Gingerbread Cupcakes

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!

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Adapted from

Serves 12


5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 egg
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


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 After frosting the 12 gingerbread cupcakes, I had about a cup of frosting left over.

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  • cry5tal985

    Looks SO delish!

  • Angela

    buying the ingredients this afternoon!!!! :)

  • sharon c

    WHERE does one get cinnamon M&Ms????

    • Jessie

      I stumbled across them in the holiday candy section at Target! The cinnamon flavor is really mild though, so if you can’t find them I’m sure regular M&Ms would be just as good.

  • Dani

    These would be a terrific twist on cookies for an annual Christmas cookie exchange. Making them into mini-cupcakes, do you think 14 minutes would be too long to bake them?

    • Jessie

      Oh I bet these would be great mini! I can’t say for sure what the time should be, but here is an article that has some great info: According to this, “Miniature cupcakes bake optimally around 325 degrees F for 18 minutes.” Good luck! :)

  • Rose

    Excellent Recipe. Thank you! Wonderful combination of spices, and the cocoa gives the gingerbread a bit more depth. Light and airy but dense. My mom had a wonderful recipe for gingerbread cake; it uses shortening and I’m not a huge fan, butter is a little less dangerous. I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese, and still substantial and held up while driving.

    • Jessie

      I’m so glad you liked it! It was almost a year ago that I made these, and now I’m getting in the mood for gingerbread again…

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