Gingerbread Cookie Cupcakes

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Kick off your holiday baking with Homemade Gingerbread Cupcakes topped with a Gingerbread Cookie Frosting. You’ll love the blend of brown sugar and spices in this easy cupcake recipe.

This post is sponsored by Walkers Shortbread. All opinions are my own

A gingerbread man on top of a frosted cupcake

It’s my favorite time of year. Holiday baking season! Even though I never need an excuse to bake, I just love to spread a little extra joy during the holidays with treats.

Cupcakes, cookies, cakes and pies. It’s all welcome.

Let’s talk Gingerbread Cookie Cupcakes. This cupcake combines all your favorite holiday flavors with notes of brown sugar, spiced molasses and ground ginger and nutmeg.

two stacked gingerbread cupcakes, the one on top has a bite missing

I used my homemade gingerbread cupcake recipe and topped them with the most glorious Gingerbread Cookie Frosting using the Walkers Shortbread Gingerbread Men. If you’ve never had a cookie frosting before, you’re in for a real treat.

The frosting starts off with my vanilla buttercream, and I’ve added some brown sugar & cinnamon and gingerbread cookies from my friends at Walkers Shortbread.

The Walker family is still making with the original shortbread recipe from founder Joseph Walker dating back to 1898. How cool is that? Their cookies have no artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives.

A box of Walkers Gingerbread Men Shortbread cookies along side Gingerbread cupcakes

Each holiday season, Walkers introduces their holiday collection (use code JD15HOLIDAY for 15% off!) and it makes entertaining so easy! It’s all about fun and festive treats. The Gingerbread Men, Mini Festive shortbread cookies and chocolate shortbreads can easily elevate your cookie platters. The mini cookies also make the most adorable garnishes for your desserts.

Let me show you how you can make these adorable cupcakes with a few simple steps.

Gingerbread Cupcake Ingredients

  • Sugars: we’re using a combination of light brown and granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil gives the cupcakes a more tender crumb.
  • Whole Eggs for added fat.
  • Molasses: This is where the primary flavor of the gingerbread comes from.
  • Vanilla: Necessary for any homemade cupcake recipe
  • Sour Cream: is essential for keeping the cupcakes moist. If you don’t have sour cream, I recommend substituting nonfat Greek yogurt. The recipe calls for nonfat sour cream, but you can use full-fat or light sour cream as well.
  • Dry Ingredients: all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder to give these cupcakes the right amount of rise.
  • Spices: Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves to compliment the molasses flavor.
  • Milk is the primary liquid ingredient to give the cupcake a spongy and moist crumb.

A white cake stand with gingerbread man on top of a frosted cupcakes

5 Easy steps to make these cupcakes

  1. Combine the first 7 ingredients: Brown and granulated sugars, oil, eggs, molasses, vanilla and sour cream and beat until well combined.
  2. Combine the remaining dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Whisk to combine.
  3. Alternate the wet and dry ingredients: Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk and beat until combine and repeat with the remaining ingredients.
    two process shots to make gingerbread cupcakes
  4. Fill and bake: Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full using a large cookie scoop and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Decorate and serve: Top these with Gingerbread Cookie Frosting and Walkers Shortbread Gingerbread Men.

a cookie scoop with cupcake batter over top of a cupcake pan

Gingerbread Cookie Frosting

I love to experiment with frosting recipes to make my cupcakes unique. This time I’ve added some Walkers Shortbread Gingerbread Men to my vanilla frosting recipe along with a couple of spices to create a fun and festive cupcake.

Ingredients

  • Unsalted Butter: This recipe starts with cold butter, which is my secret to making the perfect frosting consistency.
  • Powdered sugar which stiffens the frosting.
  • Brown Sugar and Cinnamon are used to compliment the gingerbread cookies.
  • Vanilla extract and heavy cream to help make a smooth and creamy frosting.
  • Walkers Shortbread Gingerbread Men: You can use either a food processor or a knife and cutting board to finely chop the cookies for the frosting.

