Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

To me, it’s not Christmas without gingerbread. Making it fills your kitchen (or entire loft) with an unmistakable aroma. The warm and spicy scent of homemade gingerbread makes me want to do silly Christmas things like make paper garland, and watch holiday movies. Actually, that’s exactly what happened. We ate cupcakes, and made paper garland while watching my favorite seasonal movie….”Elf.” I blame it all on the cupcakes. They were so festive, they inspired spontaneous shower caroling and puppy waltzing. If you’re needing a bit of silly holiday fun, perhaps a batch of these little cuties will be just the thing.

I really enjoyed the combination of the lemon frosting with the gingerbread, but next time I think I’ll stick with a simple cream cheese frosting. I absolutely love gingerbread, and found myself wishing I could taste the spices a bit more through the tangy lemon frosting. If you’re a purist like me, you may prefer a simpler frosting.

On a side note…how cute are those sprinkles? I found them at our local cooking shop in the sale section, and just couldn’t resist. They’re actually what inspired this batch of goodies. Nothing goes better with tiny gingerbread man sprinkles than gingerbread cupcakes.

(Recipe adapted from Epicurious) Yields 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (Or 1/2 stick butter. I used oil for a moister cuppie)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Cupcake Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F
  • Into a bowl sift together the flour, the ground ginger, the cinnamon, the cloves, the allspice, and the salt.
  • In another bowl mix sugar and oil
  • Beat in the molasses and the egg, until smooth
  • In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1/2 cup boiling water and stir the mixture to dissolve the baking soda.
  • Stir the water and baking soda into the molasses mixture (the mixture will appear curdled)
  • Slowly mix in flour and spices, stirring to combine
  • Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners and spoon the batter into the liners, filling them halfway.
  • Bake the cupcakes in the middle of your oven for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (The cupcakes will be flat or slightly indented on top.)
  • Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let them cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used low fat)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Frosting Directions:

  • In a bowl cream together the cream cheese, and 2 tablespoons butter
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and beat the mixture until it is fluffy and smooth.
  • Beat in the zest and the lemon juice and chill the frosting for 30 minutes
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