Gingerbread Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Gingerbread baking in the oven with its heady aroma of spices means holiday cheer, and these cupcakes are no exception. These Gingerbread Cupcakes get an extra kick of flavor with a bit a freshly grated ginger added in. A yummy Flour Buttercream sits on top with a sprinkle of white edible glitter for some festive pizzazz. And just for fun, top with a miniature gingerbread cookie, and serve an extra cookie or two on the side.
Recipe type: Dessert | Cupcakes | Butter Cakes
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup molasses
Flour Buttercream:
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • White edible glitter
  • Gingerbread Cookies (optional) (Use ½ recipe for Gingerbread Snowflakes, and replace the 1 egg with 1 egg yolk. Decorate with royal icing or Vanilla Glaze)
Vanilla Glaze for Cookie Decoration (optional):
  • 1 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons warm milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two standard 12-cup muffin pans; line about 15 of the cups with paper cupcake liners. Tip: Since not all cups in both pans will be filled, line every other cup in each pan so the cakes will bake evenly.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir the buttermilk, grated ginger, rum and vanilla extract together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture has a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Then stir in the molasses. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the buttermilk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill about ⅔ full, using about ¼ cup of batter per cup. Tip: Avoid over-filling the liners which may cause the batter to run-over the sides when baking. It is better to bake any remaining batter separately after the first pan of cupcakes has finished baking.
  7. Bake: Bake, rotating pan halfway through, 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and a toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in cupcake pan, and turn out of pan when cool enough to handle. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
Flour Buttercream:
  1. In a medium heavy saucepan, add the flour, and using a wire whisk, slowly whisk in the milk, whisking until the sauce is smooth and free of lumps. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Boil and whisk for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature, or a tepid temperature. While cooling, whisk frequently to keep the sauce smooth. Tip: If the sauce is too warm when added to the creamed butter mixture it will melt the butter. If the sauce is too cold it will not blend smoothly.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the butter and sugar when the sauce is almost cooled to the right temperature. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the cooled sauce, adding 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating about 20 seconds between each addition. Add the vanilla and continue to beat for another 1 to 2 minutes to thoroughly blend and the frosting in somewhat fluffy. The frosting should be used immediately, or refrigerate until needed.
  4. Use a small offset spatula to frost the top of each cupcake, or use a pastry bag and decorating tip to pipe the frosting.
  1. Sprinkle white edible glitter on top of frosted cupcakes. Top with a small gingerbread cookie (optional.) Tip: Add the gingerbread cookie just before serving; the moisture from the cupcakes and frosting will make the cookies soft and the cookies will start to droop if added too far in advance.
Vanilla Glaze for Cookie Decoration (optional):
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla. Add warm milk in small quantities, start with 2 tablespoons of milk, then when it’s getting close to the right consistency add milk in teaspoonfuls or just drops of milk at a time, until it is the desired consistency; for piping, the icing should be like a thick sour cream.
  2. When the glaze is the right consistency, spoon into a small plastic freezer bag. Put a little piece of tape on corner to reinforce the tip, and then roll over top of bag to keep neater. (You could also use a plastic squeeze bottle with a tip available in decorating stores), Twist the top of the bag to create some pressure to make easier to squeeze out. Cut a tiny corner off the tip of the bag.
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Standard 12-Cup Muffin Pans Pan Prep: Paper Liners Oven Temp: 350° Yield: 12 to 15 Cupcakes Storage: Covered, Room Temperature or Refrigerate

Help: Cake Hints and Tips, Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies, Royal Icing

TheBakingPan Recommends: The BEST instant read thermometer I’ve used for cooking and baking; the ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is incredibly fast, ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapenaccurate, and well worth the investment. I use my Thermapen Thermometer for checking room temperature ingredients, tempering chocolate, baking bread, making pastry creams, sugar syrup, caramel, and candy, cooking meats and fish, and deep frying. Thermapen Thermometer available here.
Recipe by at