What better way to begin celebrating the Christmas season than with these Gingerbread Cupcakes. Gingerbread flavour and gingerbread men just scream Christmas, they make me feel so festive and ready to curl up under a blanket on the sofa. I've infused these gingerbread cupcakes with ground ginger and mixed spice for that classic gingerbread flavour, as well as golden syrup and treacle. There's also ground ginger in the buttercream for extra yum! These Gingerbread Cupcakes are absolutely yummy and just looking at them makes me so excited for Christmas! They taste just like gingerbread biscuits in cupcake form, and they look super cute with the little men on top.
Ingredient Tips & Equipment Information
- Make sure all your ingredients (particularly the butter, milk and eggs) are at room temperature before you start baking.
- I used a baking spread for the cupcakes and unsalted butter for the buttercream.
- If you can't find light brown soft sugar, you can use all caster sugar for the cupcakes instead.
- It's much easier to weight the golden syrup and black treacle directly into the pan, with the scales underneath the pan. You can also dip your spoon into vegetable oil and then scoop out the syrup or treacle - it will then slide right off the spoon!
- The little gingerbread men decorations I used are from a brand called Culpitt. I got them on Amazon. You could also decorate with small gingerbread biscuits, or crushed gingernuts.
- Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
- For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Gingerbread Cupcakes
Start by melting the butter, light brown sugar, black treacle and golden syrup together in a pan on a low heat. Let it cool for 5 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Then add the melted butter mixture to the eggs, whisking as you pour.
In another bowl, stir together the self raising flour, ground ginger and mixed spice. Then add the butter/egg mixture and whisk everything together well.
Divide the mixture into cupcakes cases and then baked them until they are golden brown and risen.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How long do the cupcakes last for and can they be frozen?
The cupcakes will last for 2-3 days in an airtight container in a cool place. You can freeze both the cupcakes and the buttercream (but do not freeze the fondant gingerbread men). To freeze them separately, wrap the cupcakes well in cling film or put them in an airtight container. The buttercream can be frozen in a sealed tub. To freeze them decorated, freeze the cupcakes on a plate until frozen solid, then carefully wrap in cling film. Remove the clingfilm when you take the cupcakes out of the freezer to defrost, as if they defrost with it still on it could damage the buttercream.
Can you make the cupcakes with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some additional baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add 2 teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
Can the cupcakes be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free you can replace the self raising flour with a gluten free self raising flour blend. If you only have a gluten free plain flour blend, you will need to add baking powder. The general advice is to add 2 tsp baking powder per 200g flour, so for this recipe you'd need to add 2 teaspoons baking powder. You may also like to add ¼ tsp Xantham Gum for better texture. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free baking spread and dairy free milk for the cupcakes and the buttercream.
Can this recipe be made into a larger cake?
If you would like to make a this recipe into a cake, check out my Gingerbread Cake recipe!
More tips for making the Gingerbread Cupcakes:
- The shiny red cupcake cases I used are from a brand called Culpitt.
- I used a Jem 1E nozzle to pipe on the buttercream.
- The little star sprinkles are from a festive mix I got from Tesco a few years ago.
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Cupcake tin
- Electric hand mixer
- Piping bags
- Cooling rack
- Jem 1E Piping nozzle
- Red foil cupcake cases
- Gingerbread fondant toppers
- Mixed spice
*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!
More Gingerbread recipes...
