Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Okay, there are SO many reasons why I love these cupcakes, and one particular reason that I am discussing gingerbread in what is not usually gingerbread season.  First and most importantly, the cupcake part is a light, spicy, molasses and ginger bundle of wonderfulness. And the frosting.  I barely have words for the frosting.  Okay…here are some words: Cinnamon.  Cream cheese.  Sugar.  Butter.  All together in one frosting.  You will have to resist the temptation to eat the frosting before it even makes it to the top of the cupcake…but try!

Here’s another reason: this cupcake recipe was born at the mouthwatering Georgetown Cupcake, whose first location was and is in the beautiful Georgetown area of Washington DC. And as a proud graduate of Georgetown University (English major, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of never-you-mind) this makes me love Georgetown Cupcake even more than I ordinarily would have.

There it is…my alma mater!  Excuse me while I go sing the fight song.  Please click here if you would like to join me!  Which brings me to the other reason I am writing about gingerbread cupcakes, and that’s my dad.

Georgetown University, School of Business, Class of never-you-mind-that-either, and the most enthusiastic Hoya that I know.  It was recently his birthday, and I wanted to make him a birthday dessert that he would love, and hard as this may be to believe, the guy is not a fan of chocolate.  Nope.  Crazy, I know.  What DOES he love?  Gingerbread.  (This is all coming together, right?  I always get there.  Eventually.)  So I made him these Georgetown Cupcake gingerbread cupcakes, and where did I get the recipe?  They have a new cookbook!  Yes!!

Which brings me to my last reason for loving these cupcakes…in this book I got to read not only about their amazing cupcake creations, but also about how they were inspired by their grandmother.  My favorite recipe on this entire blog is the molasses cookie recipe I got from my own grandmother, and so this book struck such a chord with me.  Which pretty much meant I HAD to give away a couple of copies of this one…and so here we go.

Leave me a comment telling me a favorite family recipe that you love.  It can be cupcakes or pot roasts or even the peanut butter and jelly sandwich your mama made you when you were a kid.  Then on Sunday I’ll post up two lucky winners of two wonderful Cupcake Diaries cookbooks.  And in the meantime, if you get a hankering for gingerbread in the off-season, you can’t do better than this recipe!

This giveaway is now closed…but you can still enjoy making these cupcakes!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves: 12-16 cupcakes
Cupcake Ingredients
  • 2¾ cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups molasses
  • 1 cup hot water
Frosting Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Cinnamon sugar for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a standard cupcake pan with twelve paper baking cups. (Note: The original recipe calls for a 12 cupcake tin but I ended up with enough batter for 16 cupcakes, so you might have an additional pan ready as well!)
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients except for the brown sugar and set aside.
  3. Cream the brown sugar and butter together in a mixer for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the molasses, mixing until well-incorporated.
  5. Add one third of the dry ingredients, followed by ⅓ of the water and mix thoroughly. Repeat, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the last of the dry ingredients and the water and mix thoroughly. Batter will not be that thick - don't worry!
  6. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups using an ice cream scoop and filling almost to the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (start checking at 15 minutes.) Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
To make frosting
  1. Place all ingredients in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until well-combined. Frost cupcakes with a knife, or with a frosting bag fitted with a large round tip. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar.

Recipe adapted just a little from THE CUPCAKE DIARIES


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  1. Sarita Zaffini says

    My mother made the most amazing poppy seed rolls – like cinnamon rolls only thick and moist with poppy seeds. I would unravel them as I ate :) I’ve never found the recipe, or anything similar. :(

  2. anne says

    my grandma used to make these mini chocolate cupcakes filled with a cheesecake/cream cheese sort of filling. i have her recipe, which just lists ingredients but no instructions. but i am getting closer, through trial and error, at recreating them!

  3. Rachel Adcock says

    Baked Brie…whenever my husband would come back from being out to sea in the Navy, it was tradition that Baked Brie would be the first home cooked meal me got (yeah, I know its not exactly a mean, but throw in some salad, crusty bread and a bottle of wine and we’re in business!!)!

