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Gingerbread cupcakes

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Christmas gingerbread cupcakes are irresistibly tender with the perfect crumb. They’re frosted with salted caramel buttercream, and sprinkled with mini gingerbread men. Celebrate the holidays with Santa’s favorite dessert.

📌 PIN GINGERBREAD CUPCAKES

Five gingerbread cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream frosting on a serving table with milk.

❤️ WHY WE LOVE GINGERBREAD CUPCAKES

  • QUICK EASY RECIPE: Prep the cake batter and frosting in just 20 minutes, then bake the Christmas cupcakes for 16 to 18 minutes.
  • THE TASTE OF CHRISTMAS: These festive cupcakes feature ground cinnamon and ground ginger, which are traditional holiday seasonings. They make these gingerbread cupcakes taste like Christmas.
  • SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM: This luscious frosting tastes extra special, like it was made by Mrs Claus herself. But all it takes is just 3 basic ingredients. So simple. It’s Santa’s favorite frosting.
  • GINGERBREAD MEN SPRINKLES: To make these gingerbread cupcakes Christmas forward, we garnish the frosting with mini gingerbread men sprinkles. But you can make mini gingerbread man cookies and top the cupcakes with those instead.
  • EASY TO TRANSPORT: These mini cakes are easy to transport to holiday parties and church potlucks. If you don’t have a special cupcake carrier, repurpose a cardboard ornament box with dividers to transport them.
A bite taken out of a Christmas gingerbread cupcake showing its tender fluffy texture.

🛒 INGREDIENTS

For Gingerbread Cupcakes

  • Whole Milk: Adds fat to the mixture for a rich delicious taste and a softer crumb. It also thins out the batter so it isn’t too thick or dry. If you don’t have whole milk on hand, feel free to use the type you have.
  • Vegetable Oil: Adds richness and moisture to the cupcakes to keep them soft, tender and fluffy.
  • Molasses: Adds the earthy flavor and sweetness gingerbread is known for. I prefer Grandma’s Molasses Original, unsulphured. Do not use blackstrap molasses as it’s way too bitter for gingerbread cupcakes.
  • Large Eggs: Bind the batter together, providing structure and stability, so the texture of the cake is not too crumbly.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Rounds out the flavor of these baked goods. It enhances the sweetness and spice of the Christmas cupcakes while providing a delicious bakery aroma.
  • Light Brown Sugar: The earthy taste of brown sugar enhances the molasses. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • All-purpose Flour: Is important for structure and keeps the cupcake batter from being too wet. For measuring out flour, it’s important to use the fluff/spoon/level method.
  • Baking Powder: Provides leavening to help the batter rise when baked. It’s important for making gingerbread cupcakes light and fluffy.
  • Sea Salt: This seasoning enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Ground Cinnamon: Is a warm, traditional holiday flavor. It’s slight citrus notes and light spicy taste are similar to (but less potent than) cloves. It also adds a delightful color to the cupcake batter.
  • Ground Ginger: Is a classic addition to gingerbread cupcakes.
Ingredients for making traditional Christmas gingerbread cupcakes.

For Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

  • Salted Butter: This is the base of our buttercream frosting. Make sure that it’s fully softened so there won’t be lumps in the frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar: Adds structure and sweetness to the frosting. Feel free to add a bit more or less to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Salted Caramel Sauce: I use homemade salted caramel sauce, but you can use store-bought salted caramel ice cream topping. If your caramel sauce is thin, you may need to add a bit more powdered sugar.
  • Gingerbread Men Sprinkles (optional): For garnishing the frosting. Find them at craft stores like Michaels or online. Or bake a batch of small gingerbread man cookies to use as special cupcake toppers.
Ingredients for salted caramel buttercream frosting.

📖 RECIPE STEPS

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-well cupcake tin with paper liners. Set it aside.

