These cupcakes are full of rich delicious baking spices perfect for the holidays or any day of the year! Topped with a decadent mocha buttercream frosting. So good!
For our Christmas Eve dinner one year, I was just about to make some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcakes, when I decided at the last minute that I needed to make something more infused with holiday spirit -- and holiday flavors. So I grabbed some extra ingredients and whipped up a batch of gingerbread cupcakes instead. They turned out great!
I've since made this recipe several times. It's fantastic all year round - not just the holidays!
For this recipe, feel free to use more or less of the spices (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves) as your palette prefers. I love the taste of ginger (and the smell of gingerbread baking!) so I used a healthy amount.
Mocha Buttercream Frosting
I've noticed that a lot of gingerbread cupcake recipes include a lemon cream cheese frosting, so I made a batch with some lemon buttercream frosting as well. However, for me, the lemon flavor can be overpowering and a little too zesty when paired with gingerbread. The sweetness of the mocha definitely helps balance out the ginger spice mix of these cupcakes.
Make it gluten-free
One reader, Chris, posted how she made these cupcakes gluten-free: "Made them using Bob's Red Mill GF All-Purpose flour + 1 tsp xanthan gum, otherwise followed your recipe exactly. NOM NOM NOM." - Chris
More baking recipes you'll love
- The Best Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Mini Gingerbread Bundt Cakes
- Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting
For the Cupcakes:
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 3 eggs
- 2⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Make the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350° degrees.
- Lightly grease one 12 cup muffin/cupcake tin or line with cupcake liners.
- In a mixer on medium speed, mix the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar until light and fluffy, stopping to scrap the mixture from the sides a couple of times in between. Slowly add in molasses. Then add one egg at a time and mix until combined.
- In a separate large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour through salt) well with a whisk.
- Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly add in ¼ of the dry mixture until mostly blended, then add ¼ cup of milk, then alternate adding dry mixture and milk until completely blended. Add vanilla and mix until just blended.
- Scoop cupcake mix into prepared muffin tins, filling each about ¾ full. You will have some left over for 3 – 5 regular size cupcakes in another batch, so if you have 2 muffin tins you can bake those at the same time, or simply do two batches.
- Bake at 350° degrees for 20-27 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling racks to cool completely.
Make the Frosting
- In a standing mixer, mix butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and salt until just blended.
- Add milk and vanilla.
- Add remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until all blended.
- Add the dissolved instant coffee.
- Add powdered cocoa powder. Turn mixer to high speed and mix frosting until it is smooth & fluffy.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.