Gingerbread Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

A small batch recipe for easy homemade moist gingerbread cupcakes with brown sugar cinnamon cream cheese frosting. A must make holiday dessert!

Easy homemade gingerbread cupcakes with brown sugar cinnamon cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Being an adult can be really dumb, in the sense that you get excited over things you never EVER expected to be happy about as a child. For example… furniture or new appliances. I mean, what kid would really be excited about that, unless it’s for their own room and it’s super cute and awesome – right? Well, this time, it’s window candle holders. I planned really poorly and bought electric window candles for the holidays. The cords make them so they not only all have to be plugged in (obviously)… but also, make them ridiculously hard to stay up on their own. The candles are lightweight so the cord weight pulls them down. Let’s not even discuss the fact that we have to unplug/plug them whenever we want them off or on.

Anyway, long story short… I found these suction cup window holders specifically designed to hold window candles. My fear was that the suction cups would eventually give out and they’d fall off the window…been there and it always annoys me. *knocking on wood* So far everything is staying put so I bought more for the rest of the house. If you’re in my pathetic, totally non-important, situation – you should definitely get some.

We’re still on a holiday movie binge. That’s what December weekends are for, right? This weekend the notable ones were Prancer (don’t even waste your time on it if you haven’t already – it’s awful) and the original Miracle on 34th Street. When I bought that, I was sure I’d enjoy it more than the newer version, because that’s typically how it goes for me. But after watching it the other day, I’ve decided the newer one is better. Go figure! Do you have a preference?

Easy homemade gingerbread cupcakes with brown sugar cinnamon cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

I tested this recipe so many times to get it exactly how I wanted it. You can rest assured that this is the absolute perfect batch of moist gingerbread cupcakes. Tried and true. Amazing. Incredible. An absolute must make.

If you only make one cupcake recipe this month, it has to be these.

December and gingerbread go hand in hand. They’re best buddies. You have to enjoy a gingerbread treat or two before Christmas hits!

A small batch recipe for easy homemade moist gingerbread cupcakes with brown sugar-cinnamon cream cheese frosting and a mini gingerbread cookie topper!

Easy homemade gingerbread cupcakes with brown sugar cinnamon cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Moist gingerbread cupcakes with brown sugar cinnamon cream cheese frosting. A must make holiday dessert!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time18 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcake, Gingerbread
Servings: 7 cupcakes



  • 1/4 C unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 C light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1/4 C sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 Tb hot water


  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 3 C powdered sugar sifted
  • Gingerbread cookies for decoration


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 7 paper liners. 
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla, beating until smooth. Scrape bowl as needed. Add spices, salt and baking soda, mixing until just dispersed. With mixer on low, alternate additions of flour and yogurt, finishing with 2 tablespoons of hot water. Continue mixing until no streaks remain. 
  • Divide batter between prepared paper liners, using a large cookie scoop.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan until easy to handle, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar until just combined. Add powdered suger in small batches, mixing well between additions. Transfer frosting to a large piping bag fit with a piping tip. Pipe as desired. Alternately a gallon storage bag may be used with the corner snipped off. Decorate with a small gingerbread cookie.


A jumbo round piping tip was used for this recipe.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

Items used in this recipe:

This post contains affiliate links.

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36 Responses to “Gingerbread Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. #
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan — December 7, 2015 at 9:08 am

    December weekends are most definitely for binge-tv-watching and feasting on treats like these! These are gorgeous – almost too pretty to eat – the key word being almost! :)
    Hoping those suction cup window holders keep working – hey, I agree – any appliance/piece of furniture that solves an issue would get my older self excited too – but my younger self wouldn’t care!

    • #
      Rachel — December 8, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Thanks Shashi! :)

  2. #
    Taylor@Food Faith Fitness — December 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Oh my gosh, could these be any cuter? Seriously!

    • #
      Rachel — December 8, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Thanks Taylor!

  3. #
    Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits — December 8, 2015 at 1:59 am

    Oh, these are just too cute. LOVE that gingerbread cookie cutter of yours! I feel like those suction things are quite good when they’re new, so I think you should be okay!

    • #
      Rachel — December 8, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Thanks Lisa! And fingers crossed they keep working ;)

  4. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — December 8, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Ahh these are so cute! I love the little gingerbread man on top of the frosting. A treat, for sure!

    • #
      Rachel — December 8, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Thanks Julie! :)

  5. #
    Medeja — December 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    My gingerbread dream.. I must try them one day :)

    • #
      Rachel — December 8, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      You must!!

  6. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — December 9, 2015 at 2:01 am

    How adorable are these cupcakes, I love the gingerbread topper!

