Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingerbread Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been baking like crazy the last few weeks. We had our office holiday party last week and I decided to use that occasion as an excuse to bake up a batch of cupcakes. I didn’t anticipate quite how much difficulty I’d have in creating a delicious gingerbread cupcake but it wasn’t until the third batch that I got one I was happy with- moist and flavorful with just the right blend of spices. Fortunately it was worth the effort and the final round of cupcakes was very well received at the holiday party.

I like the current level of spice in these cupcakes, but if you wanted to increase the spices I think these would be excellent with some chopped candied ginger folded into the batter. As written the recipe makes 12 cupcakes but feel free to double it if you need to feed a larger crowd.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. sat
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 oz. cream cheese, chilled
  • 3 tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • zest from 1 orange
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. Combine the melted butter, brown sugar and molasses and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Add the egg to the melted butter mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup of the water followed by half the dry mixture. Add the remaining water and dry ingredients, stir until smooth and well combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for about 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out cleanly. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the cupcake tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the powdered sugar. Once combined, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and orange zest. Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with additional orange zest, coarse sugar, or candied ginger. Store the cupcakes in the fridge; bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes: 12 cupcakes
Adapted from Taste of Home and Annie’s Eats

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