Sweet, soft gingerbread cupcakes infused with the spices of fall and topped with a vanilla bean & cinnamon-speckled frosting. Make sure to scroll down to the end of the post to enter in a giveaway for some of my favorite Rodelle products!
I think we’ve all had enough of politics over these past few months, so today we’re sticking strictly to cupcakes. No matter which side you fall on, I have a feeling you can appreciate a good cupcake recipe.
I mentioned these cupcakes in my last post, in what I called “The Great Cupcake Fiasco”. TEN times I trialed this recipe trying to get it right. TEN! I melted butter, creamed butter, substituted oil, switched up the number of eggs, increased and decreased my leaveners and made just about every possible recipe change I could think of. My kitchen trash can has devoured dozens of cupcakes, some that were dry as sand (Zach took a giant “test bite” of one of those… big mistake!), dense as bricks, and many with sunken, deflated tops.
First they were too dry, then when I tried to make up for that they became too wet, oily, and saturating their wrappers and leaving a greasy film on everything they touched.
These cupcakes were a challenge.
But, guess what: finally, finally, finally everything came together.
Finally I get to share these cupcakes with you that are neither too dry nor too oily — they’re perfectly moist and tender. They’re not dense nor are they sunken, they’re soft, fluffy, and lightly textured with tops that don’t necessarily puff and round, but spring back to the touch.
The spices are carefully balanced, lots of ginger and cinnamon, a little nutmeg, a sprinkle of allspice and ground cloves. Tastes like Fall.
This is gingerbread without the crunch of a cookie or the density of a loaf-pan — gingerbread in the form of pure cupcake perfection.
To frost these temperamental little cupcakes, I first played with a white chocolate buttercream but decided that it made things much too sweet. So cream cheese it was.
I feel like I’m always throwing cream cheese based frostings at you, but I can’t help it, they’re my favorite! Not too sweet, and not overpowering in flavor, and perfectly complementary to these spiced gingerbread cupcakes.
I added a little bit of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon to this frosting for a little extra flavor. Top with cinnamon sticks if desired (mostly just for decorative purposes!).
Recently I’ve been a little obsessed with using vanilla paste, and those are half of the specks you see in the above frosting (the rest are cinnamon flecks). While I love using real vanilla beans when I can, I’ve been using Rodelle’s vanilla bean paste, which I’m absolutely in love with — it has a rich vanilla flavor without the hassle of scraping a (expensive) vanilla bean.
And those vanilla flecks are just everything to me <3.
Speaking of Rodelle, I have to mention that I’m very proud to officially be a brand ambassador for them!
I know I’ve mentioned their products before, and my pantry is always fully stocked with plenty of Rodelle vanilla, so I’m very happy to be working with them.
I don’t know if you’ve ever used their products before, but I wanted to give you the chance to do so, and so we’re running a giveaway for a bundle of their products. Make sure to enter the giveaway just before the recipe below!
To enter, all you have to do is subscribe to my mailing list (which you can do here) and then fill out the form below! (if you are already getting my e-mails then you’re already covered, just fill out the form below!)
I’m happy to have partnered with Rodelle as a Brand Ambassador to host this giveaway, thank you for supporting the brands that support Sugar Spun Run! As always, all opinions & content are my own.
The giveaway has ended — Congratulations Theresa!
Gingerbread Cupcakes & A Giveaway!
- 8 Tablespoon unsalted butter (113g) softened to room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar (100g) tightly packed
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons Rodelle vanilla extract*
- ½ cup unsulphered molasses (118ml)
- ½ cup buttermilk (118ml) room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (160g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 10 Tablespoons butter (113g) softened
- 6 Tablespoons cream cheese (85.2g) softened
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar tightly packed
- 1 ½ teaspoons Rodelle vanilla paste** (can substitute 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract)
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar (466g)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
- Preheat oven to 350F (177C) and line a 12-cavity cupcake tin with paper liners.
- In stand mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and beat until well-combined.
- Stir in Rodelle vanilla extract.
- Combine buttermilk and molasses in a large measuring cup and stir with a fork until combined.
- With mixer on low-speed, gradually add buttermilk/molasses mixture until combined (you may notice some separation, this is fine), pausing occasionally to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet until completely combined (take care not to over-mix).
- Portion batter evenly into prepared cupcake tin, filling each cup ⅔ full (take care not to overfill or your cupcakes will sink in the middle when they're finished baking)
- Bake on 350F (177C) for 18-20 minutes or until tops spring back to the touch.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- In a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using an electric mixer), beat together butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar until well-creamed.
- Stir in vanilla paste.
- Gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined. Pause occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl.
- Stir in ground cinnamon, if desired.
- Spread or pipe frosting over cooled cupcakes (I used a Wilton 1M tip to decorate these).
- If desired, top with Rodelle Cinnamon sticks***, as in picture.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
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