Gingerbread Cupcakes are soft and sweet, with molasses, brown sugar, ginger, and warm spices, made in one bowl and ready in only 30 minutes!

I love baking on the holidays, and this year I’ll be making my favorite slow cooker recipe of all time, Slow Cooker Apple Crisp. If you need more ideas, also check out these Gluten Free Gingerbread Men and Easy Peppermint Chocolate Cookies!

A hand holding a gingerbread cupcake with frosting, with the paper liner half peeled off.

Gingerbread Cupcakes are a perfect holiday season treat when you don’t have a lot of time to cut out cookies. Kids can have fun frosting and decorating the cupcakes, and you can make everything ahead of time! Plus these are a great option to bring to holiday parties. 

I really like this Mascarpone Frosting for these, but I’ve also included a recipe for a cinnamon cream cheese frosting below. If you want another cupcake recipe idea, check out my Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Individual ingredients for gingerbread cupcakes on a marble table.

Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour. The gluten free flour mixture that you choose can make all the difference in how your cupcakes turn out. I recommend using a 1 to 1 flour blend that has xanthan gum in it. 

Granulated Sugar. We’re using a mixture of white sugar and brown sugar for this recipe. The white sugar adds sweetness, while the brown sugar adds depth of flavor and moisture. 

Eggs. The protein in the egg helps bind everything together. And the egg yolks add a small amount of fat. 

Milk. I used regular milk for this recipe, it helps add moisture and a small amount of fat to the recipe. Usually we have 2% in the refrigerator. 

If you want to add more fat to the recipe for an even softer gingerbread cupcake, try using while milk, half and half, or heavy cream instead. 

Molasses. Molasses is one of the star flavors of this recipe. It adds that famous gingerbread flavor, while also giving the cake a lot of sweetness. You can’t really replace this, or you won’t get that deep molasses flavor that gingerbread is famous for. 

Unsalted Butter. I always use unsalted butter, so I can control how much salt goes into the recipe later. 

If you don’t have butter, you can use vegetable oil or unsweetened applesauce instead. 

Baking Soda and Baking Powder. Leavening agents are what gives these cupcakes some rise, so don’t forget them!

Spices. You need ginger for gingerbread, combined with the molasses for that holiday flavor. The nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves also add a really nice warm fall flavor and pulls everything together. 

Salt. The salt helps balance out the sweetness. 

How to Make Gingerbread Cupcakes

Step by step photos of how to make gingerbread cupcakes.
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients until well combined. 
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking everything together until there are no clumps. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to make sure there are no flour pockets left. 
  3. Use an ice cream scoop (or a large spoon) to transfer the cupcake batter into the cupcake pan, filling each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full. 
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

How to Make Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (just a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness of the frosting)
  1. In a stand mixer using the whisk attachment (not the paddle attachment!), cream butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until just combined (don’t over-mix).
  2. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed until the sugar is incorporated. Then add the vanilla and switch to high speed for about 30 seconds, or until everything is incorporated and fluffy.
  3. Add a piping tip to a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off). Fill with cream cheese frosting and twist the open end closed. (I use a large mason jar, put my piping bag inside with the open end folded over the top. Spoon any frosting in and it helps hold everything until you’re ready to pipe it!)
  4. When cupcakes are completely cooled and removed from the muffin tin, decoratively pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you avoid dense cupcakes?

The first thing to check is that you’ve used the right amount of baking powder and baking soda. These ingredients cause a reaction while the cake is baking that lifts everything up to make the cake fluffy. 

Another common issue is that the cake was baked too long, or the oven was cooking too hot. Use an oven thermometer to check that your oven is cooking at the right temperature. 

And finally, make sure you don’t over-mix the batter. You want to mix until everything is just combined. 

Why did my gingerbread cupcakes take longer to bake?

This is a really common issue that usually has to do with either oven temperature, or altitude. 
Check to make sure your oven is cooking at the temperature that it’s set for. I’ve had this issue in the past. 

If you’re in a state with a higher altitude, foods can take longer to bake due to the air pressure. Check out this baking guide to see what changes you should make to baking recipes and what baking times you should use. 

Should cupcake batter be thicker or thin? 

This cupcake batter is thinner than what you’d expect from a muffin batter, but it shouldn’t be watery at all. You want one that is in the mid range, where you can pick it up with a spoon and it won’t spill off. 

Storage

Gluten free gingerbread cupcakes can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

If you use a dairy-based frosting, like cream cheese or mascarpone frosting, I recommend refrigerating the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

Gingerbread cupcakes can also be frozen for 3-4 months. Place the cupcakes in the cupcake tin and place in the freezer. Once frozen (about an hour), wrap in plastic wrap and transfer back to the freezer.

More Cake Recipes

Cooking Tips

  • If you don’t have frosting, let the gingerbread cupcakes cool and sift some powdered sugar onto the tops to look like snow. Or drizzle with white chocolate and add red and green sprinkles. 
  • You can use a stand mixer or an electric mixer, but honestly I find this recipe is really easy to do with just a whisk. No electric mixer needed. 
  •  I added a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of the cupcakes for decoration. You can also top with mini gingerbread cookies.
  • If you want really sharp gingerbread cupcakes, add an extra 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg. 

If you loved this recipe, be sure to leave a 5 Star review below, and tag me with a photo of your finished recipe on Instagram @Jacqui_DishingDelish!

Gingerbread cupcakes topped with a swirl of frosting sitting on top of a wooden board.
A hand holding a gingerbread cupcake with frosting, with the paper liner half peeled off.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Gingerbread Cupcakes are soft and sweet, made with molasses, brown sugar, ginger, and warm spices, made in one bowl and ready in only 30 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Jacqui
Yield: 14 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour, 1:1
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup 2% milk

Equipment

  • 1 cupcake pan

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients until well combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking everything together until there are no clumps. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to make sure there are no flour pockets left.
  • Use an ice cream scoop (or a large spoon) to transfer the cupcake batter into the cupcake pan, filling each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Notes

Click on the time in the instructions to start a timer!
Storage
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
If you use a dairy-based frosting, like cream cheese, refrigerate in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Freeze cupcakes for 3-4 months in an airtight container.
Cooking Tips
  • If you don’t have frosting, let the cupcakes cool and sift some powdered sugar onto the tops to look like snow. Or drizzle with white chocolate and add red and green sprinkles. 
  • If you’re not frosting the cupcakes, fill the paper liners all the way to the top before baking. 

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 33g (11%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 5g (31%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 32mg (11%)Sodium: 225mg (10%)Potassium: 423mg (12%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 27g (30%)Vitamin A: 240IU (5%)Vitamin C: 0.05mgCalcium: 99mg (10%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @Jacqui_DishingDelish and tag #dishingdelish!

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