Christmas isn’t complete without something made of gingerbread. In addition to my Gingerbread Biscotti with Cranberries and Pecans I posted a couple weeks ago, these moist, delicious spice cakes are just right for the job, and a perfect kid-friendly treat. The cupcakes are filled with warm spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves that bring the holidays to mind with each bite. Oh, and the frosting! I couldn’t’ think of a better way to top off these cupcakes than with this lick-the-bowl-clean cinnamon brown sugar buttercream. I think it’s my favorite frosting recipe, ever. Want to know something else great about these cupcakes? They’re simple and fast to put together, which makes them a great last-minute option. Because the recipe begins with a box of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix, a lot of what you’ll need is already in the mix. Yep, that’s right. These fabulous cupcakes are made from a heart-healthy whole wheat mix, and I’d be willing to bet that you’ll be calling dibs on the last one. If you aren’t a whole wheat believer yet, you will be in about 30 minutes. Turn on your oven to 350o F and let’s get baking!
Cute gingerbread decorations are optional, but Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix is a must. You’ll love how it makes these cupcakes taste – and the health benefit you’ll get from eating whole grains is a total bonus.
Start off by whisking together the Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix with the cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and brown sugar. You probably won’t taste the chocolate from the cocoa powder, but it rounds out the flavors nicely, so make sure to use it. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and eggs together. Make sure the melted butter has cooled for about 5 minutes and that the eggs are room temperature. Otherwise you could have cooked eggs or clotted butter – neither being optimal for baking success.
Using a large wooden spoon, (no mixer necessary,) stir the dry mixture into the butter/egg mixture in three additions alternating with the water in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry mixture and stirring until it’s incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Fill each cup no more than two-thirds of the way full with batter. Half way would even be fine. Whole wheat flour is a little heavier than all-purpose, so the cupcakes will sink in the middle if you fill them too full. If your cupcakes sink a tad, don’t worry, we’ll be covering the tops with the decadent cinnamon brown sugar buttercream frosting. Yum!
Bake the cupcakes in a 350˚ F oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a cupcake. Your house will smell like Christmas as these delightful treats bake. (Nothing beats the smell of home baking – it’s so much better than a candle.)
While the cupcakes are baking, mix the butter and shortening together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix together until well incorporated.
Then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. The mixture will become thick and gummy like in this picture, but that’s okay. The cream will help it to become nice and smooth.
Add ¼ cup cream and mix well on high speed. Keep adding cream by the tablespoonful until you’ve reached a desired consistency. I needed about 5 more tablespoons to get mine the way I wanted it. You’ll have to taste the frosting a lot to see if it’s just right – one of those perks that comes along with being the cook! Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag or cover the bowl with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out while we wait for the cupcakes to finishing cooking and then cool.
Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tins immediately after taking them out of the oven and cool on a wire rack. You can see that mine sunk a little in the middle. No one knew once I frosted them and they tasted great, regardless. I’ll fill the liners a little less full the next time.
Frost the cooled cupcakes with the cinnamon brown sugar buttercream. I used a pastry bag with a large tip to make my frosting look fancy, but spreading it on with knife is just fine. Decorate the frosted cupcakes if desired.
Cinnamon, spice and everything nice – that’s what these Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting are made of. My family was head-over-heels for these cupcakes and they seriously debated sharing any with our neighbors. As it’s the season for giving, we decided to share plateful with our neighbors and they reported back how much they loved them, too. Buy yourself a box of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix and look no further for your next best holiday dessert recipe! Merry Christmas! Enjoy!
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting
- 1 box Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup water, room temperature
In a medium bowl, whisk together the gingerbread mix, baking powder, cocoa powder and brown sugar. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and eggs. Using a large spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the wet in three additions alternating with the water in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry mixture and stirring until it’s incorporated and the batter is smooth. Fill a paper lined muffin tin ½ to 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake cupcakes in a 350˚F oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the middle. Immediately remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Frost with cinnamon brown sugar buttercream frosting when completely cool. Makes approximately 18 cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting
From Tidymom.com (no adaptations)
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup shortening
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, plus additional cream if necessary
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon beating until well incorporated. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time beating well after each addition. The mixture will be thick and gummy. Add the cream and beat on high speed. Add additional cream, one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Pipe or spread onto cooled gingerbread cupcakes.