Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream Frosting

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Gingerbread cupcakes with cranberry buttercream frosting combine two of your favorite holiday flavors in one sweet treat that is sure to impress!

Yield: 12 cupcakes | Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 2 hrs | Total Time: 2 hrs 15 mins

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cranberry Frosting


For the sugared cranberries:

  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 ounces fresh cranberries

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 10 to 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. To make the sugared cranberries, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup sugar and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Stir in cranberries until well coated. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack to dry for one hour. After one hour, roll cranberries in remaining 1/2 cup sugar until well coated. Let dry for an additional hour.
  2. To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Stir to combine; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until creamy. Add the egg and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the milk, molasses and vanilla until combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about 2/3-full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan about 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting, combine the cranberries, water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer uncovered, about 15 minutes, until the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Reserve ¼-1/3 cup and store the rest in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  7. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, Add butter to the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add cranberry mixture, a tablespoon at a time, until desired color and flavor is reached. Beat on high for about 30 seconds to lighten the frosting.
  8. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Top with sugared cranberries. Enjoy!

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