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Ginger Molasses Cupcakes

Yummy gingerbread flavored cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting -- perfect for an edible holiday gift.MORE+LESS-

1 2/3

cup Gold Medal™ unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2

teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2

teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2

teaspoons baking soda

2 1/2

tablespoons butter, cubed and softened


tablespoons vegetable oil


container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy™ cream cheese frosting

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  • 2

    In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and sugar.

  • 3

    In a separate large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and vegetable oil until well combined. Add molasses and egg and stir until well combined.

  • 4

    Add dry ingredients in three intervals, mixing until just combined between each interval. Add 1/2 cup boiling water to the mixture and mix until just combined.

  • 5

    Fill baking cups in muffin tins 3/4 full of batter and bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in one of the center muffins comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting with cream cheese frosting.

  • 6

    To give as a gift mix: Fill a 20-oz. glass jar with a lid (or any glass jar that can hold 2 1/2 cups of dry ingredients) with flour, then ginger and cinnamon, then salt, baking soda and sugar so they form pretty layers. Seal with lid and attach these instructions: Mix jar ingredients in one bowl; mix 2 1/2 tbsp soft butter, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 1/3 cup molasses & 1 egg in another bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet; stir. Add 1/2 cup boiling water; stir. Bake at 350°F for 25 min. Cool & frost.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Growing up, making gingerbread houses during the Christmas season was all the rage.

    It was the cool thing to do with your friends after school, and if anyone had a gingerbread house-making party, well, I was done for. I could think of nothing else besides how I would construct my perfect, elaborate house – and then promptly devour it within minutes of making it.

    Now that I’m older, my affinity for gingerbread has not ceased, but the time I would need to make a gingerbread house is non-existent. So to get my gingerbread fix, I turn to these Gingerbread Cupcakes. They’re easy to make, taste just like gingerbread and are topped with sweet cream cheese frosting. It’s like eating a gingerbread house, but without all the effort.

    This recipe also makes a fantastic edible gift around the holidays. Who wouldn’t love getting a jar filled with most of the ingredients necessary to make these easy holiday treats? Here’s how you gift them:

    1) Grab a 20-ounce glass canning jar (or any jar you have with a lid that can hold 2 ½ cups of dry ingredients) and whatever Christmas adornments you like – fabric, ribbon, etc.

    2) Pack the bottom of the jar with flour. Top the flour with a layer of ground cinnamon and ginger; form a well in the center of the cinnamon/ginger layer and fill it with the salt and baking soda. Top that layer with sugar.

    3) Seal jar and add a gift tag with the following written on it: "Mix jar ingredients in one bowl; mix 2 1/2 tbsp soft butter, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 1/3 cup molasses & 1 egg in another bowl. Bake at 350 for 25 min. Cool & frost."

    4) Decorate jar and give to a friend!

    While you are more than welcome to host your own gingerbread house-making party (can I come?), this recipe is an equally delicious way to share your love of a fun holiday flavor with friends and family.

    Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!

Gingerbread Cupcakes

What may look like your typical gingerbread cupcake is anything but average.

Deep inside each super-moist crumb you’ll taste cinnamon, ginger, and other warming winter spices. The taste of molasses is pungent, yet not overpowering in the slightest. Buttery and rich, these easy cupcakes are Christmas in a wrapper. There are no flavors I associate more with the holidays than cinnamon, ginger, and molasses.

It took me a few tries to perfect this gingerbread cupcake recipe. I used some trusty trial-and-error techniques to find the perfect ratio of ingredients. The cupcake batter starts with creamed butter. Batch #1 was made with oil instead of butter. Oh my gosh. The batter separated and the cupcakes were so oily, they were impossible to pick up and eat! Batch #2 was made with less oil. Dry. Dry as a bone! Batch #3 was made with melted butter and more flour. Again, oily.

(About to give up at this point, but my gingerbread perseverance pushed me through.)

