Gingerbread cupcakes are made with seasonal spices for the ultimate holiday dessert. Top each cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and serve at your holiday parties!

This post is sponsored by Watkins. While I was compensated for my time, all opinions are my own. #sponsored

gingerbread cupcakes with paper liner unwrapped sitting on wire cooling rack

Who here has a favorite dessert they bake every holiday season? I have quite a few, but these gingerbread cupcakes always find a way to the top of the list. I’ve been using this recipe for close to a decade and my friends count on me to bake them for their holiday parties every year. Now I’m sharing the recipe with you!

I first made this recipe for my family a while back when I self-assigned myself as the bringer of desserts for the holidays. I love gingerbread, but love cupcakes more so I combined the two and topped it with my favorite cream cheese frosting. My cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and siblings were eager to try these cupcakes even after a full meal. That’s when I knew this recipe was a keeper.

three cupcakes in a row with cinnamon frosting

How to Make Gingerbread Cupcakes

Gingerbread cupcakes call for a few ingredients⁠—flour, seasonal spices, baking soda, salt, butter, molasses, brown sugar, egg and water.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Flour, spices, baking soda, salt.
  3. Beat together the butter, molasses, brown sugar and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer until light in color. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl if necessary.
  4. Alternate adding dry ingredients and water to batter. Mix just until combined.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes and your kitchen will smell like the holidays in no time.

Mini gingerbread cupcakes

To make mini gingerbread cupcakes, line a mini muffin tin with paper liners. Fill cups halfway with batter. Bake for 15 minutes. Yields approximately 32 mini cupcakes.

Gingerbread Spices

The spices are arguably the most important ingredients added to gingerbread cupcakes. They’re what make the cupcakes taste like, well, gingerbread! You need ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground cloves for this recipe. I have tried quite a few spice brands in my years of baking and by far the one I recommend is Watkins. 

My mom had Watkins‘ Pure Vanilla Extract and baking spices in her spice cabinet when I was growing up. She’s a baker herself and the inspiration for most of my recipes so I knew Watkins was “the good stuff.” Let’s just say there’s a reason the company has been around for over 150 years. I like keeping that tradition alive whether I’m baking in my apartment or in her kitchen back home for the holidays. They are high-quality ingredients you can find at your local grocery store or online.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

The perfect topping for gingerbread cupcakes is cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It’s rich, thick and has just the right amount of spice to complement the cupcakes. I took my usual cream cheese frosting recipe and added just a teaspoon of Watkins’ Organic Ground Cinnamon to it. I also used a half teaspoon of Watkins All Natural Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla® Extract. All of Watkins’ ingredients are free of artificial flavors and colors, GMOs and corn syrup, which means you get the full flavor in each bite. Bakers know that makes all the difference in a dessert.

How to store gingerbread cupcakes

Gingerbread cupcakes are best when eaten the day they are baked. However, they may be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

two gingerbread cupcakes with Watkins baking spices

If you like these cupcakes and want more gingerbread, try these recipes! Gingerbread bundt cake is a showstopper Christmas cake. It’s topped with cream cheese frosting and sugared cranberries! Gingerbread crinkle cookies are one of the top recipes on my website during the holiday season as are these cinnamon sugar gingerbread donuts.

If you’re looking for something a little less sweet, I encourage you to try my gingerbread loaf. It’s a quick bread recipe that is soft and flavorful! I also love gingerbread waffles with eggnog whipped cream.

cream cheese frosting piped onto gingerbread cupcakes

Since the first time I made these gingerbread cupcakes, I’ve lived in Connecticut, New York City, Charlotte and now Denver. No matter where I reside I make these cupcakes for my new friends and bring them to holiday parties. I also keep the tradition and bake them for my family for our holiday dinner. How do you keep traditions alive during the holidays?

gingerbread cupcakes with paper liner unwrapped sitting on wire cooling rack

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Gingerbread cupcakes are made with seasonal spices for the ultimate holiday dessert. Top each cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and serve at your holiday parties!
5 (12 ratings)


Gingerbread Cupcakes

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


Gingerbread Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg on medium-high speed until light brown, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  • With the mixer on low, add one third of the flour mixture to the melted butter mixture, then 1/4 cup water. Repeat ending with the flour mixture. Stir just until no flour pockets remain, avoid over-mixing.
  • Fill prepared muffin tin with batter until each cupcake liner is two-thirds full.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar and cinnamon, beating well. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. If frosting is not yet as a spreadable consistency, add the milk starting with one teaspoon, adding more if necessary.
  • Transfer frosting to a piping bag with desired tip. Pipe swirls on top of the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or gingerbread decoration. Store cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


Watkins products can be found at local grocery stores. Visit the Watkins’ website to learn more about the products and find a retailer near you. Follow @Watkins.1868 on Instagram, Watkins_1868 on Pinterest, @Watkins1868 on Twitter and @Watkins1868 on Facebook
mini gingerbread cupcakes in red cupcake liners with gingerbread man candy on top
Mini gingerbread cupcakes: To make mini versions of these cupcakes, fill mini muffin tin halfway with batter. Reduce baking time to 15 minutes. Yields approximately 32 mini cupcakes.
High altitude adjustments: I have baked these cupcakes at sea level (Connecticut) and tested them at high altitude (Denver, CO). Add 1 tablespoon of flour. Reduce baking soda to ¾ teaspoon. Reduce brown sugar by 2 teaspoons. Add 1 tablespoon of water. Bake at 365 F for 16 minutes.
Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 372kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 20g, Sodium: 217mg, Potassium: 273mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 685IU, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 2mg

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