Gingerbread Cupcakes topped with creamy, dreamy eggnog frosting bring together the best flavors of the holidays in every bite. They’re super easy to make and will fill your house with the aroma of cinnamon and ginger as they bake.
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Why Gingerbread Cupcakes Work
I love the holidays, mostly because of the desserts. And nothing screams Christmas time like gingerbread and eggnog. My goal with this recipe was to bring the best of both together in this delectable cupcake.
- So easy to make. Thanks to the use of a boxed cake mix, you can get these cupcakes in the oven in about 15 minutes.
- They’re moist and flavorful. The cake mix is enhanced with extra spices and molasses for tender, scrumptious cupcakes.
- Real eggnog. Eggnog in the batter and the cream cheese frosting deliver a rich holiday-inspired flavor.
Serve these Gingerbread Cupcakes with a hot cup of coffee or tea, or even with a glass of eggnog!
- Spice Cake Mix – Boxed cake mix makes this recipe extra easy. Use your favorite brand.
- Ginger – Spicy ginger adds a little kick for a real gingerbread flavor.
- Cinnamon – Adds warming spice and sweet flavor.
- Cloves – Deeply aromatic cloves enhance the gingerbread flavor.
- Nutmeg – Nutmeg brings extra flavor and spice while complementing the eggnog icing. Use fresh ground nutmeg if possible.
- Molasses – Avoid black strap molasses as it is a little too intense for these cupcakes.
- Eggnog – Store-bought or homemade eggnog will do.
- Eggs – These bind the ingredients together and add moisture.
- Cream cheese – Adds a tangy element to the frosting. Use full-fat cream cheese.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter for a rich, delicious frosting.
- Powdered sugar – Adds sweetness and structure.
- Vanilla extract – Essential for a sweet vanilla flavor. Our homemade vanilla extract is perfect for baking.
- Mix the batter. Start by whisking the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then add the liquid ingredients on top. Incorporate using an electric mixer.
- Fill the muffin tins. Use a cookie scoop to fill each lined cupcake tin about ½ full.
- Bake and cool. Bake the cupcakes for 16-18 minutes, until the top of the cupcakes spring back lightly when pressed. Then allow them to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
- Frost them. As the cupcakes cool, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and liquid ingredients a little at a time, beating the frosting until it reaches your desired consistency. Frost or pipe the icing onto the cool cupcakes and decorate.
If you’re looking to make these cupcakes part of a holiday spread, the options are endless for what to put on the snack table.
If you’re not a nutmeg fan, no problem! Feel free to use cinnamon instead.
Store frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Yes, you can make the cupcakes and frosting one day in advance and store them separately until you’re ready to assemble. The unfrosted cupcakes can be prepared one day in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Store the frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Yes, it’s best to freeze the unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container. Use them within 2 months. They’re best thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature before frosting for the best results.
Easy Holiday Desserts
- Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
- Homemade Caramels
- Butter Cookies
For the Cupcakes
- 1 box spice cake mix 15 ounce
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¾ cup eggnog
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
For the Eggnong Frosting
- 1 package cream cheese, softened 8 ounce
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon eggnog
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg for garnish, optional
- ¼ cup sprinkles for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two standard cupcake tins with liners and spray with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk cake mix, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Add molasses, eggnog, oil, and eggs and beat with an electric mixer until fully combined and smooth.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, fill each cupcake tin well, about ½ full, about ¼ cup per cupcake.
- Bake cupcakes for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean or the top of the cupcake springs back when lightly pressed.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool them in the pan for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese and softened butter in a large bowl until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and eggnog, a little at a time, until the frosting is desired consistency. Frost or pipe onto cooled cupcakes, dust with nutmeg, or decorate with sprinkles.
- Store cupcakes in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.
- Freeze unfrosted cupcakes for up to 2 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and then frost for best results.
- Only frost fully-cooled cupcakes. Wait to frost the cupcakes until they’re completely cool. This prevents the icing from melting off the sides.
- Use cupcake liners. Because of the molasses, the cake batter will be sticky. To ensure the finished cupcakes are easy to remove from the paper liners, spray the inside of them with nonstick cooking spray before filling them with batter.
- Don’t skip the extra spices. The spices added to this recipe give this cupcake that unmistakable “gingerbread spice.” If you prefer a less “spicy” cake, use half as much of each spice or omit them for a milder spice cake flavor.
- Pipe the icing for picture-perfect cupcakes. If you want to pipe the icing onto your cupcakes, I recommend using your favorite star tip.
- Measure molasses the easy way. Spray the inside of your measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray to prevent molasses from sticking to it.