Batch #4 won. Creamed butter! Brown sugar and molasses are the sweetening (and flavoring) agents in this cupcake recipe. Not only that, brown sugar brings moisture to the baked cupcake. Since you’re not using oil (which is more moisture-rich than butter), brown sugar is a simple way to not only sweeten the cupcake, but to leave a moist texture as well.

The rest of the cupcake ingredients are quite standard: flour, spices, milk, leaveners, egg. Use room temperature egg for this cupcake batter. Surely you saw what happened when I didn’t use room temperature egg in this cupcake post, right? Though not necessary for all cupcake and cake recipes, I prefer to use room temperature egg(s) when the rest of my ingredients are room temperature. This allows the egg to incorporate easier into the batter.

I top the flavorful gingerbread cupcakes with my favorite cream cheese frosting. The frosting is quite similar to the cream cheese frosting I slather on my Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake. I simply increased the cream cheese for a thicker consistency. If you love cream cheese frosting, this is a recipe you need.

Frost the gingerbread cupcakes – I used my Wilton #12 tip for piping, though you could simply frost them with a knife or your favorite piping tip.

I know you’re wondering about the adorable little gingerbread men decor, right? They kind of steal the show. Found them for super cheap at Michael’s craft store. You can buy them here or even some adorable candy canes right here!

You could also decorate the cupcakes with festive holiday sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, or even flavor the cream cheese frosting with maple extract or a sprinkle of cinnamon. You could even do a simple whipped cream topping as well. I’m pretty certain gingerbread goes with everything.

If you’re a gingerbread lover, you have to try these holiday cupcakes. Crowned with tangy cream cheese frosting, each bite is super moist and high in gingery flavor. Sugar and spice at its finest!

PS: See how to make them mini size in my recipe notes below!

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Don’t be afraid of the amount of fresh ginger in these cupcakes from Maxie’s Supper Club. The balance of the fresh ginger, black pepper, molasses, and warm spices is just right, and topping the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting rounds out all the flavors. Add a festive sprinkling of candied ginger for some flair.

What to buy: There are various intensities of molasses available, from light to blackstrap. Light (sometimes marketed as mild) tastes best in this recipe.

Tips for Christmas and Eggs

Eggs should keep a consistent and low temperature. This is best achieved by placing their carton in the center of your fridge. The eggs should also remain in their original packaging to avoid the absorption of strong odors.

It is wise to follow the “best by” date to determine overall freshness, but eggs can be tested by simply dropping them into a bowl of water. Older eggs will float while fresh eggs will sink. This is due to the size of their air cells, which gradually increase over time.

Cooked eggs have a refrigerator shelf life of no more than four days, while hard-boiled eggs, peeled or unpeeled, are safe to consume up to one week after they’re prepared.

The beauty of an egg is its versatility. Eggs can be cooked in a variety of ways. Here are some tips in accomplishing the four most common preparations.

Scrambled: Whip your eggs in a bowl. The consistency of your scrambled eggs is a personal preference, though it seems like the majority of breakfast connoisseurs enjoy a more runny and fluffy option. In this case, add about ¼ cup of milk for every four eggs. This will help to thin the mix. Feel free to also season with salt and pepper (or stir in cream cheese for added decadence). Grease a skillet with butter over medium heat and pour in the egg mixture. As the eggs begin to cook, begin to pull and fold the eggs with a spatula until it forms curds. Do not stir constantly. Once the egg is cooked to your liking, remove from heat and serve.

Hard-boiled: Fill a pot that covers your eggs by about two inches. Remove the eggs and bring the water to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, carefully drop in the eggs and leave them for 10-12 minutes. For easy peeling, give the eggs an immediate ice bath after the cooking time is completed. For soft-boiled eggs, follow the same process, but cut the cooking time in half.

Poached: Add a dash of vinegar to a pan filled with steadily simmering water. Crack eggs individually into a dish or small cup. With a spatula, create a gentle whirlpool in the pan. Slowly add the egg, whites first, into the water and allow to cook for three minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to kitchen paper to drain the water.

