It is officially Christmastime! I’m so happy. I keep thinking back to when I was young, and the joy of the season was so thrilling that I would literally run around in circles in the living room while listening to my Christmas tapes. This excitement was fueled by my love for Christmas music, a healthy appreciation for presents, a major pre-teen crush on Bing Crosby, and the excitement of family coming over.
As a grownup, I still think I have a pretty good dose of Christmas spirit. Even as I write this, I’m listening to Andy Williams belting out “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and sipping hot chocolate! To be honest, I can hardly wait to watch White Christmas for the zillionth time, see Phil manipulate Bob, and make sure that Betty and Bob work out their misunderstandings.
But let’s not forget one of the very best things about this time – Christmas baking! I plunged right in this year with these Gingerbread Cupcakes, covered with cream cheese frosting and cinnamon M&Ms.
Can I just say – this cream cheese frosting was PERFECTION, and so simple! I’m so glad to have stumbled across this recipe on Food Network, and it will absolutely be my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe for now and ever more. I hope you enjoy it! Happy Christmastime!
Adapted from allrecipes.com
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder*
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup hot milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the molasses, egg and egg yolk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot milk. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture (be careful not to overmix). Stir in the milk mixture.
Fill the tin with your batter, and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the top springs back lightly. Be careful not to overbake. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes in the tin and then transfer to a cooling rack.
*The original recipe called for Dutch process cocoa powder, but I used regular because that’s all I had. For thoughts on the differences, please see this really helpful post by David Lebovitz.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from foodnetwork.com
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the powdered sugar. Beat in the vanilla extract.
*The recipe above is doubled from the original recipe posted on foodnetwork.com. After frosting the 12 gingerbread cupcakes, I had about a cup of frosting left over.