    • #
      Rachel — December 9, 2015 at 7:21 am

      Thanks so much, Laura!

  7. #
    Eileen — December 9, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I baked these yesterday and they were really, really good. I didn’t have any cream cheese to make the frosting so I just used a powdered sugar glaze. I’m sure they are even better with the real frosting. My husband loved them. I only have two left in the refrigerator today!

    • #
      Rachel — December 10, 2015 at 7:11 am

      So glad to hear you both enjoyed them! :)

  8. #
    Megan - The Emotional Baker — December 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    What an awesome gadget! Ours usually fall over in the windows and sometimes I just leave them – whoops!

    These cupcakes are also pretty awesome ;) I love the small batch and the fact they are just so darn cute! Hope to make some this holiday season :)

    • #
      Rachel — December 10, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Ha! That’s why I didn’t even want to bother with them because they were such a hassle to deal with. They’ve been staying put since I stuck them to the windows! And thanks so much, Megan! :)

  9. #
    Heather @Bostongirlbakes — December 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

    These are SO lovely! But Prancer? You don’t like that movie!? Oh my god, it’s one of my favorites (assuming there isn’t some new version you are talking about). Tear.

    • #
      Rachel — December 12, 2015 at 8:09 am

      Haha it’s from the 80s I think? I’m not entirely sure but I wasn’t impressed.

  10. #
    Jillian — June 26, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    What a cute gingerbread man! Where did you find him?

    • #
      Rachel — June 27, 2016 at 7:28 am

      There is a link to the product at the bottom of the post.

  11. #
    Julue — November 27, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Great cupcake! I followed the directions and doubled the recipe along with the frosting recipe. The only changes I would make the next time I make these is to use half oil and half butter. It was a slightly drier cupcake and I think subbing out some oil will help with adding moisture.

    • #
      Rachel — November 29, 2016 at 7:10 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed them! :)

  12. #
    Theresa — December 12, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Baking soda or baking powder? Says one in ingredients and the other in instructions

    • #
      Rachel — December 13, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Sorry for the typo. You should use baking soda.

  13. #
    Erica — December 15, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Have you ever tried making this recipe in cake form? I was interested in trying it that way bc I love the flavors compared to other recipes. Any suggestions on doubling recipe/baking times would be appreciated. I also was wondering of how to make it slightly more most. I used full fat sour cream and baked for the minimum amount of 18 min. Any tips?

    • #
      Rachel — December 16, 2016 at 7:38 am

      I have not. The ingredient amounts and time will vary greatly depending on the size of your pan. It would be best to make the batter and fill your desired pan appropriately, then test it periodically for doneness.

  14. #
    Christina — December 7, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Is it really supposed to be 3 cups of powdered sugar for the frosting, or am I misreading?

    • #
      Rachel — December 10, 2018 at 7:03 am

      Follow the ingredients as listed for best results.

  15. #
    Mala — December 23, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Rachel,

    I’ve made these twice now (first round as a practice for Christmas), really appreciate this post it was great and after adapting a few things it was a fantastic turnout so many compliments and they haven’t even been served properly yet! My cream cheese frosting wasn’t as fabulous as yours in the picture but will have to practice more variations.

    • #
      Rachel — December 24, 2018 at 7:38 am

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them, Mala! Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas! :)

  16. #
    Angela Streeter — December 24, 2018 at 7:37 am

    I made these gluten free using Better Batter flour and one of my christmas tree cupcake pans. They are amazingly flavorful. I added cardamon and a turmeric golden spice blend along with about 1/2 cup of candied ginger chopped up. I made these once and this will become one of my go to dishes during the holidays. Amazing! Thank you! My family is used to me baking gluten free, these were moist, light, airy and simply delicious. Next time, instead of the water I am going to use ginger tea as well but I really love ginger. I did not have time to make the cookies yet but plan on it next time.

    • #
      Rachel — December 24, 2018 at 7:39 am

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them, Angela! Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas! :)

  17. #
    Jamie — December 25, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    We really loved these! I tripled the recipes because I was wanting a larger batch. It made a ridiculous amount of frosting! I halved the powdered sugar and still had tons left over.

    • #
      Rachel — December 26, 2019 at 9:01 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Jamie! :)

  18. #
    Emily — December 22, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Any tips for bakers new to this recipe?

    • #
      Rachel — December 22, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      If you’re new to baking in general, it’s always a good idea to prep your ingredients ahead. Measure your cupcake ingredients before baking (and likewise for the frosting). Check off or cross off ingredients as you go to make sure you’ve added them. Besides that, just follow the directions and measurements carefully for best results. Good luck!

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