Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze

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Flavorful, robust, and moist gingerbread muffins dripping with a sweet lemon glaze. My favorite holiday muffin!

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze | sallysbakingaddiction.com

 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.

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. 😉

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. (!!!!!)

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze | sallysbakingaddiction.com

So there ya go. Lemon + Gingerbread at its finest. Boo-yah.

Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze

Flavorful, robust, and moist gingerbread muffins dripping with a sweet lemon glaze. My favorite holiday muffin!

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Muffins

  • 3 cups (375g) 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 ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup (234g) dark molasses (or light or blackstrap)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (185g) plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk*

Sweet Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar (or more)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) half-and-half (or heavy cream or milk)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F Spray 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. 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 brown sugar, 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.
  4. Fill your muffin tins to the very top and bake for 5 minutes at 425°F. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature down to 350°F and continue to bake for about 14-15 more minutes. Muffins are finished when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. As the muffins cool, prepare your lemon glaze by mixing all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. 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.
  6. Muffins taste best eaten the same day, and can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Recipe Notes:

*Recipe tested with skim milk and low fat milk. Any milk will be OK. Soy, almond, rice, whole.

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Muffin Liners | Muffin Pan | Glass Mixing Bowls | Pyrex Measuring Cup | Whisk

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115 Comments

    1. I am just seeing your gingerbread trees with lemon glaze! Great minds must think alike Becca, we are SO on the same page here. 🙂

  1. I have never heard of that combo but I totally trust you so I am going to do it! I am loving how ALL that glaze looks on top…that is also telling me to try this combo…and well now I have to make muffins to try your tips…did not know about cooking on higher temp than lowering the temp…we will see how I do and if I remember lol…

    1. Yes! Angela, try out some of those helpful “high-domed muffin top” tricks. You’ll be surprised how your muffins turn out. 🙂 Thank you! And so glad spam isn’t catching these comments anymore!

  2. I want to sink my teeth into one of these! The fact that they’re a big ole puffy muffin version of your soft molasses cookies makes me want to make them even more – or just have you make them for me 🙂

    And the lemon glaze is a fresh and unexpected POP, especially this time of year. That lemon/squeeze shot – reminds me of pics I took and wanted to use when I made my blueberry/lemon glazed cake recently & had massive lighting issues but I digress. Lemon is so fresh and bright against the dark brown sugar and dark molasses – Nice!

    1. Thank you Averie! I didn’t tell my friend what she was getting into when she took the first bite; the lemon glaze is a pleasant surprise and I am hooked on the combination of lemon + gingerbread now 🙂

  3. Thanks to you, I now have the urge to make “a spiced gingerbread cupcake with a fluffy lemon buttercream”. Thankfully when I make buttercream, I do it in massive batches and there’s some in my fridge right now…

    Gah! I need to go to bed before I start whipping something up….I was up way too late last night doing nothing productive.

    Have a great rest of your week!

    1. I have to make those cupcakes too lol! I was up SO late last night doing nothing productive at all, but I am glad it’s the middle of the week and the weekend is only a couple short days away! Thanks Loretta and I hope you have a wonderful week as well!

  4. I really want to make these lovely looking muffins. The only problem is that my husband, who loves quick breads, does not like muffins. If I were to make this recipe, but bake it in a loaf pan, do you recommend using your oven temperature trick? Thanks!

  5. These muffins look delicious! And I bet they smell amazing too! Thumbs up on the fast/easy in the AM part. I need an XXL coffee in the morning. And cannot operate heavy machinery 🙂

    I like your non-stick spray trick for molasses…I don’t know I ever measured molasses before! It also works for corn syrup.

    1. Oh my goodness, I want to bottle the smell of these muffins baking! XXL coffee… yes, that is me practically every day! Yep, the non-stick spray trick works for all stick sweeteners: honey, molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup. So easy.

