24. Hi Sally!! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe. Just wondering if this recipe could be used for making the normal kind of gingerbread men instead (those that you cut out with cookie cutters and doesn’t involve a cupcake)! I’m afraid it will be too moist! Sorry if my explanation is weird 😛 have a great holiday!

    1. Hi Shirley – no, this is cupcake batter and cannot be made into cookie dough. I don’t have a recipe for gingerbread men at this time. Hope you have a great holiday too!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally