You’re going to fall in love with these moist and tender gingerbread cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. They’re spiced to perfection!
Favorite Christmas Cupcakes
One of my favorite seasonal flavors has to be ginger. This year I thought I’d try making a cupcake that tasted like my favorite ginger cookies only topped with a thick and delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I’m so glad I did! They’re absolutely incredible… a new favorite for sure!
The cupcake is moist, tender, and packed with spices. And then of course the frosting…! There’s no need to worry about soupy cream cheese frosting, that won’t be an issue here. It’s rich and thick and best of all, pipeable!
I think this might be my new favorite cupcake recipe.
- Thanks to a generous amount of brown sugar, molasses and buttermilk, this recipe yields super moist and tender cupcakes.
- Molasses: Do not use blackstrap molasses! This is too bitter of a flavor to use in baked goods.
- Why don’t you include cloves? Cloves can be described as strong, bitter, and almost “hot”. We wanted a sweet gingerbread taste, not something too “spicy”.
- Buttermilk: We use buttermilk to help tenderize the crumb, and make it a moist cupcake. You can make your own buttermilk if you don’t have any on hand.
How to Make Gingerbread Cupcakes
WET INGREDIENTS. To start, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixing speed on low, add the egg and mix just until combined.
DRY INGREDIENTS. Then, in a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
COMBINE. With mixing speed on low, alternate adding the dry ingredients along with the buttermilk and molasses. Mix just until combined. Overmixing will cause tough cupcakes and you definitely don’t want that!
BAKE. Fill the liners 2/3 of the way full (p.s. I found those cute red and white polka dot liners here) and place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cake version: You can pour this into a cake pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Just before you’re ready to pipe (wait until the cupcakes have fully cooled!), prepare the cream cheese frosting.
BEAT. Cream the softened butter, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. With the mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a fondant-looking ball. You may need to beat it at high speed for a minute or two until you start to see a thick paste form.
CREAM CHEESE. Add the room temperature cream cheese and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1½ minutes, then STOP!
CHILL. Place in refrigerator to chill for a few minutes or until cupcakes have completely cooled.
DECORATE. Then all that’s left to do pipe onto the cupcakes and decorate! (Note: I found the adorable little gingerbread man sprinkles at Crate and Barrel, but you can easily find them on Amazon.
If you aren’t an expert at piping that is totally fine, you can make it as simple or as complex as you want. If you have a piping bag with different tips you have a few options. You can either “dot” the frosting or drag it around and frost the cupcake in one swoop.
Unfrosted cupcakes should be STORED at room temperature in a closed container. If you don’t want to have your cupcakes get sticky tops I recommend lining the bottom of the container with a paper towel and even laying a paper towel on top of the cupcakes.
Frosted cupcakes store a little bit easier: The frosting acts as a barrier to keep the cupcake from drying out. Still keep the cupcakes in an airtight container, or at least covered so no dust or bugs get to your cupcakes.
For more holiday cakes and cupcakes, try:
Gingerbread Cupcakes Recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/2 cup buttermilk - room temperature
- 1/2 cup molasses
For Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter - room temperature
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cup powdered sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese - room temperature for 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with liners, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixing speed on low, add the egg, mix just until combined.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. With mixing speed on low, alternate adding the dry ingredients along with the buttermilk and molasses. Mix just until combined.
- Fill liners 2/3 of the way full. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To Make the Frosting
- Using the paddle attachment cream the butter, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. With mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a fondant-looking ball. Add cream cheese and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1½ minutes, then STOP! Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes or until cupcakes have completely cooled. Allow to stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before placing in a bag to pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Top cupcakes with desired sprinkles.