- Gingerbread Baked Donuts
- Gingerbread Loaf Cake
- Ginger & Lemon Cake
- Vegan Gingerbread Men
- Gingerbread House
- Gingerbread Bonfire Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
- Vegan Gingerbread Trifles
- Gingerbread Cake with Ginger Buttercream
- Gingerbread Traybake
- Gingerbread Pavlova
- Gingerbread Men
- Gingerbread & White Chocolate Cookies
- Gingerbread Rocky Road
For the cupcakes
- 100 g Butter or baking spread
- 100 g Light brown sugar
- 115 g Golden syrup
- 35 g Black treacle (also known as molasses)
- 2 Eggs large
- 125 ml Milk
- 200 g Self raising flour
- 1 tbsp Ground ginger
- 1 tsp Mixed spice
For the buttercream
- 200 g Butter
- 400 g Icing sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Vanilla
- 1 ½ tsp Ground ginger
- ½ tbsp Milk optional, if the buttercream needs loosening
For the decoration
- Gingerbread man fondant shapes optional
- Sprinkles optional
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a cupcake tin with cases
- Melt the butter, golden syrup, light brown sugar and black treacle together in a pan on a low heat. Once it is all melted and combined, leave to cool for 10 minutes
- Whisk the eggs and milk together in a mixing bowl
- Slowly pour the butter and syrup mixture into the eggs, whisking as you pour, until everything is combined
- In another bowl, stir together the self raising flour, ground ginger and mixed spice
- Slowly pour the egg and butter mixture into the flour, whisking as your pour, until everything is combined
- Divide the mixture equally between the cupcakes cases
- Bake them for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, remove them from the tin and place them on a cooling rack to cool down fully
- To make the buttercream use an electric hand mixer to beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and ground ginger until smooth. You may need to add a splash of milk to loosen it, depending on the type of butter you use
- Pipe or spread the buttercream onto the cupcakes, then add gingerbread man icing shapes and sprinkles if desired
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for 2-3 days
If you like this, check out more of my Cupcake recipes!
Or you might like my Christmas recipes!
The recipe and photos for this post were updated in October 2020.
Life Diet Health
Oh how so absolutely adorable. My son loves gingerbread men (we just had to watch the dvd & yes it is really a thing - totally different to the story with the fox!) I think these might have to appear at our afternoon tea next weekend! Thanks so much for sharing (& linking) to Fiesta Friday ☺
Thank you! I do hope you enjoy them 🙂
These are super cute and love the flavours of ginger and mixed spices. Perfect for the coming holidays... Thank you for sharing with FF. 🙂
Thank you Trupti! I agree, they are a perfect holiday bake.
Angela / Only Crumbs Remain
These are just adoreable Kate! I couldn't agree more - they really do shout out Christmas and festive yumminess 🙂 Thankyou so much for joining in with #BakingCrumbs again this month 🙂
Thanks for hosting Angela!
These are so incredibly cute and sound like they would be delicious x
Thank you Cat!
Kate - gluten free alchemist
So cute Kat! gorgeous Autumn flavours too. I love them and your piping always looks so perfect. x
Awh thank you Kate!
These cupcakes are so cute Kat - I adore the little gingerbread men on each one. I love a ginger cupcake or muffin or cake actually lol. A ginger cake is on my to do list funnily enough! Thank you for linking to #Bakeoftheweek x
Me too Jenny, I love anything gingerbread!
How cute are these! simply adorable. Im pinning for later
Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food
Oh, my goodness! Ginger in the buttercream?! That sounds absolutely delicious. These do just scream Christmas. I love gingerbread and so does the hubster, so these are HAPPENING.
Thanks Michelle! Let me know what you think!
These incredibly festive gingerbread cupcakes are adorable, how could anyone resist. Commenting as BritMums Baking Round-up Editor. 🙂
Thank you so much Julie!
Greets from Greece 🙂
Midge @ Peachicks' Bakery
These are adorable!!! Love love gingerbread any time of year but especially now and especially in cake form! YUM!
Thank you so much! Me too, I love gingerbread!
Hi Kat! These are adorable and they look super delicious! My fiancé loves anything gingerbread. I bet he'd love these! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Dishing It & Digging It & congratulations on being featured this week!
Thank you so much for featuring me!
Kirsty Hijacked By Twins
Oh Kat what cute little cupcake toppers! These cakes sound so good, we all love gingerbread! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x
I couldn't resist them! Thank you!
These cupcakes are seriously cute. Love gingerbread.
johanna @ green gourmet giraffe
these are really cute - never seen those sprinkles but would be so tempted if I did - and I love the way your used them on these cupcakes
hi there - i would love to try out your recipe! but im not sure if i know what golden syrup is, or mixed spice? could you help me out with those two? i dont live in the states and would have to hunt for those ingredients in my neck of the ....cant say woods...more like tropics - LOL!
