This gingerbread cupcake recipe is a delicious addition to any holiday dessert table! These cupcakes, topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, will be a new holiday favorite.
Inside, these cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender, with a light and delicate crumb. The blend of spices and molasses is perfectly complemented by the thick and creamy cinnamon frosting on the top.
Why This Recipe Works
I love everything gingerbread flavored around Christmas time – gingerbread hot chocolate, soft gingerbread cookies and of course my favorite gingerbread loaf.
But these gingerbread cupcakes are my favorite holiday treat yet – and I dropped two dozen off for the teachers at my son’s school and they were equally delighted by them!
- The cupcake is incredibly soft and tender, almost like biting into a cloud!
- The balance of spices is perfect; there’s not too much ginger.
- The cinnamon cream cheese frosting adds the right amount of creaminess and tanginess to really balance out the cupcake’s flavors.
Gingerbread Cupcake Ingredients
The perfect blend of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg add the right amount of spice.
Dark brown sugar and molasses add that rich gingerbread taste. These ingredients along with the oil, keep the cupcakes moist.
Hot water and baking soda add a second layer of leavening to really make these cupcakes light and fluffy.
Then our usual flour, baking powder, salt, eggs and butter round out the ingredients list for this gingerbread cupcake recipe!
- This recipe has been kitchen tested multiple times. I can’t guarantee results if you substitute the ingredients!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two regular cupcake tins with paper cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or using an electric hand whisk), beat together the brown sugar, butter and vegetable oil until light and fluffy. You may need to scrape down the sides as needed. Then add the molasses and mix until fully incorporated.
- While that’s mixing, in a pyrex jug or small bowl, mix together the hot water and baking soda.
- On low speed, add about one-third of the water/baking soda mixture to the batter.
5. Add about one-third of the flour mixture, and allow it to be incorporated into the batter before adding the remaining water, followed by the rest of the flour mixture.
Continue mixing the batter until all the flour is fully combined. The batter will be runny.
6. Finally, mix in the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined.
7. Fill each cupcake liner about halfway (about 1/4 cup of batter). There should be enough batter for 23-24 cupcakes.
Place in the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 18 – 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.
10. Once completed cooled, frost with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
Beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt and mix until combined.
On low speed, slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and mix until well combined. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is completely smooth.
Using a pastry bag or a zip-loc bag with the corner cut off, pipe the frosting onto each cupcake.
Tip: To get a thick layer of frosting like in these photos, you will need to double the frosting recipe and use a Wilton 1m piping tip.
Dust with powdered sugar and top with a mini gingerbread man for extra holiday cheer and cuteness!
The frosted cupcakes can stay out at room temperature for up to 8 hours. They can also be put in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Allow to come to room temperature before serving so that the frosting has time to soften up a bit.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use any frosting you want! I’ve tried these cupcakes with several different frostings, though, and cream cheese is by far the best match for the gingerbread flavor!
I have not tried it yet, but try it with about 1/2 teaspoon and let me know how it goes!
Tired of baking the same old thing every Christmas? Spice up your baking routine this holiday season with this creative take on the delicious flavors of gingerbread that we all know and love.
Gingerbread Cupcake Recipe
For The Cupcakes
- 2⅓ cups all purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 2½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar packed
- 4 oz unsalted butter (1 stick)
- ¾ cup molasses (not blackstrap, we used Grandma's brand unsulphured)
- 2 large eggs room temperature
For The Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For The Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners (24 cupcakes). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
- In a small bowl or pyrex jug, add the baking soda to the hot water and mix. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a handheld electric mix and a large bowl), cream the brown sugar, butter and vegetable oil until light and fluffy.
- Add molasses and mix until well combined.
- On low speed, alternate adding the water/baking soda mix and the dry Ingredients. Start by adding about ⅓ of the water, then ⅓ of the flour, and so on until everything is combined.
- Increase speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time. Mix until well combined.
- Fill each cupcake liner about halfway (approximately ¼ cup worth of batter).
- Place In the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
For The Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Beat until well combined.
- Reduce mixer to low speed and gradually add In the powdered sugar. Once combined, increase to high speed and mix for 2 minutes.