Gingerbread Cupcakes

 Gingerbread cupcakes //

Gingerbread  cupcakes – delicious Christmas cupcakes packed full of warming spices, and topped with lashings of vanilla buttercream and a mini gingerbread man!


December is here! We can officially get excited about Christmas!

What are you doing to get yourself in the festive spirit ahead of the big day? We are, rather controversially in our house, not having a tree this year. Advent calendars are up though, and I’ve started dotting festive candles around the flat, and switching on fairy lights every evening. Is there anything quite as cosy as a room lit by tiny twinkling lights?

Gingerbread cupcakes //

One of the first Christmas rituals for me is buying a Christmas coffee. There’s just something about those sugary, syrupy drinks in their bright paper cups that just gets me feeling festive. It doesn’t matter where we are in the world, I’ll always get myself a Christmassy coffee at the start of December.

Gingerbread cupcakes //

Three years ago we were in Beijing. It was icily, bone-numbingly cold. I dragged Andy into a Starbucks on Qianmen street to get my red-cupped coffee fix. I warmed my hands around a sticky, sickly toffee nut latte, looking out at the cultural clash of  red Chinese lanterns and twinkling Christmas lights leading the way to Tiananmen Square.

Two years ago my first Christmas drink was had in the sun. I sipped my coffee sat out side by the sea in Hong Kong, the taste of spices taking me back to Christmas baking in my Mum’s kitchen, making me long for Christmas at home.

Last year we were in Malaysia.  My 2016 Christmas drink was had in Penang’s George Town. We made a special trip to China House to droll over their heaving cake table. My coffee came served in a glass and topped with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and a full sized gingerbread man on the side. We didn’t know it at the time, but I was already pregnant with Tilly, and the cinnamon I’d been looking forward to so much actually made me feel disappointingly queasy.

This year my first Christmas drink was back home in England; a gingerbread latte in Costa topped with cream and a tiny gingerbread man. The start of the build up to our first Christmas as a family of three. I don’t think I could be more excited!

Gingerbread cupcakes //

These cupcakes are a little tribute to all those festive coffees, and a taste of one of my all time favourite Christmas treats – gingerbread.

The cupcakes are packed full of ground ginger and cinnamon to make them warming and flavorful. They’re made with treacle so they’re dark and tender and just a little bit sticky. I’ve topped with with lashings of vanilla buttercream and a mini gingerbread man. Deliciously festive!

Gingerbread cupcakes //



– The icing is quite sweet. If you prefer your cupcakes less sweet you might prefer to make up half the amount.

– I found the adorable mini gingerbread and star sprinkles, and the gorgeous gold cupcakes cases, at HobbyCraft.

– My mini gingerbread men are from Sainburys, but I’ve also seen them in Tesco and I’m sure most supermarkets will also do a version. Alternatively you could bake your own!

– I made a version of gingerbread cupcakes many years ago. If you fancy taking a peek look here.

– Recipe adapted from this recipe shared by Zoella.




Gingerbread Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Gingerbread cupcakes - delicious Christmas cupcakes packed full of warming spices, and topped with lashing of vanilla buttercream and a mini gingerbread man
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12
  • ---- for the cupcakes
  • 75g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 125ml black treacle
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 125ml hot milk
  • ——- for the buttercream
  • 240g unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Approx 4 tablespoons milk
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C / 350F, and line a muffin tray with 12 paper cases.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and pale, then beat in the treacle, egg and egg yolk.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, all spice and salt.
  4. Put your milk into a small saucepan and gently heat without boiling. Whisk in your bicarbonate of soda until dissolved.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, followed by the warm milk.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between your cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the cakes are springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  7. While they cool make your buttercream. Beat the butter until light and pale. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the milk, spoon by spoon, until the buttercream is the right texture to pipe.You might not need to add all the milk, or you might need a little bit more if you find your buttercream is still too stiff.
  8. Pipe in swirls on your cupcakes and top with mini ginger men and sprinkles.

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