  • STEP 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, vegetable oil, molasses, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • STEP 2: Add in the light brown sugar. Whisk to combine. Add in the remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon and ginger. Whisk to incorporate, but do not overmix.
  • STEP 3: Using a 1/4 measuring cup as a scoop, divide the batter between the 12 wells of the cupcake pan. Fill each with 1/4 cup batter. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • STEP 4: Make the salted caramel buttercream. Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Once it’s incorporated, add the caramel sauce. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix for 1 minute, or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
How to make gingerbread cupcakes with salted caramel frosting in 4 easy steps.
  • STEP 5: Transfer the buttercream frosting to a piping bag fitted with your favorite metal tip. Frost the gingerbread cupcakes as desired. Garnish the frosting with Christmas gingerbread men sprinkles.
One dozen gingerbread cupcakes on a metal cooling rack.

🤔 RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions for the BEST Christmas gingerbread cupcakes, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

Traditional spices for gingerbread cupcakes?

Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice. Start with cinnamon, then add 1 or more of these spices as desired.

What type of milk can I use for gingerbread cupcakes?

Any milk is fine, including buttermilk, whole milk, 2% reduced fat, or skim milk. Just make sure it’s at room temperature, not cold.

Make-ahead instructions for cupcakes?

Bake the cupcakes and prepare the frosting 1 day in advance. Individually wrap the cooled cupcakes in plastic wrap, then place them inside an airtight container and store at room temperature. Transfer the frosting to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Can cupcakes be frozen?

Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen. Wrap each cupcake individually in plastic wrap then freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Bring to room temperature before frosting.

How to make mini gingerbread cupcakes?

Spray a mini cupcake pan(s) with baking spray. Prepare the cupcake batter per recipe instructions. Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of 3 cupcakes comes out clean. Yield: about 30 mini cupcakes.

The paper wrapper pulled down on the sides of a frosted gingerbread cupcake.

🎄MORE CHRISTMAS TREATS

Get holiday ready with these festive Christmas recipes. They’re ideal for adding to the dessert table and gifting to friends and neighbors. Save your favorite recipes for later – pin them to Pinterest.

Close-up shot of Christmas cupcake with buttercream frosting sprinkled with mini gingerbread candy sprinkles.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated this Christmas dessert the BEST Gingerbread cupcakes. They were head over heels in love with their tender fluffy texture, the delicious holiday flavor, and the scrumptious salted caramel frosting.

If you agree these Christmas cupcakes are a must-make for the holidays, give them a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with a friend. Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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A bite taken out of a Christmas gingerbread cupcake showing its tender fluffy texture.

Gingerbread cupcakes


Description

Gingerbread cupcakes are fluffy, tender and perfectly sweet. They’re topped with salted caramel buttercream, and sprinkled with mini gingerbread men. Ring in the holidays with these Christmas treats.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Gingerbread Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (not blackstrap molasses)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce (thick ice cream topping)
  • Gingerbread Men Sprinkles, for garnishing

Instructions

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-well cupcake tin with paper liners. Set it aside.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, vegetable oil, molasses, eggs and vanilla extract.
  2. Add light brown sugar to the bowl. Whisk to combine. Add in the remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon and ginger. Whisk to incorporate, but do not overmix.
  3. Using a 1/4 measuring cup as a scoop, divide the batter between the 12 wells of the cupcake pan. Fill each with 1/4 cup batter. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of 3 cupcakes comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Make the salted caramel buttercream. Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Once it’s fully incorporated, add in the caramel sauce. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix for 1 minute, or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. Transfer the buttercream frosting to a piping bag fitted with your favorite metal tip. Frost the gingerbread cupcakes as desired. Garnish the frosting with Christmas gingerbread men sprinkles.

Notes

Additional (optional) spices for gingerbread cupcakes: 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.

How to store leftovers: Place cupcakes in an airtight container. Store them on the countertop overnight in a cool room temperature environment, or in the fridge for up to 3 days. If refrigerated, them sit (still inside the container) on the countertop for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Gingerbread Cupcakes, Christmas Cupcakes, Christmas Gingerbread Cupcakes

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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