Spiced gingerbread cupcakes that are moist, fluffy & filled with holiday cheer. Then they’re frosted with tangy, sweet cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of cinnamon – these cupcakes are perfect for Christmas.
Every year I make at least 1 Christmas cupcake recipe. Last year it was these candy cane chocolate cupcakes, the year before it was eggnog cupcakes with eggnog frosting (I was on a bit of an eggnog kick).
So the next logical step was making gingerbread cupcakes. And after I found the most adorable little gingerbread man cupcake decorations – it was fate. Like a Christmas cupcake miracle.
So making these gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting was only the right thing to do. Eating 2 cupcakes back to back, maybe not so much…. But I’m ok with a little extra warmth over the winter.
These gingerbread cupcakes have ALL the flavor of gingerbread cookies – but in light, fluffy, cupcake form. With an extra does of frosting of course. Because cream cheese frosting > royal icing.
Ok – so let’s talk recipe specifics.
The gingerbread cupcakes are moist, with a soft crumb & packed with flavor. Here’s why:
- We’re using a combo of butter & oil. Butter adds more flavor and oil keeps them moist.
- Brown sugar & molasses for a rich caramel-like flavor.
- Then ground ginger, cinnamon, & cloves for the warm, cozy spice combo.
For this recipe – just make sure not to use blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses is too strong and not sweet enough for using in this recipe. Fancy molasses, cooking molasses or light molasses are perfect.
Then lets talk about frosting. For these gingerbread cupcakes, I was all about the cream cheese variety. The combination of spice filled, cozy gingerbread and slightly tangy cream cheese frosting is like Christmas and snow fall. Completely perfect.
To make cream cheese frosting that can be piped – we need to use more butter than cream cheese. This keeps the frosting thick and fluffy. But still has that tangy hint of cream cheese. We’ll first beat together the butter and cream cheese, then slowly add in the powdered sugar along with a little vanilla and touch of salt. You can add a little cream to the frosting too if needed.
Then frost away! I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of each cupcake, but that’s totally optional too.
These gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are such a delicious holiday treat. And when holiday flavors and cupcake happiness come together – it’s a very Merry Christmas!
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup molasses , not blackstrap
- 1/2 cup milk
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1/3 cup brick style cream cheese (2.5 oz) , softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3.5-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 365F degrees. Line muffin pans with muffin papers (you'll end up with 14-16 cupcakes total).
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger & cloves.
- In a large bowl beat together the butter, oil and sugars. Then beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and molasses.
- With the mixer on low speed beat in about 1/2 of the flour mixture followed by about 1/2 of the milk. Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture and milk.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pans, filling each about 2/3 full. You should end up with 14-16 cupcakes total.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl beat the butter and cream cheese until evenly combined. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
- Turn down the mixer to low speed and beat in the flour about 1/2 cup at a time until the desired sweetness level and consistency is reached.
- If needed, beat in the cream 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Frost each cupcake with a knife or piping bag and tip (I used a 1M tip). Optionally, decorate with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cupcake toppers.