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.
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...
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.