These gingerbread cupcakes were a hit! I made them for a birthday party and everybody loved them. I have to say, I was amazed by how incredibly delicious they turned out. I’m not the biggest fan of cupcakes (I’m of the opinion that frosting is highly overrated) so I don’t make them that often, which made this recipe a bit of an experiment. But it was definitely a succesful one!
The molasses are the big winner in this recipe, I think. Of course, they’re quite integral to gingerbread cookies and thus to gingerbread cupcakes, but I’m in awe with just how much extra depth the molasses bring to the flavour. The ginger also definitely comes through, which I love, and it makes sure the cupcakes don’t taste too sweet.
Then in comes the frosting; it’s a cream cheese frosting and it’s incredibly soft and smooth. The dash of cinnamon adds that extra little something and makes these cupcakes fingerlicking good. I mean, I don’t want to blow my own trumpet too much, but I’m pretty darn proud of these!
Those tiny little cookies on top are a Dutch ‘delicacy’. They’re tiny speculaas cookies (similar to gingerbread) which are generally eaten on sandwiches (I know – but it’s delicious!). I actually wanted to use Christmas sprinkles, but couldn’t find them, so these were a makeshift solution. It looks pretty cute, though, I think!
You’ll need… (for 12 cupcakes)
For the cupcakes
- 100 g butter (melted or softened)
- 110 g light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 110 g molasses (or keukenstroop if you’re Dutch)
- 200 g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 50 ml milk
For the frosting
- 170 g cream cheese
- 50 g butter
- 200 g icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla aroma
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- optional: festive sprinkles to decorate (or for you Dutchies: schuddebuikjes)
- piping bag with a nozzle
- muffin/cupcake tin
- 12 paper cases (optional – you can also grease and flour the tins)
- and an oven, of course! These cupcakes need to be baked at 180 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)
So, let’s get baking!
1. Mix together butter and sugar Take a large bowl (or the bowl of your free standing mixer) and mix together the butter and sugar until it’s evenly mixed (in case of melting) or light and fluffy (in case you used softened butter).
2. Add the eggs and the molasses Once the butter and sugar is evenly mixed, add the eggs one by one and mix them through. Then also add the molasses (or keukenstroop) and mix it all through until it starts to resemble a nice and even batter.
3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices Sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda above the bowl, and also add the salt and the ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Mix or fold it all through until the batter is evenly mixed.
4. Add milk Add the last wet ingredient, namely the milk. This will make the batter a little wetter, which is useful in the scientific stuff in the oven (or something more specific). Mix it through the batter.
5. Bake! Line the cupcake tin with the paper cases (or grease and flour the tins if you’re not using paper cases). Then, divide the batter over the paper cases until all cases are ⅔ filled. I used an ice scoop for this, which makes things a lot easier! Once you’ve done this, put the tin into your preheated oven and bake the cupcakes at 180 °C for about 20-22 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. They will stay soft/wet for quite some time, but don’t worry – the last couple of minutes are instrumental!
6. Take the cupcakes out to cool Once they’re done, take the tin out of the oven and place it on a cooling rack. After 10-15 minutes you can take the cupcakes out of the tin to let them cool down further
7. Prepare the frosting While your cupcakes are cooling, you can start preparing the frosting. Mix together the cream cheese and the butter until they’ve come together in a soft and smooth mixture. I recommend using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer for this, because it’ll take a few minutes. Then, add the vanilla aroma and cinnamon and mix them through. Lastly, gradually add the icing sugar to the mixture and mix it all until you’ve got a nice and fluffy frosting.
8. Frost the cupcakes! Once your cakes have cooled down completely, you can frost them. Prepare your piping bag (add the nozzle; make sure the hole is big enough) and transfer the frosting into the bag. If you want your frosting to come out slightly neater then mine, you could put the piping bag into the fridge for 10 minutes or so (I didn’t do that, but in retrospect I think I should have). Then, pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes and, if you have them, add your sprinkles.
And that’s it! You’ve got your own delicious gingerbread cupcakes – a very festive treat. Enjoy!