Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist, spicy and delicious gingerbread cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting are perfect for this holiday season. Nothing conjures up great memories of baking holiday goodies in the kitchen with my mom more than gingerbread. The spicy, house warming smell that emanates from the oven while these are baking is incredible. Cupcakes have the ability to bring a smile to everyone’s face, they are everyone’s favorite little indulgences. These festive cupcakes are sure to be a hit with adults and children at your next holiday gathering.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist, spicy and delicious gingerbread cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting are perfect for this holiday season.

Yield: 22 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
22 3-inch gingerbread men

For Cinnamon Cream Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with baking cup liners.
In a large bowl, sift together flour and spices; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light, about 3 minutes. Beat in the molasses until incorporated. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Add flour and mix on low speed until just combined.
Fill the cupcake papers three-quarters full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cupcakes cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the cinnamon cream frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
Place frosting into a large decorators decorating bag fitted with the 1M decorating tip and approximately 1/4″ above cupcake top at a 90° angle to cupcake surface, pipe a spiral of icing, beginning at the outer edge and working inward. Top with a gingerbread man.

Source: adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

64 Responses to “Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. #
    Alicia H. — December 16, 2010 @ 7:55 am

    These are so cute! You did a great job!

    • Christina replied: — December 16th, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

      Thanks!! 🙂

  2. #
    The Food Hound — December 16, 2010 @ 8:26 am

    Mmmmmm, cinnamon frosting!! We are stuck at home for a few hours due to an ice storm, so maybe these will be a nice treat this morning 🙂 Have to make these! Gingerbread and cinnamon are some of my fave flavors!

    • Christina replied: — December 16th, 2010 @ 10:48 pm

      Oh no, ice storms are the worst! We got several inches of snow last night and my commute into work today was crazy! It didn’t even look like they plowed the roads. Gotta love winter, right?

  3. #
    HappyWhenNotHungry — December 16, 2010 @ 9:16 am

    These cupcakes look delicious! That cinnamon frosting looks so yummy too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Christina replied: — December 16th, 2010 @ 10:48 pm

      The cinnamon frosting is perfect on these cupcakes! Yummy!!

  4. #
    Kristen — December 16, 2010 @ 9:54 am

    The cinnamon frosting was an excellent idea for the gingerbread cupcakes! I haven’t made gingerbread anything this year yet and I need to get to it. =)

    • Christina replied: — December 16th, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

      Yeah you do! 😉 I love gingerbread anything!

  5. #
    Nancy — December 16, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    They look amazing!!! Should I add baking powder or baking soda?

    • Christina replied: — December 16th, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

      Thank you! 🙂 The beaten eggs in this recipe are the only leavening agent, as they incorporate air into the batter, which will expand in the oven and cause the cake to rise. Many cake/cupcake recipes use beaten eggs as their only source of leavening. Also, beating the room temperature butter and sugar together for three minutes incorporates a lot of air into the batter as well. You will end up with delicious domed cupcakes just the same as recipes that include baking soda and/or baking powder.

      • Thea M. replied: — December 11th, 2011 @ 9:39 am

        Mine didn’t work! The eggs were still slightly on the cool side. Could that have been the problem? I followed the recipe pretty exactly. They just didn’t rise, which was disappointing (especially because of how good the house smelled!)

        • Christina replied: — December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

          Using cool eggs was the most likely culprit. Room temperature eggs whisk to higher volumes and ensure that the cupcakes rise properly when baked.
          If you forget to take your eggs out of the refrigerator, you can warm them up quickly by placing them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. If you end up giving them another shot I would love to know how they turn out for you! 🙂

  6. #
    Felice — December 16, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

    What a great combination – gingerbread and cinnamon frosting. I like the idea of something with these flavors that is not a cookie. Yum!

  7. #
    Annie — December 16, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

    I love the idea of cinnamon cream cheese frosting! I’ve never had it but it sounds so good!

    • Christina replied: — December 16th, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

      They were delicious! 🙂

  8. #
    Peggy — December 16, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

    I love these cupcakes! They are definitely so darn cute and I bet they were mighty tasty!

