Gingerbread is a flavour synonymous with Christmas Time so why not take this holiday favourite to the next level with these Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting! Tender cupcakes made with the rich flavour of molasses and brimming with holiday spice!
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Christmas time is only a just over a month away and I am starting my holiday baking early! My son asked me to make something a little different this year and challenged me to make a Christmas Cupcake. So I got to thinking. The one cookie everyone asks me for over and over again are these Gingersnap Cookies. Ginger, molasses, spice… all the ingredients that scream Christmas. So why not turn those flavours into a cupcake … the result this Gingerbread Cupcake with Vanilla Bean Frosting recipe.
I had originally planned to make this recipe with a cream cheese frosting because it is my favourite but my weirdo son doesn’t like cream cheese. I know right? So vanilla bean it is which is still very very tasty and can be used for really any cupcake recipe you like.
For those who are set on a cream cheese frosting, you can easily swap the vanilla bean frosting out for this frosting done by Sugar Spun Run.
Some of the other Christmas goodies I am planning to get started on for the holidays are…
- My Grandma’s Shortbread Cookies – they are my sister-in-law’s favourite
- Buttery Oatmeal Coconut Lace Cookies – one of my faves and they taste even better frozen so be warned!
- Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – made some this past week and already ate half
- 4-Ingredient Chocolate Fudge – because chocolate is a necessity and my sister-in-law loves these too
- Oreo Truffles – imagine oreo cookies if oreo cookies and cream cheese got married… my husband will eat them all so they will get made last
How to make gingerbread cupcakes
Before frosting be sure to let the gingerbread cupcakes cool completely.
How to make vanilla bean frosting
- In a large bowl add 1 1/2 cups of butter softened to room temperature
- Beat on high with an electric mixture until the butter is fluffy and almost white in colour. About 5 minutes
- On medium speed and in 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste and 4 tbsp of heavy cream. If you don’t have vanilla bean paste add in 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract instead
- Gradually add in 4 1/2 cups of icing sugar about 3/4 cup at a time and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. About another 5 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally
- Use a piping bag with a frosting tip to frost the cupcakes
If you don’t have a piping bag or fancy frosting tips not to worry. Simply use a large Ziploc Bag. Fill the bag with the frosting seal tightly removing as much air in the bag as possible. Then at one end of the bottom cut one of the corners off. Start small and make the hole bigger as needed. This will replicate a large round tip!
can you make cupcakes ahead of time?
Cupcakes can absolutely be made ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container with lots of room for up to 2 days unfrosted. I recommend a large flatter container slightly higher than the cupcake. I don’t recommend stacking them because the tops as they cool tend to get sticky and they will look messy when pulled apart. Give them lots of room to breathe. Storing in the fridge tends to dry them out so just leave them in the container on the counter.
Try and frost them within a day or two. Frosted they can sit on the counter in a sealed container for up to a week but I find they are best eaten within 4 days… which never seems to be a problem in my house.
Can You Freeze Cupcakes?
It is important that the cupcakes are completely cooled before freezing. Then when cooled put in a large airtight container again all on one layer and gently place in the freezer. Ensure that the container is in a sturdy safe place in the freezer so the cupcakes don’t get turned upside down or crushed. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use simply defrost on the counter and frost them within a day.
I do not recommend frosting the cupcakes before freezing.
These cupcakes are so delicious I was licking the batter left on the ice cream scoop. Please note: I do not recommend this because there are uncooked eggs in the batter. But for me, I couldn’t help myself! You can keep them simple with just the frosting or jazz them up with a small gingerbread man, sprinkles, decorative sugars or some small iced gingersnaps. Enjoy!
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting
- Large Bowl
- Medium bowl
- Muffin Tin
- Hand Mixer
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Ice Cream Scoop
- Piping Bag
- Optional – Frosting Tip
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 egg
- ½ cup milk room temperature
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups pastry flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
Vanilla Bean Frosting
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 4 ½ cups icing sugar
- 4 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl use a hand mixer on medium speed to cream together the butter and brown sugar until it is light and fluffy.
- Add in one egg, 1/2 cup room temperature milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 cup molasses and beat on medium speed until well combined.
- In a medium bowl mix together 1 1/2 cups pastry flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
- Slowly pour flour mixture into the molasses mixture and continue to beat with a hand mixer on medium speed just until combined well.
- Use an ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Then remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool completely.
- Prepare vanilla bean frosting.
Vanilla Bean Frosting
- In a large bowl add 1 1/2 cups of softened unsalted butter and beat with a hand mixer on medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy and nearly white in colour. About 5 minutes.
- Add in 4 tbsp of heavy cream and 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste. Continue to beat on medium while slowly adding in the 4 1/2 cups of icing sugar. Continue to beat until the frosting looks light and fluffy scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. About 5-6 minutes
- Frost completely cooled cupcakes and decorate with a small gingerbread man, sprinkles or decorative sugar.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How To Make Butter Smothered Green Beans & Cashews Story.