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Sweet and spicy cupcakes full of all of your favorite gingerbread flavors and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting.
I don’t know about you, but gingerbread is a total year round flavor for me. In fact, gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies, and I’ll take that cinnamon/ginger/cloves/nutmeg/allspice situation any day of the year.
When it comes to Christmas time, it’s practically sacrilegious not to make something spiced like gingerbread, whether it be spiced gingerbread cookies shaped like people, a gingerbread quick bread dotted with cranberries, or a gingerbread biscotti.
GINGERBREAD FO’ LIFE.
I mentioned yesterday in my chocolate bundt cake post that I’m sharing basic/simple recipes for the first 10 days of December.
While today’s gingerbread cupcake recipe isn’t typically a staple for any time of the year, I’m here to say GINGERBREAD ALL YEAR and also use this recipe as an example of something I get asked about a lot (which is where my lesson of basic/simple comes in– stay with me).
A question I get all the time is “how do you come up with all these recipes?”
And the answer is, a TON of trial and error. I mean, it took me a billion tries to get that cranberry gingerbread right, and I’ve had thumbprint cookies flop so hard before eventually looking beautiful.
But another key to my success is following the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reused a recipe in a different form because IT JUST WORKS.
For example, I have a recipe for white layer cake. And I’ve used that same base recipe for the following:
Just to name a few out of close to a dozen. And believe it or not, I’m adding 2 more to that list just in these 10 days.
And don’t even get me started on my brownie recipe. That one has been used so many times I can’t even count. See all my brownie recipes that have exactly the same base.
Basically, if you find something that works, find ways to make it work again. I knew my Italian anise bread dough was easy, and I’ve worked with it so many times. So when I wanted to make cinnamon babka, I just changed up the spices.
And then when I wanted to make a Mardi Gras King cake, I just changed up the shaping method.
Ok, ok, I’ll stop now. You get my really big point.
So these easy gingerbread cupcakes are the gingerbread layer cake recipe I posted in 2017 with the cream cheese frosting that I use a lot. And there are even instructions for turning the cream cheese frosting into something a little jazzier, like the spiced cream cheese frosting I used long ago on this chai cake.
You could even use the molasses buttercream that came along with that gingerbread layer cake in the original recipe.
Or keep things classic and just use vanilla buttercream. Maybe add some spices? Whatever your little gingerbread cupcake heart desires.
So these gingerbread cupcakes? Perfection. They’re spiced with lots of loose spices, but they take a hefty dose of molasses right to the batter.
Brown sugar to help keep the mega moisture and also a caramelize a bit with the molasses.
My favorite bites of these cupcakes were the ones that included some of the edges of the tops. They’re a little browner than the rest of the cupcakes and jam packed with extra flavor.
Plus, they’re slightly crunchy, so they bring a nice little texture contrast to the fluffy inside of the cupcake itself.
And the creamy dreamy cream cheese frosting on top is the perfect complement to all that spice and bold flavor. Tangy sweetness pairs so nicely with that. They’re a match made in flavor heaven!
Thanks for helping me continue bringing this series of basic/simple recipes. I hope this recipe for gingerbread cupcakes makes your holiday cupcake lineup this year!
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 and ¼ cups (150g) all purpose flour
- 1 and ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ⅜ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup (70g) molasses
- ½ cup (120mL) milk any
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 8 ounces (225g) full fat cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 3 and ½ cups (420g) powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- optional: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Place oven rack on the middle setting and preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line a 12-count muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, salt, pepper, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and allow to incorporate. Add the molasses and beat again on medium speed until everything is incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
- Spoon batter evenly into the cupcake liners filling ½ to ⅔ of the way full (I like to use an ice cream scoop with a trigger— one scant scoop full). Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- In a large bowl with a handheld or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.
ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKES
- Store cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature up to 4 days or in the refrigerator up to 6 days.