Fluffy and super-moist gingerbread spiced cupcakes with rich, cinnamon cream cheese frosting! These easy to make, crowd-pleasing cupcakes make a show-stopping holiday dessert!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Flour – Any brand of all-purpose flour will work great in this recipe.
Baking Soda – Baking soda is key in these cupcakes, don’t skip it. And make sure you don’t confuse it with baking powder.
Ginger – You can’t have gingerbread cupcakes without ginger. Any well-known brand is fine.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon is the second most important spice in these cupcakes. Add a little extra if you are a cinnamon lover like myself. More ground cinnamon in the icing layer is a good thing, too!
Nutmeg – Nutmeg is, you guessed it, the third best spice in these gingerbready cupcakes. Any brand of ground nutmeg you have on hand will be great.
Ground Cloves – I like a little bit of ground cloves in these cupcakes (just a ¼ teaspoon) but you can skip them if you’re not a fan.
Butter – I use unsalted butter, but you can use any butter you have.
Brown Sugar – Why two sugars? Well, brown sugar has a little bit of that molasses flavor and gives the cupcakes some extra moistness and another layer of sweet.
Molasses – Up the savory flavor to balance out the sweet with some molasses. I like the Grandma’s brand, but you can use whatever you have.
Eggs – Let the eggs come to room temperature before adding to the mix. This will help the batter blend more evenly and hep the cupcakes rise.
Vanilla – I prefer pure vanilla extract but imitation is okay too.
Powdered Sugar – The frosting needs powdered sugar. Granulated sugar won’t work, trust me! Powdered sugar makes the frosting nice and fluffy.
Cream Cheese – Let the cream cheese sit and soften at room temperature so that it blends more easily and smoothly in the icing.
Heavy Cream – You need that heavy cream to help blend up all the icing. You can also use milk (though the icing won’t be as firm or rich).
- First thing’s first, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 and line your muffin tins with cupcake liners (or use cooking spray if you’re not using liners).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside.
- In another, large bowl cream together butter and brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add molasses, milk, eggs and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Gradually stir in flour mixture until just combined (don’t over-mix at this part).
- Divide batter evenly among the lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake about 19-22 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the muffin tins for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
5. When cupcakes are completely cooled, begin to prepare the frosting by beating the cream cheese until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
6. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix until smooth.
7. Gradually mix in powdered sugar. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of heavy cream as needed to thin the frosting to a spreadable consistency.
8. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes (see note). Store in airtight container.
Why This Recipe Works
All the fall spices – I know what you might be thinking: cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg and ginger? Isn’t that a bit much? The short answer is “no”! These four spices go together so well and are deeee-licious in a cupcake, trust me!
Perfect for bake sales (and picnics and hostess gifts and…) – Do you need a quick, delicious baked good for that fall bake sale or something awesome and impressive to bring to Thanksgiving dinner? Look no further than these amazing gingerbread cupcakes. They get high marks every time!
Keep right on the counter – No need to make fridge space for these beauties. Put the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container (leaving room for the icing) and put them right on the counter. They’ll keep here for about 5 days.
Easily doubles – If you’re making these cupcakes, you might as well double them. You can always put half a batch in the freezer for icing at a later date. Easy to double – even easier to devour!
Expert Tips and Tricks
- To pipe the frosting, double the recipe and when adding the heavy cream, add less than you would to spread the frosting. The shape holds up better when the frosting is thicker. Also, before piping the frosting, it may help to allow the frosting to set up for a few minutes and “dry out” a bit. This will help it hold its piped shape.
- If you want to freeze these cupcakes ahead of time, allow them to cool before putting in an airtight container or Ziplock baggie and then in the freezer. Make the frosting and frost later when you’re ready to eat them. OR make the icing and freeze that separately. Thaw both, frost, and serve.
- Want a little something extra in your cupcakes? Try adding a quarter cup of raisins or chopped walnuts to the batter before baking. Or, you could sprinkle chopped nuts over the frosting along with cinnamon.
More Recipes Like This
If you like these Gingerbread Cupcakes, you’ll love my Lemon Coconut Cupcakes, Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes, Sugar Cookie Cupcakes, and Soft and Chewy Gingersnap Cookies.
- Gingerbread Sugar Cookies
- Gingerbread Loaf
- Gingerbread Pancakes
- Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Eggnog Cupcakes
Did you make these gingerbread cupcakes? FANTASTIC! Please rate the recipe below!
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ heaping teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter - softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs - at room temperature
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup milk - at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese - softened
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream - as needed
Make the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside.
- In another, large bowl cream together butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add molasses, milk, eggs and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Gradually stir in flour mixture until just combined (don't over-mix at this part).
- Divide batter evenly among the lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake about 19-22 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the muffin tins for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a container with a lid to cool completely (this is the secret to keeping them super-moist!).
Prepare the Frosting
- When cupcakes are completely cooled, prepare the frosting. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Add vanilla, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix until smooth.
- Gradually mix in powdered sugar. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of heavy cream as needed to thin the frosting to a spreadable consistency.
- Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes (see note). Store in airtight container.
I tried this recipe for the first time a month ago, and have remade several times since! Thanks for the perfect holiday treat.
Thank you for your review! I’m glad you enjoy these 🙂
Is the gingerbread cookie thsts on the cupcake from your recipe? Thanks
Should I use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe?
I always use salted butter unless otherwise directed 🙂
Just made this recipe and I have no idea how it says 20 servings- it barely made 12, 3/4 full. Pretty disappointing as they are for a bake sale fundraiser.
I am so sorry for the inconvenience, it was a typo. The recipe has been updated.
I thought the flavor of these cupcakes was really good, but they were a little dry. We baked them for about 17 minutes which is two minutes less than the recommended time, and they still tasted overbaked. I may substitute the milk with yogurt or sour cream in the future. We also had a similar experience to other commentators who wrote that the butter separated after adding the milk. The wet batter was unsightly when finished combining the ingredients, but the end result had a rich gingerbread flavor everyone enjoyed.