These adorable spiced gingerbread cupcakes are filled with festive flavour and topped with a creamy gingerbread buttercream, they’re the perfect christmas baking treat.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
The perfect festive recipe | Gingerbread is one word you’ll always associate with Christmas and these Gingerbread Cupcakes are one of the cutest and most delicious festive treats perfect for baking at this time of year.
Packed full of flavour | One easy way to fill your house with festive spirit is to bake with the key gingerbread spices. Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves and THE smells and flavours we all need at this time of year.
Great for gifting | Of course whilst I advocate that these should be baked and eaten by the baker, if you’re baking a batch bigger than you can manage then they make perfect little gifts for friends, colleagues, neighbours or even for a charity bake sale. A home baked treat is one of the best gifts you can give to someone.
7 TIPS TO STOP YOUR CUPCAKES FROM SINKING
The trickiest ingredient in these cupcakes is the treacle as it’s a heavy substance that weighs the cupcake batter down which in turn can cause the cupcakes to sink in the middle. If this has happened to you you’ll know how frustrating it is. Luckily there are a few tips here that will prevent this from happening.
Carefully measure your ingredients | Baking is a science and too much sugar, flour or baking powder can make a big impact on the final outcome of the bake. If you have digital scales these are best to use for ultimate accuracy. On a side note it’s also good to check your baking powder and bicarbonate soda are in date too before using them. You can do this by adding a little into hot water and if it fizzes then the raising agents are active.
Use buttermilk | It’s an ingredient we rarely have stored in the fridge and often if a recipe asks for it, it’s tempting to just use milk as a replacement. Buttermilk is one of the secrets to the success of these cupcakes though so I highly recommend using it. Why? Well buttermilk has a much higher acidity than milk, so it helps activate the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in the batter. Once activated, the cupcakes get a little extra boost when baking. If you can’t get hold of buttermilk or really don’t want to go out just for one ingredient, I’ve provided a recipe to make it yourself in the recipe notes.
Fully whip the butter and sugar | Creaming butter and sugar together is one of the first steps to getting all that lovely air into your batter. This is also why we ask for your butter to be soft and at room temperature as it helps the butter and sugar cream together properly. So make sure you get that butter well whipped until it’s pale and fluffy before adding in the rest of the ingredients.
Alternate wet and dry ingredients | If you’re just spent ages whipping up that butter and sugar, adding in too much dry ingredient at once can easily overwhelm the mixture and deflate some of that air. Adding it alternately helps to incorporate the mixtures together slowly and give the batter a chance to thicken gradually.
Don’t over mix the batter | This leads us on nicely to then not over mixing the batter. The best advice I ever got was to mix until JUST combined. An over mixed batter is one of the leading culprits for sinking cupcakes.
Don’t overfill the cupcakes cases | You’ll have enough batter to fill 12 cupcakes cases 3/4 way full so avoid getting overexcited and adding too much to one and not enough to others. This will prevent the cupcakes from overflowing and will instead give you perfectly domed topped cupcakes.
Watch the oven temperature | Another big culprit in sinking cupcakes is an oven that’s too hot. When batter is heated too quickly all the raising agents get to work and the cupcake puffs right up only to be unable to support itself much longer when the rest of the cupcake ingredients catch up. Instead I opt for a low and slow baking temperature of 160C fan which works a charm every time as all the ingredients get the chance to work at a speed suitable to them all.
DECORATING WITH MINI GINGERBREAD MEN
The adorable mini gingerbread men in the photos are a totally optional decoration but they do look extra cute on these cupcakes and it’s almost like having a two in one treat if you include them.
To make these mini gingerbread men you can use the recipe for my Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies. The dough will yield way more mini gingerbread men than you need though so I would recommend halving the recipe and using half for the mini gingerbread and half for some extras or different gingerbread biscuits you can bake for another recipe or freeze for later.
TOOLS YOU WILL NEED
The recipe for these cupcakes is relatively straight forward and equally so are the tools you’ll need but take a look a list below to make sure you’ve got everything in advance
Mixing bowls (various sizes)
Standing Mixer or Electric Whisk
Ice cream scoop | For perfectly even distribution every time.
12 hole cupcake tin
Open Star piping nozzle (or your choice of nozzle)
Shop this recipe
OTHER CHRISTMAS SPICED BAKES TO TRY
I would love it if you tagged me @mykitchendrawer on Instagram if you make these Gingerbread Cupcakes. It’s the biggest honour to see my recipes come to life in your kitchen and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a message or let’s chat in the comments. Happy baking!
For the gingerbread cupcakes
- 200 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 125 g treacle
- 120 ml buttermilk
- 100 g dark brown sugar
- 110 g unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Gingerbead Buttercream
- 150 g unsalted butter softened
- 250 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk
- 12 mini gingerbread men, to decorate optional
- Christmas sprinkles
- For the gingerbread cupcakes
- Preheat your oven to 160C and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In another bowl or measuring jug mix together the buttermilk and molasses and also leave aside.
- In a final bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
- Add half of the dry ingredients followed by all the milk/molasses mixture and mix it through until just combined, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and fold again until just combined.
- Scoop the batter evenly into the 12 cupcake cases, filling them 3/4 of the way, then bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Once baked, let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack.
- For the gingerbread buttercream
- Cream the butter for a few minutes until creamy, then gradually add the icing sugar to avoid a big sugar cloud.
- Continue beating the butter and icing sugar together until its light and creamy then add in the spices and vanilla and combine them through.
- To soften the buttercream a little gradually add a tbsp milk (you might not need it all) until you have a firm but soft buttercream consistency that will hold its shape.
- Fit a piping bag with your nozzle of choice (I’ve used an open star nozzle) and fill it with your buttercream.
- Pipe generous swirls onto each cupcake then top them with a mini gingerbread man (optional) and some festive sprinkles. Alternatively you could top them with a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder for a more grown up decoration.