A holiday recipe in under 30 minutes? You’ve got it with these gingerbread muffins! They are fluffy, tender and flavored with holiday spices. They make the perfect cozy treat for a snowy morning by the fireside.

gingerbread muffin with a bite stacked on top of another gingerbread muffin.

This is a quick and simple recipe that will put you in the holiday mood—gingerbread muffins! They are so easy to make and turn out fluffy, soft and full of spice. A generous sprinkle of sugar on top makes each muffin irresistible. You’re going to love this recipe!

Why this recipe works

You don’t need an electric mixer to make these muffins and they are ready in less than 30 minutes. There is a blend of seasonal spices, which is complemented by a touch of molasses and brown sugar. The secret ingredient here is a teaspoon of cocoa powder, which brings out the gingerbread flavor!

Ingredient notes

gingerbread muffins ingredients in bowls labeled with text.
  • Molasses: Use unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap) for this recipe.
  • Brown sugar: The sugar brings sweetness and complements the molasses. Light or dark brown sugar will work.
  • Spices: Make sure your spices are fresh, not expired, for best results.
  • Cocoa powder: a touch of unsweetened cocoa powder is the secret to bringing out the gingerbread flavor.
  • Sour cream: This is what makes a moist and tender texture. Full fat is best. Plain yogurt is a good substitute.

Recipe variations

Everyone loves a muffin with a little streusel on top! Use the crumble from my apple muffins recipe to add some topping to your gingerbread muffins. You can also mix in to the batter 1/2 cup chocolate chip or chopped nuts after combining the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Raisins or dried cranberries would work too!

For extra sweetness, add a maple glaze by whisking together 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1 tablespoon milk. An orange or lemon glaze would work too (replace maple syrup with fresh orange juice or lemon juice).

Mini muffins are great for the kids or entertaining guests. Fill a mini muffin tin with batter, about 3/4 full, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. This recipe also doubles easily or can be made into a gingerbread loaf.

How to make gingerbread muffins

photo collage demonstrating how to make gingerbread muffins.
  1. Whisk dry ingredients: Flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and spices. Set aside.
  2. Mix wet ingredients: Melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, egg, sour cream and milk.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Transfer muffin batter to prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top.
  4. Bake at 400° F for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs.

Expert tips

I suggest using a kitchen scale to weigh ingredients (it’s more accurate than measuring). If you don’t have a scale, spoon your flour into a measuring cup and level it with a knife (don’t pack it in). Also, be sure all ingredients are at room temperature unless otherwise noted. This helps create a smooth batter for tender muffins.

Avoid over mixing the batter when combining the wet and dry ingredients to prevent dense muffins. When they are done baking, turn them on their sides in the pan to prevent soggy bottoms!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make gingerbread muffins without molasses?

Yes, but molasses adds the best flavor for gingerbread. Molasses substitute is the same amount of dark corn syrup or pure maple syrup.

Can I add fresh ginger?

Yes, 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger may be mixed in with the wet ingredients.

How do you make muffins tall and fluffy?

Bake them at a high temperature. I bake all my muffins at 400° F.

How to store gingerbread muffins

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze them?

Yes. Let muffins cool completely, then store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and serving.

gingerbread muffins in an antique muffin tin in front of glass bottle of milk.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

fluffy gingerbread muffin with a bite

Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread muffins are fluffy, tender and flavored with holiday spices. They are ready in less than 30 minutes too!
5 (7 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups (312 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice, or ground cloves
  • ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ½ cup (100 g) packed dark or light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (180 mL) unsulphured molasses, (not blackstrap)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60 g) full fat sour cream (or plain yogurt), room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 mL) low-fat or whole milk, room temperature
  • Coarse sugar, such as pure cane sugar for sprinkling on top

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa and spices. Set aside
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, egg, sour cream and milk until well combined. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to transfer batter to prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top if desired. Bake at 400° F for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freeze muffins in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before bringing to room temperature.
High altitude adjustments (Denver, CO 5,820 ft): The recipe above is written for sea level. If you are baking at high altitude, oven temperature and baking times may vary. I made these ingredient adjustments. Decrease baking soda to 3/4 teaspoon. Decrease sugar by 1 Tablespoon. Add 1 Tablespoon milk.
Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 282kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 214mg, Potassium: 383mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 304IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 79mg, Iron: 2mg

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