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Gingerbread Cupcakes are an easy homemade spice cake. Full of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and topped with the BEST cream cheese frosting. You’ll love the holiday flavors. A great Christmas or New Year’s Eve dessert.

Gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a gingersnap cookies on top.

Holiday flavors extend until the new year so why not whip up a batch of these Gingerbread Cupcakes? They are fluffy, moist, and flavored with plenty of spices that make your house smell amazing while they bake.

Spiced gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a gingersnap cookie on top.

INGREDIENTS FOR GINGERBREAD CUPCAKES

Homemade gingerbread cupcakes are quick to whip up with simple pantry ingredients. The spices are bold, yet not overbearing and the use of both butter and oil gives you perfectly moist cupcakes. For this recipe you will need:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • ground ginger
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground cloves
  • light brown sugar
  • butter
  • oil (canola or vegetable)
  • eggs
  • molasses
  • vanilla extract
  • buttermilk* (Can make buttermilk with plain milk and 1 tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before using.)

HOW TO MAKE GINGERBREAD CUPCAKES

  1. Combine the dry ingredients and set them aside.
  2. Cream the brown sugar, butter, and oil together.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the molasses and vanilla.
  4. Alternate adding the flour mixture in 3 additions, and the buttermilk in 2 additions. Beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined after each addition.
  5. Scoop the batter into paper lined cupcake pans. Fill each cup 2/3 full using a #24 scoop.
  6. Bake the gingerbread cupcakes at 350˚F for about 20 minutes. (For high altitude, bake at 375˚F for about 15 minutes.)
Spiced cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and gingersnap cookies.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

For a spice cake like this, it’s important to use a frosting that doesn’t compete with the cake, but enhances it. Cream cheese frosting is my top pick for this recipe because it marries harmoniously together with the spices.

I could put cream cheese frosting on any cake, but it goes especially well on these easy gingerbread cupcakes. It’s like having ice cream on a warm brownie. Meant to be!

Over the years, I’ve perfected the recipe for cream cheese frosting. My recipe is not too sweet, never stringy, and perfectly pipeable.

It’s my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe because it’s creamy and buttery, with just enough powdered sugar to make it sweet, without being sickly. I love it so much I’ve made a chocolate and lemon version as well.

Gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a gingersnap cookies on top.

You’ll love these quick gingerbread cupcakes. For decoration, I used gold metallic cupcake liners which would be great for New Year’s Eve.

You can decorate them with store-bought gingersnap cookies like I did, but don’t add them until just before serving. After time, they will absorb the moisture of the frosting, go soft, and fall over.

Of course you can leave these cupcakes frosted plain, or use a special piping tip or colorful sprinkles to add some flair. Have fun with it!

Spiced gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a gingersnap cookie on top.

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Spiced gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a gingersnap cookie on top.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Yield: 16 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Gingerbread Cupcakes are an easy homemade spice cake. Full of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and topped with the BEST cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

Gingerbread Cupcakes:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (stir, spoon & level)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*

Cream Cheese Frosting: (*See Notes)

  • 8oz cream cheese, cold
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 375 degrees Fahrenheit for high altitude). Line cupcake pans with paper cups. Set aside.
  2. For the Gingerbread Cupcakes: In a medium size bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the brown sugar, butter, and oil until pale and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then mix in the molasses and vanilla.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture in 3 additions, and the buttermilk in 2 additions. Beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined after each addition.
  6. Scoop the batter into prepared pans. Fill each cup 2/3 full using a #24 scoop.
  7. Bake the gingerbread cupcakes at 350˚F for about 20 minutes. (For high altitude, bake at 375˚F for about 15 minutes.) Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool on a wire rack.
  8. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the butter 2 Tablespoons at a time, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla all at once. Blend until combined and smooth.
  9. Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with a tip (I used a Wilton 1A tip). Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.

    Notes

    • To make buttermilk: Combine 1/2 cup regular milk with 1 tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before using.
    • CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: If you want to pile the frosting on high, you will need to 1.5x the ingredient amounts written. Original recipe will frost 12 cupcakes generously, but this recipe makes 16 cupcakes. It just depends on how much frosting you like on top.
    • If decorating with store-bought gingersnap cookies, don’t add them until just before serving. After time, they will absorb the moisture of the frosting, go soft, and fall over.

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