Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting

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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!


  • 1 box Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 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 (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.

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