  4. Mel says

    My mother’s rolls are the most amazing rolls I have ever had. Unfortunately she doesn’t use a recipe and has been very unsuccessful in trying to write one done. But they are the most amazingly moist and soft and melt in your mouth yummy rolls.

  5. Joline says

    When I was little, my favorite family recipe was for “patty shells”, which are essentially crispy waffles made from dipping cast iron shapes in a thin elephant ear like mixture, frying them until golden brown and topping with powdered sugar. So yummy and so unhealthy (definitely not in my diet regime anymore…). What makes it my favorite recipe is not just the delicious results, but also the time I spent with my grandma making them :)

  6. Anne Simpson says

    My mother, being from South Louisiana makes wonderful etouffe. Either shrimp or crawfish. So delicious. Then pineapple parfaits which she freezes and are still a little icey when we eat them. To die for.

  7. skyanne says

    Growing up, I remember my great grandmother making the BEST German Chocolate Cake. Every year during holidays, birthdays, family gatherings, exc, she would bring it, and you were considered lucky if you managed to get a piece before it was all gone. Everyone was always asking what her secret was, and shortly before she passed away she let the cat out of the bag – She had been using a Duncan Heins cake mix all along! 😀

  8. says

    I have 2 recipes that are family favorites: Twice baked cornbread stuffing, with chicken liver and giblets, peppers and onions. It’s good. TRUST ME!…and my very own Shepherd’s pie, with real lumpy potatoes, cheddar cheese, mushroom soup, corn, and butter! YUM!!!

  9. says

    I come from a long line of southern women, all with a penchant for baking – which is why it’s odd that my favorite family recipe is NOT a baked dessert good! It’s actually what my grandmother (Nanny) called “Alabama Casserole” (she made it up to help ease my grandpa’s (Papa’s) homesickness when he moved from Alabama to Texas) – a decadent mixture of oven fried potatoes, four cheeses, ground beef and sweetened, condensed milk (onions optional!). Man…now I’m drooling! Healthy? NO! Delicious? YES!

  10. Nena says

    My mother made the best cornbread ever! Her biscuits were fantastic, too! I can’t seem to imitate her, but I try! :O)

  11. Rachel says

    It was always a treat when we stopped by Grandma’s after church and she was making funnel cakes dusted with powdered sugar! Everything she made was good…I suppose even her mincemeat pie was good, but I didn’t dare try it.

  12. Kim says

    My grandmother’s chrusciki, a deliciously light and crispy fried bowtie that is covered in an avalanche of powdered sugar. She only made them twice a year: Christmas and Easter and they didn’t last long. I’ve tried them in many a Polish bakery but nothing comes close. Now that she’s gone, the holidays jut aren’t the same. My chrusciki are good but they’re missing that special something…

  13. says

    My mom made the best homemade mac and cheese. It was just…SO GOOD. and I have no idea how she did it. But I’ve never had any mac and cheese that’s quite as good.

    I love gingerbread year round, all the time. especially when topped with cream cheese frosting! You have one lucky dad…

  14. Lindsey says

    One of my favorite recipes from my mom is her onion soup. My dad, who doesn’t do too much cooking, also makes a fantastic omlette.

  15. says

    I absolutely love the chocolate vanilla marble quick bread my mom used to make when I was a kid! I make it 3-4 times a year and it makes me really happy every single time.

  16. Jessica says

    My Grandmother’s spaghetti sauce! Sooo delicious, I could eat it without any pasta! She has no recipe for it but she’ll start it in the morning and cook it all day long on minimum heat and by the time supper comes along everyone in the house is drooling! She uses ingredients like carrots, bay leafs and oregano. Bon appetit!

  17. says

    My favorite family recipe is Cinnamon Rolls. My mom taught me how to make them and now I have taught my daughter. It is a very good recipe!