Sunny Side Up/Over Easy/Medium/Hard: For each of these preparations, you are cracking an egg directly into a greased frying pan. For sunny side up, no flipping is involved. Simply allow the edges to fry until they’re golden brown. To achieve an over easy egg, flip a sunny side up egg and cook until a thin film appears over the yolk. The yolk should still be runny upon serving. An over medium egg is flipped, fried, and cooked longer until the yolk is still slightly runny. An over hard is cooked until the yolk is hard.

Eggs can easily be frozen, but instructions vary based on the egg’s physical state. As a general rule, uncooked eggs in their shells should not be frozen. They must be cracked first and have their contents frozen.

Uncooked whole eggs: The eggs must be removed from their shells, blended, and poured into containers that can seal tightly.

Uncooked egg whites: The same process as whole eggs, but you can freeze whites in ice cube trays before transferring them to an airtight container. This speeds up the thawing process and can help with measuring.

Uncooked yolks: Egg yolks alone can turn extremely gelatinous if frozen. For use in savory dishes, add ⅛ teaspoon of salt per four egg yolks. Substitute the salt for sugar for use in sweet dishes and/or desserts.

Cooked eggs: Scrambled eggs are fine to freeze, but it is advised to not freeze cooked egg whites. They become too watery and rubbery if not mixed with the yolk.

Hard-boiled eggs: As mentioned above, it is best to not freeze hard-boiled eggs because cooked whites become watery and rubbery when frozen.

Molasses Cupcakes

Sometimes we end up with random ingredients in our apartment and it’s up to me to find a way to make use of them. So was the case when it came to a bottle of molasses that my roommate bought to create some sort of natural hair treatment. I think some of the hair product is still in our freezer, whereas the remaining half-full bottle of molasses stood in our cabinet waiting for me to determine its fate. My mind settled on molasses cupcakes. I didn’t find many useful recipes in an initial Google search, but upon further investigation I learned that molasses in the main ingredient in gingerbread. At this point I settled on this gingerbread cake recipe from Food Network. I adapted the recipe to remove the gingerbread spices and turn the batter into cupcakes to yield the molasses cake featured below. They were topped with vanilla bean buttercream before getting transported to a friend’s birthday party. One person said they were “the best cupcakes [she] ever tasted!” Take that as an indication of whether or not you should bake them for yourself.


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Yield: about 2 dozen cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bow, whisk together the oil, sugar, molasses, and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the flour and salt until evenly combined.
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Whisk the hot water into the cupcake batter until just combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a rack to let cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing to cool completely. Frost with the Vanilla Bean Buttercream.

Baking with Baking Soda:

One thing to keep in mind with any recipe involving baking soda is the time between mixing the batter and putting it in the oven. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a leavening agent that works by creating carbon dioxide upon contact with an acid. (Carbon dioxide is what creates the air bubbles and helps to create the light and airy texture found in some baked goods.) However, it is important to note that this reaction is immediate. This means that if you let the batter sit around for a while before baking it will lead to a tighter crumb. I don’t own enough tins to make 24 cupcakes at once, so I inadvertently did a science experiment to see how this works with the reaction between baking soda and molasses. In the picture above, the cupcake on the left was form the first batch and the one on the right from the second. As you can see, there are large air bubbles in the first and none in the latter. This molasses cake is so soft and light anyway that I couldn’t detect a difference aside from the visual. However, here’s a rule to keep in mind for the future: you should immediately bake any food where baking soda is the only leavening agent and there is something highly acidic—molasses in this instance—in the batter. For more information about how all this works, check out these articles here and here.

How to make mini gingerbread cookies

This is a completely optional step, but these mini homemade gingerbread cookies are so dang cute! And also so easy to make. If you choose to make your own, this will be the very first step in the recipe.

The cookie dough is made just like any other, but make sure your butter is a room temperature before starting. If it’s too cold or too warm, the dough could either turn out too crumbly or too sticky.

In the end, you should be left with a sturdy but soft dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers.

Although, the dough does still need to chill before baking. If not, the cookies will bake into a puddle. But to speed up this process, the dough is rolled out first and then chilled. This not only speeds up the cooling time, but it’s also much easier to roll out the room temperature dough rather than firm chilled dough.

