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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingergread Cupcakes
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at 

We love gingerbread cookies at our house. We love them so much that over the holidays we just can’t get enough. Spicy and soft with just the right amount of icing, my grandkids always pick the biggest cookies (of course) and their first bite is always the head or tail, depending on the shape.

Grandchild Holding a Gingerbread Cupcake

The adults in my family love gingerbread as well, but a cookie after a holiday meal just isn’t enough for us. Enter the gingerbread cupcake. It has all the qualities of the cookie in a cakey, spicy, little serving for one. Topped with cinnamon-flavored cream cheese frosting, these diminutive treats are the perfect ending to a holiday meal. I’ve added lots of spice by way of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove — so there’s plenty of flavor going on inside the cake. The fluffy cream cheese icing is even spiked with cinnamon. Inside the cake is plenty of molasses and butter to keep things moist. I’ve kept it simple and omitted raisins or nuts, but you could definitely add soaked white raisins and chopped walnuts to change things up.

I used a pastry bag to pipe the icing, but these would even look pretty with the icing simply slathered with a spatula. I purchased glittery stars on toothpicks too, but you could use little gingerbread men, gingerbread stars or even candied ginger as a garnish. Even without a garnish, a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top will do the trick.

As special as these treats are, they would be even more spectacular with a flute of Champagne or sparkling wine. To help you choose, Heinen’s has all kinds of bubbly to choose from. With rosé, to slightly sweet, dry and everything in between, there’s a bottle that will go with these little cakes.

Gingerbread Cupcake Birds-Eye View

If ever there was a dessert that shouts the holidays, it is these gingery cupcakes. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Start-to-Finish: 1 hour 30 minutes
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes

It’s that easy: I use plastic disposable pastry bags when icing cakes and cookies. That way I just toss the bag in the garbage when I’m done with no washing. Just be sure to remove the tip to use again. My favorite tip is a Magic 7ST.


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, enough to make a spreadable frosting


For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, allspice and clove. Whisk gently to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and butter and beat with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined before adding the next.
  4. Reduce the speed and blend in the vanilla and molasses, scraping the sides and bottom so all is combined evenly.
  5. Scoop the flour mixture into the wet ingredients by the 1/2 cupful along with 1/3 of the milk, adding dry and wet and beat on medium-low speed until all is combined and completely mixed.
  6. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups. Divide the batter evenly among the cups, (an ice cream scoop works nicely) filling them no more than 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  7. Make the frosting (see below) and pipe it onto the cupcakes using a pastry bag with a fluted tip or ice them generously with a spatula. Garnish the cupcakes with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Keep in a cool place. Cupcakes can be made up to two days before serving.

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Lower the mixer speed and add the sugar in 1/2 cup increments until the consistency is just right.
  2. Stir in the cinnamon and a little milk if the frosting is too thick.

Gingerbread Cupcake Close-Up

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Carla Snyder in her kitchen
By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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