an overhead shot of chopped Walkers Gingerbread Cookies

3 important steps

  1. Step 1: Properly beating the butter: Since we are starting with cold butter, I recommend cutting the butter into cubes to start. This makes it easier on your mixer. You need to beat the butter for several minutes until it’s really light and fluffy and be sure to scrape down the bowl several times. This is important as it creates the base consistency for the frosting.
    three images collaged to show how to make frosting
  2. Step 2: Slowly adding the sugar and liquid ingredients: I recommend adding 1 cup at a time and ensuring it’s well incorporated before adding the next cup. Take the time to beat the frosting for an extra minute or two with each addition of powered sugar to prevent a grainy frosting. Adding the liquid ingredients together with the powdered sugar will help prevent it from getting too stiff.
  3. Step 3: The final two minutes: Once all your ingredients have been added, beat the frosting for two minutes on high speed to make it extra fluffy.

a white spatula over top of a mixing bowl with a scoop of frosting on it

Frosting the cupcakes

Since this frosting is chunky from the cookie crumbs, I recommend using a large cookie scoop (affiliate link) to frost the cupcakes. If you want to pipe the frosting, then it’s important that you use a food processor to ensure the cookies are grinded into a fine crumb. In this case, I’d use a jumbo piping tip (affiliate link) and something that is more open like an open star or round tip.

an overhead shot of gingerbread men and frosted cupcakes

Is anyone else as excited for holiday baking as I am? Share with me your favorite holiday dessert!

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Gingerbread Cookie Cupcakes

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 14-16 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcake:

  • ½ cup (110g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup (48g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (118ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (118ml) molasses
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (48g) light sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (5.6g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ cup (118ml) milk

For the frosting:

  • 1 package (4.4oz) Walkers Shortbread Gingerbread Men
  • 1 ¼ cups (282g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 3 ½ cups (455g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 packages (4.4oz) Walkers Shortbread Gingerbread Men for garnish

Instructions

For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars, vegetable oil, eggs, molasses and vanilla extract and sour cream. Beat on medium speed until the well combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. In a medium size bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients. Then, add half the dry ingredients to the batter followed by half the milk and beat until it starts to combine.
  4. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients and the milk, beat until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Use a food processor or a knife to finely chop 1 package (8 cookies) of the Gingerbread Men into fine crumbs, should make approximately 1 ¼ cups of crumbs.
  2. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat the butter until fluffy.
  3. Slowly add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract, mixing on low speed until it’s incorporated into the butter. Then increase the speed to high and beat for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon with the heavy whipping cream and beat until well-combined.
  5. Finally, add the crushed cookies, beat until incorporated then increase to high speed and beat for 60 seconds.
  6. Use a large cookie scoop to place the frosting on top of cupcake, gently tap the cupcake on the counter to help the frosting settle. Garnish with another Gingerbread cookie.

Notes

  • The batter will be quite thin. It’s important that you stir the batter after mixing, to ensure everything on the bottom of the bowl is well mixed.
  • Walkers Shortbread Gingerbread Men have 8 cookies in each 4oz package. There’s approximately 1 ¼ cup of crumbs in the frosting. You can also use Walkers Shortbread Mini Gingerbread Men for the frosting or the garnish.
  • Sour Cream: You can substitute the light sour cream for Greek yogurt. You can also use full-fat sour cream if needed.
  • To make 24 cupcakes simply double the ingredients
  • Storage suggestions:If you live in a hot and humid environment then I would suggest that you refrigerate cupcakes that are frosted and allow them to come to room temperature before serving. Otherwise they can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
  • Make-ahead:These are best served within 2 days of preparation but will proper storage they can stay fresh for several days. Add the cookie garnish prior to serving.
  • Freezing: If needed, flash-freeze the cupcakes on a baking sheet for 15 minutes than transfer them to an air-tight, freezer-safe container. Thaw in the refrigerator for several hours then bring to room temperature prior to serving. If possible, it’s best to store them unfrosted and add the frosting prior to serving.
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
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4 Responses
  1. Lisa H.

    Hi Julianne,

    First of all…oh my goodness they were so good. I halved the recipe and regret doing so because they were finished in one night, I am serious. Me and my 2 roommates devoured them, haha!

    You are truly so amazing…can’t imagine how much hard work you put into this amazing beautiful blog, you test, photograph, write, video graph…wow you’re so inspiring. Many people you are aspiring. Thank you!

    Love from boston!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Thank you so much Lisa! I love the East Coast shout out and the fact that you and your roommate crushed a half batch. Way to go!

  2. Karen

    I am loving this Julianne! I’m a little obsessed with walkers gingerbread, haha. It’s so good! Love the idea of crushing it in the frosting. YUM!

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