After the cupcakes have baked, that should have been enough time for the dough to chill. It should be firm to the touch. This is when you stamp out your mini cookies and bake while the cupcakes cool.

The exact cookie cutters I used are actually from World Market, but if you can’t find them there you can use this similar option from Amazon.

The cookies are ready when they’re a nice and even shade of caramel brown. If you bake them too long the edges will darken too much. It’s best to pull them out if they look a bit underdone, as they’ll set and firm up as they cool.

Once cool, all that’s left to do is decorate!


For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup stout beer, such as Guinness
  • 1/2 cup mild-flavored molasses
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp.ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup finely minced candied ginger

For the frosting

  • 4 Tbs. (2 oz.) salted or unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
  • 1 Tbs. whole milk

Strips of candied citrus peel or candied ginger, for garnish

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) box vanilla cake mix
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper muffin liners.

Mix the cake mix, buttermilk, molasses, vegetable oil, eggs, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in large bowl until just combined. Spoon the batter into a large resealable plastic bag, press out excess air, and seal the top of the bag. Snip a corner of the bag about 1/4-inch from the bottom. Pipe the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 full.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.


No cupcake is complete without a little frosting and this molasses buttercream is the perfect choice.

I took my usual vegan buttercream frosting recipe and added similar spices found in the cupcakes like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger then sweetened the deal with confectioners’ sugar and a little bit of molasses.

But if you aren’t quite sold on all the gingerbread flavor, then you could go with a classic vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Chocolate and gingerbread also go well together and would be a fabulous option. So many frostings to pick from.

How It&rsquos Made

Before starting, make sure you read my guide to baking cupcakes if you&rsquore an inexperienced baker and want to get up to speed quickly.


Begin by preheating your oven to 350 F.

In a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together dry ingredients &ndash sugar, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you&rsquoll end up with a very fine crumb texture.

Mix in molasses until fully combined. The mixture should have the look of wet sand.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. Note that the batter will be very wet &ndash that&rsquos totally normal!

It&rsquos really important to fill the liners the correct amount &ndash in this case, 3/4 full. When in doubt, it&rsquos better to under-fill the liners than to overfill them.

Tip: When you overfill liners , the cupcakes won&rsquot dome properly. I always recommend baking a test cupcake to see if you have the fill level right.

Bake for 14 minutes or until completely done. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack to cool.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

I frost these cupcakes with a spiced version of my classic cream cheese frosting. It&rsquos very similar to my cinnamon frosting, but I up the ante by using all of the gingerbread spices instead of just cinnamon.

The trick to great cream cheese frosting is having all of your ingredients at room temperature. I&rsquove also learned that aerating butter first, then adding cream cheese helps to produce a smooth result with good mouth feel.

Start by mixing butter on high speed for three minutes or until light and fluffy. Then, add cream cheese and mix until just combined.

Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. (Add more or less than my recipe suggests to get the consistency you want.)

Add your gingerbread spices and mix until fully integrated.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


I love topping this gingerbread cupcake recipe with gingerbread men and women. I bought mine from Craft Cookie Co. If you&rsquore creative, you could always make homemade gingerbread people. It&rsquos a fun project!

Gingerbread cupcakes

Melt-in-the-mouth gingerbread cupcakes are easy to prepare. Check out the recipe.

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
½ tsp ginger powder
½ up unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp crushed ginger
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup molasses
1/3 cup milk
For icing
½ cup cream cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups icing sugar

Sift the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and ginger powder into a bowl
Meanwhile, mix the unsalted butter and brown sugar in another bowl
Into it add egg, vanilla essence, crushed ginger and molasses
Mix well
Now add the dry ingredients and milk alternatively
Fold well
Fill the cup cake moulds with this batter
Bake the cup cakes for 15 - 20 minutes in a pre heated oven at 150 degrees
For the icing, mix the cream cheese, unsalted butter and icing sugar in a bowl
Fill the icing in a piping bag
Squeeze the icing on the cup cakes in desired patterns after the cakes have cooled down.