Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream

Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream |

Oh, heyyyy.  Remember me?  That chick who used to post new recipes three or four times a week?  Yeah, I miss her, too.

My days of impromptu, mid-day baking might be over, but with a little bit of planning I’ve been able to work around it and I think I have a workable baking schedule.  This means our weekends are going to be excessively dessert-laden, but it’s all in the name of Lemon Sugar, right?

So, these cupcakes have been on my baking list the last few holiday seasons, but got bumped for one reason or another.  They’re TOTALLY a holiday flavored cupcake, but perfect for a little something different.

Plus, this brown sugar buttercream?  My favorite, ever.  It tastes like cookie dough.  It’s the one buttercream that I really can’t get enough of, and I may or may not have eaten gingerbread cookie men dipped in frosting for lunch one day.  YUM.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream |

The cupcakes have a very rich, dark chocolate flavor, and just a hint of gingerbread flavor.  They are awesomely moist and crumbly and a tiny bit spicy, and paired with brown sugar frosting, they’re sure to be a quick favorite.  I nestled a fudge-dipped gingerbread man on top of each cupcake (gotta love Trader Joe’s) and I just think these are an adorable holiday treat.

I should add that this recipe is kind of long and involved, but sometimes the extra effort is worth it – and that’s definitely the case here.   My best tip when making complicated recipes is to pre-measure all of your ingredients, and read the method through a couple of times.  It’s still long and tedious, but it definitely makes it easier – and you can pretend like you’re on a cooking show while you’re dumping your little pre-measured bowls of ingredients into the mixer. (Not that I’ve ever done that.  Really.  Shhhh…)

Hope you love these.  Enjoy!

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Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream
Prep time
Cook time
For a different take on a holiday cupcake, the warm, spicy flavors of chocolate and gingerbread topped with a light brown sugar buttercream are sure to put you in a festive mood! Enjoy! Cupcake recipe (and method) courtesy of Grace's Sweet Life. Buttercream recipe is my own.
Serves: Approx 24 cupcakes
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup stout beer (like Guinness)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and ½ Tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup superfine white sugar (baker's sugar or caster sugar)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Brown Sugar Frosting:
  • 1 and ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Gingerbread cookies, for garnish
  1. In medium saucepan, bring molasses and beer just to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and gradually add the baking soda while whisking constantly (mixture will bubble up).
  3. Let stand allowing mixture to come to room temperature.
  4. Prepare two cupcake pans with cupcake liners, and set aside.
  5. Using fine mesh sieve, sift flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl, whisk together to well combine.
  6. Melt chocolate in heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of just simmering water over low heat. Remove from heat and set-aside allowing the chocolate to cool slightly.
  7. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whip attachment, beat together caster and brown sugar, and whole eggs and egg yolk at medium speed until pale in color, about 5 minutes.
  8. Gradually add the oil, beating until just combined.
  9. Add the melted chocolate and beat to just combine.
  10. Reduce mixer speed to low, gradually add the molasses mixture, beating to just combine. Remove bowl from mixer, using flexible rubber spatula, scrape sides, and bottom of bowl. Reattach bowl to mixer and beat, 15 seconds.
  11. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until almost combined (well mixed in the center but flour remaining around the edges of the bowl – it’s important to not over mix the batter).
  12. Remove bowl from mixer. Using large flexible spatula, scrape sides, and bottom of bowl. Fold the mixture a few times with the spatula to combine the remainder of the flour.
  13. Fill each cupcake well about ½ to ⅔ full.
  14. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until just firm to the touch or a cake-tester comes out clean.
  15. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack.
  16. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Brown Sugar Buttercream:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add powdered sugar, salt and cream.
  3. Beat on the lowest speed until just incorporated.
  4. Add vanilla, and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add additional powdered sugar or cream until desired consistency is met.
  6. Spoon frosting into a piping bag, and frost as desired.
  7. Garnish with a gingerbread cookie, if desired.
  8. Enjoy!

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  • Jenny @ BAKE

    These are just gorgeous! you always make the most beautiful cupcakes! I just adore those little gingerbread men on top! they are so sweet!