  6. Oh my gosh, I LOVE lemon and I’m sure I could come up with excuses to use that glaze on pretty much everything. 😉 These muffins would go great with Bigelow Gingersnappish tea…have you had it? Also, I’m obsessed with that second picture of the lemon with the little dots of glaze around it. The focus is great, and I love seeing the actual juice sacs (or whatever they’re called) in the lemon and the cohesion of the glaze making the drops look so 3-D. Sorry to get all nerdy, but it’s a great photograph! 😀

    1. Caley, I can’t tell you how much this comment means to me. I adored that lemon shot as well – it didn’t even take a lot of editing. And the fact that you noticed it and wrote so many nice things about it – wow, that is truly amazing and SO appreciated. I have had that gingersnappish tea and I ADORE it! I also drink gingerbread coffee from dunkin donuts – amazing! Thanks so much for making my morning Caley!

  7. I love anything that has the word gingerbread in it. I’ve never had lemon with it, and I love lemon too, so I’ll have to definitely try these! Happy 1 year too….so exciting!

    1. Hey Liz! I agree with you – anything with “gingerbread” has my heart singing. I adore it. Thank you for the happy 1 year wishes 🙂 and THANK YOU for following along.

  8. Yes, yes, YES! Gingerbread and lemon is such a divine combo that compliments each other perfectly. You know I’m such a lemon fan, I could have lemon with anything. That sharp refreshing taste pretty much goes with anything. I could certainly inhale the whole batch of these.

    And dark brown sugar is a fave of mine too. It’s such a unique type of sugar, so moist and delicious. But your variety of molasses has me confused. We only get treacle here which I hear is very close to molasses but I’m not sure which variety. I’mma confused now. 😀

    1. sharp, refreshing taste = couldn’t have said it better myself. it pairs so wonderfully with the deep dark molasses in these muffins. Truly an incredible breakfast treat. Dark molasses is a little less intense than blackstrap molasses, the darkest variety. Treacle will work fine as the replacement here. 🙂

  9. I have to thank you, miss Sally, for your reminders of dark brown sugar! I always skimmed past it at the grocery store, but since I started reading your blog, I HAVE to have it on hand. For someone who loves brown sugar so much (me! me! me!) I’m shocked I never picked up a bigger box of the darker stuff before! It’s SO good and makes my cookies (or these muffins!) super rich and perfect. I also need to try your muffin tip with raising the temp and then lowering it–it makes total sense in the ultimate quest for huge puffy muffin 🙂 now the only problem is, whyyyy don’t I have any of these muffins for my breakfast right now?!

    1. THank you for all the kind things you say Hayley, everyday. They are appreciated! And I am so glad I’ve influeneced you and brought you on board the dark brown sugar wagon. So rich and lucious in my cookies and quite certainly in all of my gingerbread recipes. Try sprinkling it on top of a bagel with cream cheese – amazing. You’ll fall in love with it even more!

    1. THANK YOU for the congrats Anna. How sweet you are. And the glaze is quite certianly a new favorite muffin topping! Dare I say I love htis glaze more than a streusel topping!

    1. yes! dessert for breakfast. I think I’ll be making these on Christmas morning for my family. 🙂 I used 0% Chobani greek yogurt, so yes – it will definitely work. 😉

    1. Hi Annie! If you love gingerbread, you have to try it with a sweet lemon glaze overtop – I truly think you will enjoy these!

    1. I just bought a gingerbread scented candle because I could not resist it in the store – now my kitchen can ALWAYS smell like it! Thanks Joy!

    1. Hi Lynda, thanks so much! I think you’ll love these if you love lemon/ginger together. The combo is unbeatable, right? Love them together.

  10. I’ve been seeing gingerbread paired with lemon all over the blogosphere recently + I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never tried that combo! since I love lemon AND gingerbread, i sense that i’d looove these muffins. They look AMAZING!

    1. Amy, I really think you’d like the two together! Your soft molasses crinkle cookies with a smear of lemon buttercream. that would be AMAZING.

    1. Cassie you actually came to mind as I was making these last weekend! Knew you’d like them.. and you’ll love my next cookie recipe too! 😉

  11. Dyyyyyyying. I really don’t think I’ve ever had lemon and gingerbread together, and I love them both so much. These look so perfect. I’m a sucker for drippy pictures–they just make me want to eat my screen. This could be bad for the macbook….

    1. HAHAHAHA Ari… yes! I felt the same way about your condensed coconut milk today – so creamy, so dreamy.. I want in my recipes now!

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