• 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons King Arthur Cake Enhancer (optional)
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • FROSTING
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups (1-pound box) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Sprinkles for decorating

These cupcakes are almost too cute too eat! Fortunately, they are so delicious that you will get over that after your first bite. I think I will make these a new holiday tradition. The gingerbread cake paired with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet. I promise you will turn even self-proclaimed gingerbread haters into gingerbread lovers.  The mini gingerbread men cookies are fantastic on their own, but they also make the perfect cupcake toppers. I love the way they appear to be dancing, like mini gingerbread rockettes. I made the gingerbread cookie dough ahead of time and froze the gingerbread men cutouts so that I had them ready to go for whenever I wanted to use them. Instead of making several batches of different colored icing, I used Wilton Sparkle Gels to decorate the cookies, which saved me a lot of work. Have a tooth pick handy to help structure the little green bow tie.

As usual, I found the perfect gingerbread cupcake recipe from one of my favorite sites, King Arthur Flour.  I doubled the recipe, replaced half the water with buttermilk, swapped the cloves for pumpkin pie spice and added King Arthur Cake Enhancer. The result was a super moist cupcake topped off with a heavenly creamy frosting.

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2) To make the cupcakes: Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves or pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and salt in a medium sized bowl.

3) Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, cake enhancer and egg in your standmixer.

4) Add 1/4 cup of the water, then half the dry mixture, and stir. Add the buttermilk and dry mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined.

5) Use a cookie scoop to divide batter into cupcake liners.

6) Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool for 30 minutes.

7) To make the frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy in standmixer.

8) Add the sugar and cinnamon, and vanilla. If the frosting is too tough, add 1 to 2 tbsp of milk.

Fill a piping bag with the frosting, and pipe large swirls on top of the cooled cupcakes. Decorate with festive sprinkles and top off with mini gingerbread cookies.

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