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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange-Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

November 30, 2014


Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting - 2Teaspoons Tap any photo to Pin

‘Tis the season for baking! Chris and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Thursday. Everything came out great! And I had a great time Black Friday (and Saturday!) shopping with my Mom. My Mom sent us home with enough leftovers to last us until Christmas (well almost). What are your favorite Thanksgiving leftovers? Let us know in the comments (links to your favorite recipes are welcome too 🙂 ).

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting - 2Teaspoons

Gingerbread in cupcake form is a wonderful thing. The gingerbread base in these cupcakes has a healthy dose of molasses. The molasses combines with the cinnamon, ginger and cloves to give these cupcakes a rich, strong flavor more suitable for adults. Because Christmas is for adults too after all! If you are making these for young tastebuds that may not like the full molasses flavor, halving the molasses in the recipe should do the trick 🙂

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting - 2Teaspoons

To make the cupcake batter, begin by creaming together the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl. A stand mixer on low works well. Add the applesauce, then beat in an egg and stir in the molasses.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting - 2Teaspoons

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. I don’t have a sifter, so I usually pour the measured flour into a mesh strainer (over the bowl!) and then tap on the side of the strainer with my free hand until all the flour falls through. Mix the combined dry ingredients into the batter and stir in the hot water. Pour the batter into the lined muffin pan. The liners prevent the cupcakes from sticking to the pan when they are finished.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting - 2Teaspoons

I pair these cupcakes with a citrus-y cream cheese frosting. The tang of the cream cheese and the citrus of the orange zest cut through the richness of the gingerbread, providing a cool contrast that really rounds out these cupcakes. Pair with a glass of milk or eggnog and enjoy!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting - 2Teaspoons

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange-Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingerbread cupcakes packed with spices and rich molasses and topped with tangy orange-ginger cream cheese frosting - because Christmas is for adults too!
Course Dessert
Servings 14 -16
Author 2Teaspoons


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ¾ cup softened unsalted butter 1 ½ sticks
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar sifted measure before sifting
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
Optional: Chopped dried cranberries and candied ginger to sprinkle on frosted cupcakes.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Add applesauce then beat in the egg and mix in the molasses.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and clove. Gradually add flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared muffin tin.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  1. Once cupcakes are completely cool, beat butter for frosting with an electric mixer on medium until smooth, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, orange zest and juice, ginger and salt, then add cream cheese one ounce at a time until desired tanginess is reached.*
  2. Frost cupcakes. Top with optional chopped dried cranberries or candied ginger and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Too much cream cheese will cause frosting to be runny.


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Recipe Rating

  1. Avatar for Judy @ImBored-LetsGo

    Judy @ImBored-LetsGo

    Oh these look yummy. I love gingerbread and that orange ginger cream cheese frosting sounds delicious!

    • Avatar for Karen


      Thanks Judy! I’m loving all the holiday flavors right now! Gingerbread is one of my favorites and the tangy frosting really works well with the molasses in the cupcakes 🙂

  2. Avatar for Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Glad you had a great Thanksgiving! I’m still digging my way out of my leftovers over here! These cupcakes look perfect. I’m so ready to be done with pumpkin and move on to gingerbread!

    • Avatar for Karen


      Thanks Liz! I totally agree! I love cooking with pumpkin in the fall, but I’m super excited to be moving on to gingerbread, eggnog, and peppermint chocolate holiday flavors 🙂

  3. Avatar for Zaza


    These cupcakes look so adorable and so delicious!

    • Avatar for Karen


      Thanks Zaza! They certainly were super festive 🙂

Hi! I'm Karen, the recipe creator, photographer, and food fanatic here at 2Teaspoons. I love delicious food and I love sharing it with great people like you. Welcome to my dinner table, pull up a chair! Read More… →

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