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 |

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 |

 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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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!


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)


  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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© 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. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.


Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

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

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.


  1. I must say I have never tried lemon with gingerbread, but I can imagine that the flavors would compliment each other nicely! You certainly have shared a wonderful collection of muffins!

  2. I had to comment on your very first post as well as this one! First of all, these look amazing! I’m the same way in the mornings, I want something quick!! I love the idea of a lemon glaze on these, definitely must try! Happy first birthday!!

  3. So for that past two weeks or so, I have been craving a soft ginger cookie with lemon zest, quite randomly, but I was pretty sure anyone else would think the combo was way too out there. Of course you wouldn’t, though! 🙂 The glaze on these looks phenomenal, and I love the greek yogurt in the muffins. 😉

  4. I love the ginger and lemon combo! A perfect pair. I bet all that molasses gives great flavor. I’m never one for baking in the morning. Too early for a task that requires precision and direction following 🙂

    1. YES! Try these muffins tricks next time Ashley – heat it up real hot for 5 minutes then lower it down. it works like a charm. 😉

  5. Ahhh I missed your 1st blogiversary! So terribly sorry. Happy BELATED blogiversary!! Can’t remind you enough how much I adore your blog. And how much I adore this recipe. I’ve had a serious craving for all things gingerbread lately, and these muffins are now on my list. I still need to get my hands on the gingerbread Oreos too before it’s too late! But I’m pretty sure these muffins will be 10x better than the Oreos…don’t tell Nabisco. 😉

    1. It’s ok Elaine, thank you so much for the kind wishes! And I am so happy you are a follower. You would LOVE these muffins 🙂

  6. I love gingerbread and lemon! 🙂 And those muffin tips are awesome. I’ll definitely have to try them out!

    I also don’t like fancy recipes in the morning. I want to bake quickly, take pictures and then take a nap. 😉

  7. I just made these and they came out absolutely AMAZING! I added some real ginger and chopped up some gingers in syrup and I had to stop myself from eating all of them as soon as they came out of the oven! THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE!!

    1. That sounds incredible Z. Wow, I need to try that next time! Thank you so much for the suggestion and for reporting back. 🙂

  8. Hi,

    Just a couple of questions: do you initially bake at 400 or 450? The instructions say to preheat to 450, but then you mention baking for 5 minutes at 400. Also, when do you add the brown sugar? It’s not listed in the directions, so I wasn’t sure and just added when I combined all of the dry ingredients. I can’t wait to try these; the gingerbread/lemon flavor combo sounds divine! :0)

    1. Hey Elizabeth! So sorry about that – initially bake at 450F degrees for 5 minutes. And the brown sugar should be added with the egg. But what you did is just fine. I hope you enjoy them!

  9. Hi Sally, I’m from England and have recently discovered your website. I first made the jumbo Raspberry and Chocolate muffins, the Nutella cupcakes (btw can these be supersized to jumbo size?) and have just taken out of the oven a batch of the above gingerbread muffins. These are enormous even without being jumbo! I love the way you give scientific tips – eg I’ve never heard about starting off at 450 for 5 mins and reducing the temp for the rest of the time, but it really works. Now I’m going to have to try all the other muffins on your site and I don’t think I’ll live that long! Thanks for all the lovely recipes. Also, hope Jude is doing well. He is so gorgeous.

    1. Hi Margaret! The nutella muffins could be made Jumbo size, but you might only get about 4 muffins, since the regluar recipe makes 8-9 standard size muffins. I’d increase the Nutella to 1 Tablespoon per muffin. I’ve never tried this before, though – I’m unsure of the baking time. So glad that you love these gingerbread muffins. They are one of my favorites!

  10. I made these last weekend and they were a hit! As I was mixing them up I realized I only had about 1/3 cup molasses and they still turned out super yummy! I also didn’t have cloves because I wasn’t willing to pay the outrageous price our store had them as. I will definitely be making them again when we need another gingerbread fix!

    1. cloves are so expensive, I agree! I’m happy you loved these muffins. They’re actually one of my most favorite muffin recipes ever. I can’t wait to make them again during the upcoming holidays, Becky. Thank you!

  11. I made these Christmas Eve morning and loved them! I am a huge fan of gingerbread and couldn’t resist tasting one while they cooled – the flavor was spot on and seriously could be served as is. Well, I thought that prior to adding the glaze. I now know that the glaze enhanced the flavor of the gingerbread and made them even more amazing!

    1. That’s wonderful Jacqueline! I love these muffins so much. I agree – they are fantastic as is. Happy you tried them with glaze too!

  12. These are ssooo good. I had a quick question. When you’re developing recipes how do you decide whether to use baking soda or powder and how to use? do you have any tips? I seem to always go wrong with that when I’m trying new things. Thanks! 🙂

  13. Hi Sally!!! Where I live molasses is not very common and I would love to make this recipe! Is there any substitution? thanks!!
    (yesterday I made your chocolate chip cookie cake and it was a hit! so thankful I found your blog, your recipes are beyond awesome!!)

  14. Sally you are amazing! I was looking for something to make for breakfast the rest of this week that was Christmas-like and this was perfect. I made a batch last night, complete with icing and they were delicious! Super moist too.

    Thank you so much for sharing this yummy recipe.

  15. These look super delicious! Silly question: is the glaze combined together on the stovetop or just in a bowl? If on the stove, how long and at what heat? Sorry, I’m a newbie to the glaze!

  16. I am *drooling over this recipe and I’d LOVE to make these muffins! My problem is, that molasses isn’t available in my small town here in Spain 🙁
    Can you please suggest a substitute for molasses? Corn syrup is also unavailable here…
    Thank you so much, and I absolutely love your recipes!

  17. Sally – Would buttermilk work in this recipe? Or would it not react well with the yogurt? (Speaking of… does it make a difference if the yogurt is greek?). I made your raspberry chocolate chip muffins last week and they were a huge hit. I can’t wait to make some more of your recipes.

    1. Katie, glad you loved those raspberry chocolate chip muffins! Buttermilk instead of regular milk is just fine here. And the yogurt does not have to be Greek yogurt (it can be, of course!). Regular yogurt is fine.

  18. Hello Sally! Just out of curiosity, could I follow this entire recipe but put the batter into a bundt cake pan? Will everything set and maintain a soft and caky texture like the muffins? Thank you!

  19. Yummy these look great! I was wondering, how long would your recommend baking these as mini muffins? Also, would the muffins be good on their own without the glaze? I have small children and these would be much less messy without the glaze! Thank you for sharing your tips and recipes! 

      1. I suggest baking at 350 for 10-12 minutes. No need to start at a higher temp. The muffins are so small that it wouldn’t make a difference.

  20. Sally do I have to use yoghurt can I use sour cream like your orange cran muffins (which are my favorite of your muffins so far) or do I def need yoghurt? I was also wondering if I could make this as a loaf instead of muffins? Whole Foods use to sell a big square of gingerbread and I have not had anything like it for a long time can’t wait to make these!

  21. I made these today, couldn’t wait! I had a lot of batter left after filling the cupcake tin (12 muffins). Since the recipe said it makes 12, I made sure to put all of the batter into the 12 cavities, almost packing it in. I did the 450 then lower. The cupcakes came out very dry and dense. I am wondering if you use an electric stove or gas stove? I have an electric stove, and even though the temp gets lowered it takes a bit for it to actually lower, unlike a gas stove. Also was the batter supposed to be packed in or put in loosely? Thanks!

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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