  18. says

    Yummy! I actually just made some gingerbread cupcakes the other day. They called for a drizzle of powdered sugar/water mix. I thought they would be ruined with that. Now I will try your recipe.

  19. georgia says

    My favorite thing to make with my mom would be chinese dumplings – steamed, fried and boiled they are all amazing.

  20. says

    Oh these would be perfect for fall get-togethers and holiday parties, pinning these to make later on :) Thanks so much. The few times I’ve been able to watch adult TV (if the TV is on it seems to always be on Nick Jr.) and have seen this show, I enjoyed it :)

    My favorite family recipe would have to be my mom’s green bean casserole. It has never missed a holiday and before I acquired recipes of my own, I always made it for potlucks. Her recipe is very simple just green beans, cream of mushroom, and then Velveeta cheese on top. My family leaves out those crispy onion things… to us they ruin the casserole which I guess is what makes my moms unique. She made the recipe originally when she and my dad, before I was born, were trying to figure out how to make green bean casserole and this is the closest thing they came up with. I think they did a good job, I don’t know if other people put cheese on top of theirs and I know no one leaves out the crispy onions but it’s been a holiday favorite for everyone since then :)

  21. Anne says

    I have a question about this recipe — why is butter listed twice under cupcake ingredients? I only see it added once into the cupcake batter. Do I add 10 T or 14T? I’d like to make these tonight for a birthday treat. Thanks!

    • Kate says

      Hi Anne – the second batch of butter is for the frosting…it missed that sub-heading but it’s fixed now. Thanks for the catch, and I hope I got the change to you in time for tonight’s cupcakes!

  22. Carrie W. says

    Not a recipe, per say, but one of my favorite family food traditions is the cinnamon-suger “sticks” my grandmother makes with the leftover scraps when she makes a pie crust. When I was younger, I wasn’t the biggest pie fan, but I knew pie meant those little delicious sticks were coming! Sometimes, if I was really lucky, I would get them ALL by trading my slice of pie for my brother’s share of the sticks! I always thought he was a sucker for agreeing to that… :-)

  23. Missy G says

    Our family favorite is broccoli casserole. It was one of the few ways my cousins and I could stand to eat broccoli when we were kids.

  24. says

    These cupcakes look amazing, and I’d love to get my hands on that sweet book! As for my favorite family recipe? There’s this Jello cheesecake that my grandma made, then mom made, and now I make it. It’s always a hit where ever it goes.

  25. Gina says

    Gram made these amazing raisin cookies. The batter is kind of like a spice cake and the raisins were boliled before adding into the batter. She gave me the recipe and it is one of those that are a pinch of this or add water until you reach this consistency… Sometimes they turn out like hers.

  26. Pin says

    My mom’s Bangladeshi-style mashed potatoes– the recipe calls for mustard oil and dried red chili peppers for a bit of a kick. Yum! I always have some when I’m home. :) (Incidentally, I live in Arlington and would go to Georgetown Cupcake everyday if it weren’t for the long lines!!)

    • Kate says

      I know! I’m always on the lookout for good ones for my dad, who is the biggest gingerbread fan I know.

  27. Jamie says

    Not sure what size cupcake tin you used, but I used a regular and I ended up with 24 cupcakes from this recipe!! I’m not complaining because they were absolutely delicious and I had more to share.

  28. Lottie says

    My grandmother would make fried squash flowers with just-picked blooms from the zucchini plants in her garden. She would coat them in eggwash them dredge in flour then sautee. Yummm. I also adore my mom’s snikerdoodle cookies! The BEST

  29. Brittany says

    I live in DC and one of my clients recently gave me a mix of Georgetown Cupcakes- best cupcake I ever had. I’ve had their cupcakes before, and thought they were okay, but this was amazing! The first thing I did was look for a recipe (they have a few published on the web and youtube, including this recipe) SO glad I found this. I would have been so disappointed if I couldn’t find it, thanks!!


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