Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yes, yes, I know. You saw that title and thought, "Is she seriously thinking about Christmas already!?" The answer, although it might annoy a lot of people, is yes. I always welcome the holidays this time of year because I love what they represent to me.  To me, holidays represent happiness and family. I love when my entire family gathers around mom's tiny dining room table to devour a turkey and give thanks to what we do and don't have in life.  I adore watching my niece and nephew's eyes light up at the idea of Santa Claus sliding down their chimney and eating the cookies they left out for him. I love the holidays, and just because it's only early November doesn't mean I can't begin practicing my favorite recipes in that honor. 

First up... a cupcake for the season. Even I knew it was too early for a gingerbread house or sugar cookie cut-outs, but a gingerbread cupcake? Why not? It's something everyone can enjoy while preparing to prepare for the holidays and JUST to make sure I wasn't being over zealous with the Christmas stuff, there was no red or green involved. (The red polka dot cupcake liners do NOT count as a Christmas item since they were in the "cute" bin of baking items not the "Christmas" baking bin.)

If you like gingerbread and you like cupcakes, then the buck stops here! Enjoy, whether you make them for the holidays or because it's Thursday and you like gingerbread. 

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: Approximately 12 cupcakes 


For the Cupcakes:
1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon of salt
½ Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼ Cup of water
½ cup of unsulphured molasses
3 large eggs; room temperature
¼ cup grated fresh ginger

For the Frosting:
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl add butter and water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on low until melted together

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and dry spices in a bowl.

In your electric mixture with the paddle attachment, beat together the molasses and brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each. Beat in the flour mixture slowly until just incorporated. Add the butter mixture and the grated ginger and beat until smooth.  (Batter will be runny.)

Spoon into cupcake papers, about 3/4 full. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for a minute to set before moving to a wire rack to fully cool. (Watch these closely. At 12 minutes they appeared nowhere near ready, but at 14 they were perfect)

In your electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Lastly, beat in the vanilla extract.

When cupcakes are completely cool, frost and eat!

Happy pre-holiday season and most importantly, happy baking!
-The Little Bitchin Kitchen

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes

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