  9. #
    ezsrecipes — December 16, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

    I swear you have outdone yourself, every time I see your work I am in awe of you! They’re SO adorable, and with all the recipes I am seeing out there for gingerbread, I need to make some soon, it sounds sooooo good! I hope all is well, haven’t heard from you in a while! 🙂

    • Christina replied: — December 16th, 2010 @ 10:45 pm

      Thank you so much! You are too sweet! 🙂 Everything is going well…I have been soooo busy and stressed lately. My husband will be finishing his fellowship in June and has been going on job interviews all over the country and it is stressing me out not knowing where we might be moving to! Wherever we go will be great, it just makes me crazy not knowing. I feel like to can’t plan anything. Oh well, we will know soon enough! 🙂

  10. #
    huntfortheverybest — December 16, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

    yum! i love the gingerbread boy on top!

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  12. #
    Jenny — December 18, 2010 @ 3:56 am

    Delicious! I love the colours…

  13. #
    Lucie — December 18, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    The topping is a great idea–it really dresses up the cupcake! Sounds like a great dessert to bring to a holiday party!

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  15. #
    shannon — December 19, 2010 @ 10:54 am

    Too cute! These are perfect for the holidays! Congrats on food buzz top 9!!!

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  17. #
    Hannah — December 21, 2010 @ 3:09 am

    this looks utterly divine and oh so desirable!

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  19. #
    Kathleenmckenna — December 22, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

    has anyone made these with less butter? 3 sticks seems like a lot…

  20. #
    Kendra — December 23, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

    Can some please tell me how many these make and how much cupcakes will the frosting cover? (:

    • Christina replied: — December 24th, 2010 @ 10:56 am

      The recipe will make 22 regular size cupcakes and enough frosting to cover them all. 🙂

  21. #
    Rose Gold — December 31, 2010 @ 12:11 am

    These are so cute. I like the gingerbread man toppings and the Cinnamon cream cheese frostings makes it more yummier.

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  25. #
    Susannah — December 7, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

    wow these look adorable, was going to make them tonight but I realized I don’t have ground cloves, could I make them without it?

    • Christina replied: — December 8th, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

      You can omit the cloves and add the same amount of cinnamon. I hope you enjoy the cupcakes! Let me know how they turn out for you! 🙂

  26. #
    Camille — December 11, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    Can you make these ahead of time? I would like to make this frosting for cupcakes I’m taking to co-workers tomorrow.

    • Christina replied: — December 11th, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

      Yes, you can make the frosting ahead of time. I hope you enjoy the frosting….it is one of my favorites! 🙂

  27. #
    Suzanne — December 16, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    it says 1 1/2 cups butter and three sticks in brackets? Im making them as we speak, just wondering which one it is?:)

    • Christina replied: — December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

      Each stick of butter is 1/2 cup, I put the 3 sticks in brackets to tell how many full sticks to use. 3 sticks of butter equals 1 1/2 cups of butter. I hope you enjoyed the cupcakes! 🙂

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  29. #
    christina — December 16, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

    Love these! They’re so cute. I just tried baking these cupcakes today. Is it normal that my toothpick came out clean but, it still looks kind of wet on top in the centers? I’m thinking because of all the butter? They also didn’t come out domed shaped was flat. Any idea what I might have done wrong?

  30. #
    sarahgoescountry — December 18, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that I used your cupcakes as inspiration for my Christmas Gingerbread Cake!
    You can check it out here:

    It was absolutely delicious!

  31. #
    Jean — December 21, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    These sound delish and I am going to make them but was wondering if I could make it a a loaf because I am already making blueberry crumble muffins? If so, how long should I bake it for without it being dry? Thanks!!

    • Christina replied: — December 22nd, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

      I have never tried making this recipe into a cake or loaf before, but I bet it would be great! I would bake them in a preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. If you give it a try I would love to know how they turn out! 🙂

      • Jean replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

        Thanks! I did make this as a loaf. I baked it for 50 minutes then when it cooled covered it with the frosting. Let me just say YUM!! Not only will this be my only gingerbread recipe but I ate the left over frosting with a spoon! Well worth those extra pounds that I now have to take off!

