Spiced gingerbread cupcakes with tangy and fluffy cream cheese frosting. A festive cupcake perfect for Christmas time!
It doesn’t really much more festive than these homemade gingerbread cupcakes! Lightly spiced with festive flavour packed into each bite, these cupcakes are just perfect for the season!
I’ve revamped a classic sponge recipe by adding light brown sugar for a delicious caramel taste, and festive spices for warmth. The frosting is my go-to cream cheese frosting. It’s completely fail-proof and works perfectly every single time I make it. I use mascarpone for a slightly creamier consistency and it also makes the frosting lighter. Together they are the perfect Christmas combination without being too sweet. A quick note: if you want you can half the frosting, as it makes an ample amount – but if you like a generous portion of frosting just make the whole recipe as I’ve written it.
When I first tested these cupcakes out we ate them warm with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with toffee sauce – sounds delicious, right? These cupcakes are very versatile, so you can serve them either warm or at room temperature. I personally think serving one of these warm with a generous scoop of ice cream on the side, whipped cream or custard would make a super indulgent dessert!
To decorate the cupcakes I used these adorable mini gingerbread men that I found at the supermarket. But feel free to decorate with your own homemade gingerbread, or simply with sprinkles. These are sure to be a hit with your family and friends at Christmas.
150g unsalted butter, softened
150g dark or light brown sugar
3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
4 tablespoons (60ml) milk
Cream Cheese Frosting:
60g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
400g full-fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for an hour to soften
- To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 180 C /160 Fan. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix to incorporate. Sift together the flour and spices and add to the batter. Continue to beat until no lumps of flour remain, then finally stir through the milk.
- Equally distribute the cupcake batter between the paper liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and when inserted into the centre a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
- To make the frosting: Cream the softened butter in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes to soften. Now add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla and starting on a low speed mix to combine. Continue to cream for 5 minutes or until really pale in colour – stop the mixer halfway through to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Once creamed add the softened cream cheese. Turn the mixer up and whisk on high speed for approximately 2-3 minutes or until the frosting is creamy, thick and smooth. You need to use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the a whisk attachment to make sure the frosting reaches the correct consistency.
- Pipe the cupcakes with the frosting and then decorate just before serving with mini gingerbread men, gingerbread sprinkles or any your other favourite sprinkles.
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