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Gingersnap Cupcakes

Gingersnap Cupcakes

Gingersnaps are known as spicy, crispy cookies. In some iterations, the “snappiness” of the cookie comes only from its texture, while in others (the better ones, in my opinion), generous spicing is what makes them “snap.” I wanted to capture that spiciness in a cupcake and make something that would stand out from regular gingerbread.

My favorite gingersnap recipe is one that was originally from Chez Panisse. The recipe was passed around the blogosphere a few years ago and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since. I used the same spicing for these cupcakes, so they include a generous amount of ginger, cinnamon and ground black pepper. I also added some ground cloves, simply because they contribute a really warm, wintry flavor. There is comparatively little molasses in the cupcakes and, softened by the inclusion of brown sugar, its flavor takes a backseat to the spices.

The flavors from all the spices work together beautifully and these cupcakes really do taste a lot like gingersnaps. The cupcake rise nicely above the rim of the baking sheet and if you eat them without any topping, you’ll even get a hint of crispiness from the dome of the cake. The cake itself is moist and fairly dense, offering a really substantial texture and flavor that can stand up to a lot of frosting. Again, I used a vanilla cream cheese frosting to top these off. Cream cheese goes extremely well with gingerbread of all kinds, and it is no exception here. The light, fluffy sweetness of the frosting is a perfect contrast to the moist, spicy cupcakes.

Reminder: Don’t forget to enter the holiday cupcake baking contest!

Gingersnap Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, soften
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light. Blend in spices and egg, followed by molasses. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the milk and the remaining flour mixture. Mix only until no streaks of flour remain.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
4-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
approx 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Beat until smooth, then mix in vanilla extract, milk and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. Beat until very smooth, then gradually blend in additional sugar until frosting is fluffy, thick and easy to spread.
Frosting can be spread onto the cupcakes or piped on using a piping bag.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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  • brilynn
    December 8, 2008

    The swirl on top of that cupcake is perfect!

    Completely unrelated, I made your marshmallow recipe last week and it went really well! I added some peppermint extract and then dipped them in chocolate. I have plans to make more for Christmas. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Patricia Kramer
    December 9, 2008

    I just love this Blog… my favorite snack when I just don’t know what I want!Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  • lisa (dandysugar)
    December 9, 2008

    These cupcakes looks delicious. I love the bite of ginger and combined with the other spices, it must taste just like a gingersnap!.. Cream cheese frosting is the perfect choice topping.

  • Monique C
    December 11, 2008

    Yummy! Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around gingersnaps and a little, sweets shop that my Mom & I used to frequent. I can’t wait to try this & share them with her for the holidays. And cream cheese frosting, too?! Oh no you didn’t!

  • Crystal
    December 15, 2008

    I tried this recipe over the weekend and I must admit they are as good as they look. Cupcakes tasted just like a gingersnap! My only issue was with them being a little dry. Maybe next time, I’ll subsitute sour cream for milk and add 1 more egg. Otherwise, this is a great recipe. Thanks!!

  • Jess
    December 15, 2008

    I made these over the weekend and used pear sauce (like applesauce with pears…) instead of the milk. Nice and moist! thanks! 🙂

  • hello everyone.. thanx again for a new and interesting recipe.. i should say that i’ve prepared it at home and it was not really simple… anyway i liked the result.. and my children were happy to try smth new..

  • Abigail - Emo Shoes
    January 6, 2009

    Thank you for this wonderful, simple recipe. Also, greatly appreciated the pic. Very nice result. I made this and now I literally DREAM about it – it was that good! I had never used ginger in baked goods before and now I need to make up for lost time! It is so delicious! Ok – that’s a lot of exclamation points, but it really was fantastic.Thanks a lot!

  • Jack
    January 7, 2009

    Gingersnap Cupcakes are adorable and the recipe looks good. Thank you for sharing them! They are so cute! They’ll be perfect for appetizers, or desserts. The recipe sounds delicious too.These Cupcakes would look nice whatever you put on them! Very festive!
    Have a blessed day!

  • Renee Hargo
    February 16, 2009

    I love gingersnaps. They are so hard to find in stores where i stay. When i grew up these was my favorite snacks. Im going to make these cupcakes for my son for his lil birthday party coming up soon.

    Thank you for this recipe! This site has alot of great baking tips and recipes.

  • Michel Bratos
    June 8, 2009

    Thank you for this wonderful, simple recipe.

  • Acai burn
    August 29, 2009

    Mmm! You blog brings back fond memories of my child hood. As I read through some of your recipes I get vivid memories of my Mom busy in the kitchen mixing and baking some of my sister and minds favourite cakes and cookies, all those years ago. Thank you!

  • Java
    March 1, 2010

    For my this works very well

  • Lokking extra. Try this in home

  • Ann
    December 1, 2011

    Made these today and used whole milk, cut the cloves and pepper in half, reduced the cinnamon to 1-1/2 tsp and added 1/2 tsp of nutmeg. They tasted wonderful! I’m using this recipe to make holiday cakeballs and will use cream cheese icing as the binder and a white chocolate coating with gingersnap crumbs! Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Divya
    March 3, 2014

    Are there any substitutions for Molasses that you might suggest. It is not available in India, at least where I live. Thanks.

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