        • Christina replied: — January 4th, 2012 @ 9:45 am

          I am so glad to hear that it turned out! Definitely worth those extra pounds! 😉 I have to try making it in a loaf form now!

  32. #
    Shay — December 21, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    Wow, I’m not a big fan of cinnamon, but my boyfriend loves it. Eh. This was such a good treat for him!! Thanks so much 🙂

  33. #
    Alexandra — December 21, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    Is the batter supposed to be a little thick? It looks more like cookie dough than cupcake batter. Either way, it smells divine so I’m sure they will be delicious 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Christina replied: — December 21st, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

      This batter is very thick. I hope you enjoy them…let me know how they turn out for you! 🙂

  34. #
    Bridgett — December 22, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

    I made only half of the recipe. The flavor is great but the cupcakes came out a little hard. Should I just make a full batch from now on and refrigerate? Also, my icing came out drippy even though I made the full recipe. I’m not sure where I went wrong. Can you help me? I wanted to make more for Christmas. 🙂

    • Christina replied: — December 22nd, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

      I hate that the cupcakes came out a little hard. I have halved the recipe before and never had that problem, so that shouldn’t be a reason they turned out hard. If you over-stir the batter it can make the cupcakes come out dry and hard. You only want to mix the ingredients until just combined, you can even have a few streaks of flour showing. You should also check the temperature of your oven. Some do not heat up to the proper temperature or they have cool spots causing them to under-bake/over-bake. That could also be a reason they did not turn out well. As for the frosting, how warm was your cream cheese? If a recipe calls for softened cream cheese I cut it into small pieces and let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before I proceed with the recipe. I find that if I let it sit much longer then that the icing can turn out drippy. If you give them a try again for Christmas, let me know how it turns out! 🙂

      • Bridgett replied: — December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

        Thank you! I’ll give it a shot. 🙂

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  37. #
    Lauren — September 9, 2012 @ 3:12 am

    What is the yield for this recipe? How many cupcakes did it make, they look so yummy cant wait to try it!!

    • Christina replied: — September 10th, 2012 @ 9:17 pm


      This recipe makes about 22 cupcakes. If you give them a try I would love to hear how they turn out for you! 🙂

  38. #
    Chris — December 6, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    I found this on Pinterest and making them for the first time to take to a Holiday Cupcake Exchange (they looked too good to resist). If the batter is any indication of how they’ll taste, they’re awesome.
    On an aside, it’s ironic that I was a teacher named Christine, who has a husband in the medical field (finished fellowship in 2007 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your recipes…. Happy Holidays.

  39. #
    Lisa — December 14, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

    I made these today and 30 minutes seemed awfully long for cupcakes so I reduced the time to 25 minutes, and they were starting to harden around the edges when I took them out. I would highly recommend baking these for 22 minutes.

  40. #
    Heather — December 22, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

    Just made these for a Christmas party. They are AMAZING!! The thick batter made me kinda nervous but they came out great! Thanks for the recipe! Oh I did get more than 22 cupcakes and I had to double the frosting recipe.

  41. #
    Gabby — January 7, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

    These cupcakes are AMAZING! I made these for a Christmas party and they were a hit! People keep asking me to make some more, even though the holidays are over. I only spread the frosting on top (especially because the cream cheese has such a strong taste), so i have a huge amount left over. If you don’t plan on using a lot of frosting, i recommend making only half a batch of frosting. Or you could simply make another batch or save it for another day. 🙂

    • Christina replied: — January 8th, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing how the cupcakes turned out for you Gabby! I’m so happy to hear that everyone enjoyed them! 🙂

  42. #
    Amy — November 29, 2014 @ 8:54 pm

    Just wondering for the sugar is it castor sugar or brown sugar to use for the cupcakes?

    • Christina replied: — December 10th, 2014 @ 6:40 am

      Hi Amy,

      For this recipe you will need regular everyday granulated sugar for the cupcakes. I hope you enjoy the cupcakes, they are one of my favorites this time of year! If you give them a try I would love to hear how they turn out! 🙂

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