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Gingerbread Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes
Makes 22

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
½ to 2 tablespoons of milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and spices; set aside.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the molasses, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
4. When cupcakes are completely cooled, make frosting: In a medium bowl, sift together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and salt, and beat until combined. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar mixture, and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add milk as necessary to thin out to desired consistency. (Start small with the milk. You can always add more if you need it. If you do add too much, add in some more confectioners’ sugar until it gets back to the consistency you’re looking for.) Pipe or frost onto cupcakes.

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