Gingerbread Cupcakes

Here we are at the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, I love all the Christmas things: trees, lights, stockings, nutcrackers, cookies, candy, hot cocoa, family time, fun get togethers, wrapping and giving presents. All the good stuff. It can also get overwhelming and stressful (remind me to tell you about my meltdown over not being able to find my mini gingerbread cookie cutter sometime). I try to not fall into the chaos but there are moments when it doesn’t feel like everything on my list will get finished. Anyone else?

Holiday baking is usually at the top of that long list! It’s in full swing at my house. One of the amazing things about holiday baking for me is that the flavors and smells can transport me to a wonderful memory of a person or place, and make me feel happy, cozy and loved. These Gingerbread Cupcakes are no stranger to incredible flavor and they fill the air with the most delightful smell while they’re baking.

When I was selling baked goods, Gingerbread Cupcakes were one of my most requested holiday orders. Why wouldn’t they be? The cake is a perfectly spiced, molasses and brown sugar concoction of goodness. Then there’s the rich, tangy cinnamon cream cheese frosting. To top it all off is a sweet little gingerbread cookie! So charming and incredibly delicious! You don’t have to choose between a cookie and a cupcake. Have BOTH! You’re welcome!

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I know I always say this but it’s mostly why I love to bake. These cupcakes make great gifts! Teachers, neighbors, hair stylists, and friends will be thrilled with such a fun treat. The day I made these, I ran some out to our mail carrier and she was pleasantly surprised and excited to dig in! I also took some to a friend who’s recovering from surgery. It just so happened, she was feeling a little down that day. I opened the box and six of these adorable fellas were smiling at her and she smiled right back! Bake people happy! Yes!

Let’s get going on making these! The cupcakes include lots of gingerbread spices, eggs, molasses, brown sugar, butter, flour and baking soda (not pictured–water).

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You don’t even need a mixer to whip these up! It can all be done by hand. Melt the butter. Have I ever mentioned we don’t own a microwave? I melt my butter double-boiler style.

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Combine the molasses, brown sugar, eggs and melted butter in a mixing bowl.

Daisy Mae heard me whisking and ran into my “photo studio” to see if I needed help! Sweet beagle!

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Combine the flour, spices, baking soda and salt and add to the wet ingredients. Lots of spices in these! I don’t like a bland gingerbread anything. I want to taste all the spices!

The finished batter will be gooey and smell amazing! Breathe it all in!

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Line the cupcake pan and fill. I like to use an ice cream scoop to fill to make them all even. It’s easier too! Once the pan is full, bake them and let them cool completely.

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Time to make the frosting. I didn’t get a picture of the ingredients before I started mixing. I was a little eager to get these finished so I could eat one! It’s just a basic cream cheese frosting with the addition of cinnamon. My version is included in the recipe below.

Tip: Before I add the cinnamon, I scoop a little out into a small baggie to use for the gingerbread cookies. It’s easy to pipe and I don’t have to make another kind of frosting. 

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and top each one with a little gingerbread cookie.

As soon as I put these together, I smile! They truly bring me joy and what could be better than that during this season of hustle and bustle? These guys aren’t in any hurry and I could take a lesson from them!

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Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe how wonderful these cupcakes are. Make them, eat them (while guzzling a cup of coffee) and share them. I promise you’ll be energized to finish all the items on your to-do list! You might even accomplish all the tasks with a smile on your face!

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From the heart,
Shannon

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Gingerbread Cupcakes

Ingredients
Cupcakes (this recipe makes about 20 standard size cupcakes)
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 large eggs (room temp)
1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan/muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the water to the melted butter mixture, then half the dry mixture, and stir. Add the remaining water and dry mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined.
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
  7. Frost with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (below) and top with a gingerbread cookie.
  8. Smile and enjoy the holidays!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 TBSP unsalted butter (room temp)
12 oz. cream cheese (room temp)
8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)

  1. Combine all ingredients with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Spoon into a pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes or use a knife to spread the frosting onto each cupcake.

 

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