Hi there! Mixed spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger and mace. You could just put a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves instead. For the golden syrup you can use honey, maple syrup or corn syrup instead. I hope that helps!
I made these for my mum at Christmas and she loved them!
Aww that's great, thank you!
Made these cakes today and they are DELICIOUS! Not too sweet, not too gingery. Perfect!
Made these at the weekend, they are incredible! So light and fluffy! Even my ginger skeptical husband loved them! Delicious! Great recipes from the baking explorer! I love your site, well done!
Thank you so much for the lovely feedback Emma! I'm so pleased you both enjoyed the cupcakes 😀
hi - love the recipe - can you freeze these cupcakes ? will they stand up to being defrosted and still be as yummy ?
Hi, yes you can freeze them with or without the buttercream 🙂
Absolutely gorgeous cupcakes! Made them for my weekly work bake and they were demolished! Super fluffy sponge with the perfect amount of spice, I will 100% be making these again! 🥰
Made these cupcakes last night and they are amazing! Would love to use this recipe to make a cake, any advice on how to adjust the recipe for a cake rather than cupcakes??
Hi Amy, so glad you enjoyed the cupcakes! Yes I have a cake recipe version here: https://thebakingexplorer.com/gingerbread-cake-with-ginger-buttercream/
These are among the most delicious cupcakes I have ever tasted, let alone baked! An absolute hit, perfect for both Bonfire Night and as a festive bake. I can’t wait to make them again!
The recipe worked brilliantly and produced exactly 12 cupcakes. Totally reliable, as always. Thank you 🥰
Made these yesterday and they are absolutely delicious. Definitely going on my Christmas baking list. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe.
Hi Kat. These are a showstopper! 💕Easy recipe to follow. Just the right size. Baked for 21 mins. Very tasty and the sponge was light, moist and fluffy. Perfect balance of ingredients for deliciousness! I filled with homemade caramel sauce for an extra surprise when a bite is taken. Fabulous flavour to the buttercream also. Thank you for sharing. 😋
Thank you so much Deborah, I'm so happy you liked them and the caramel filling is a fabulous idea!
Thank you for such a absolutely brilliant recipe as always, tastes delicious just the right amount of spices. Would highly recommend this recipe especially at Christmas time!
Another really easy to follow recipe with great results!
Love love love this recipe! Always my go to for gingerbread cake mix! So simple and easy to follow just like all other recipes from the baking explorer 🙂
Thanks so much Ellie!!
Can you help me trouble shoot please? I’ve made these twice now and carefully checked everything! They rose beautifully in the over and looked great when I pulled them out, but as they cooled, they sunk (to be level) and were quite dense and stodgy when I cut them open. All the advice online wouldn’t really apply to this recipe as it’s not your traditional way of making cake. What am I doing wrong!?
Hi Georgie, there could be a few reasons why this is happening: your oven is too hot - some ovens run hotter than the dial says, so try turning the temp down a little bit and see if that changes things. Too much raising agent added - are you using self raising flour or a mix of plain flour and baking powder? If you're adding baking powder it could be too much as it can make cupcakes rise too fast, then sink as they can't support the rise. Over mixing - you don't need to use an electric mixer for this recipe, a hand whisk will do the job and will avoid any over mixing happening. I hope that helps but do let me know if you have any further questions! Ps. If you haven't already watched my recipe video it could help to watch and see my exact process.
Thanks for replying! So I tried it again with new SR flour and it was PERFECT! my flour had gone out of date but I hadn’t realised so that must have been the problem. Thanks!
Hi Georgina, I'm so happy you solved the issue and the cupcakes came out perfect for you! Thanks SO much for updating me - I really appreciate it!!
Only found this recipe a few weeks ago and the cakes are so good that I'm making them for everyone,without them asking, so they can enjoy them as much as I do. Absolutely delicious.
I'm so happy you like it so much Bev, and what lucky friends you have!
I have made these at least 6 times now, we absolutely love them, the ginger flavour is subtle. A 10/10 from my family .
Oh wow thank you Lisa, I'm so happy to hear you've made them so many times!