These fantastically festive gingerbread cupcakes are the essence of a delicious gingerbread biscuit, turned into a cupcake! Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg take starring roles along with tasty cream cheese frosting in a combination that makes these cakes irresistable.
I love cupcakes (as you know) but when it comes to combinations that I crave, I would usually choose a chocolate or vanilla cupcake. I was blown away by just how tasty these Gingerbread Cupcakes were – and everyone who tasted them agreed with me! I realise that there are a few stages – cake, frosting and gingerbread men – so if the idea of making your own gingerbread men on top of baking cupcakes seems a little exhausting, just buy some of the ready made mini ones that they seem to sell in all the supermarkets nowadays!
This recipe is based on one from the Hummingbird Bakery Book Cake Days.
The little Gingerbread men sprinkles were from a local shop to me – the Cake Decorating Company, and luckily you can buy them here! You can get a cute mini Gingerbread man cookie cutter from various places, such as Amazon,
- 140g unsalted butter
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 100g dark muscavado sugar
- 100g golden syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 310g plain flour
- 1tbsp cocoa powder
- 1tbsp ground ginger
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1tsp grated nutmeg
- pinch cloves
- pinch salt
- 2tsp baking powder
- 240ml hot milk
- 100g unsalted butter
- 250g cream cheese
- 500g icing sugar
- 175g plain flour
- half tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- half tsp ground cinnamon
- 60g unsalted butter
- 85g golden caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- To decorate: Gingerbread men sprinkles
- For the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 190c/gas 5/375f and prepare two cupcake tins with cases, as well as the bowl of a stand mixer (you can of course also make these cupcakes with good old fashioned elbow grease!). Combine the unsalted butter with your sugars and mix until everything is well combined. Add in the eggs and golden syrup and mix well, and then sift (or whisk once in the bowl!) together the flour, spices, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Gradually add the flour mix to the butter-sugar-eggs mix, alternating it with the hot milk (I just microwaved mine in the microwave until tepid). Stir thoroughly to incorporate all the ingredients, and then spoon around a tablespoon and a half into each cupcake case - they should be around two thirds full.
- Pop the cupcakes into the oven for 18-20 minutes, removing them to cool once a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Heat the butter in the microwave until very runny, but not completely liquid/melted - if that makes sense! Use a whisk to mix up the butter thoroughly and get rid of any lumpy bits, before whisking in the cold cream cheese thoroughly until everything is combined.
- Holding a sieve over the bowl, sieve in the icing sugar, around a 150g at a time, then stir gently (or icing sugar will go EVERYWHERE) until its all combined. Continue until all the icing sugar is incorporated and then set aside (or pop into the fridge) so that the frosting is thick and ready to use.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda) into a bowl and then add the very soft (almost at melting point) butter. Fork or whisk the butter in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and then add in the sugar. Beat the egg and mix in the golden syrup, and then add that to the flour-butter-sugar mixture. Form the mixture into a dough, wrap in clingfilm and pop into the fridge for around 20 minutes.
- Once its ready, roll out the dough on a very generously floured counter and cut out your gingerbread shapes. Bake on a well greased tray at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking tray.
- Frost each cupcake with about a tablespoon and a half of frosting and use either a small offset palette knife or a regular knife to smooth the edges and create a dip in the middle. Pop a gingerbread man into the centre of each cupcake (some of mine went in upside down for fun!) and sprinkle with gingerbread man sprinkles. Finish with a dusting of ginger and cinnamon, or leave bare (gettit?!) if you prefer.
- The Gingerbread men recipe is based on one from BBC Food
The process of making these is just such a festive, Sunday-afternoon type activity – your whole house will smell of festive spices! I could definitely see these being a welcome inclusion to any Christmas eve as the festive anticipation grows – they are so fun to make, especially if you have kids!