Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Cream Cheese Icing

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These Gingerbread Cupcakes are some of the moistest cupcakes ever, and they’re topped with my new favorite icing. The cupcake is light and fluffy and the icing is a mix of caramel, molasses and cream cheese! Yum!

If you like these cupcakes, be sure to try my yummy Gingerbread Cookies with Eggnog Icing too!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting

So I recently started reading a new book/study. It’s called “Blueprint for Life”. It’s about discovering your purpose for your life based on God’s plan for you and creating a plan to achieve it. I’m only a couple chapters in, but so far I love it.

I was talking to my mom about it (because we pretty much talk about everything) and she said this one thing that I thought was so true and relevant. Sometimes we look for God’s purpose for us to be some hugely profound thing, and sometimes we are just making too much of it.

One of the things the book talks about is that our purpose doesn’t have to be mission work, or something big and obvious in order to serve God. The connection between what we do and God’s purpose can be indirect. It can be through donations, our roles as a wife, mother, neighbor, friend, etc. Sometimes, it’s as simple as stepping out of our comfort zone and giving someone a hug when they need it.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing

That was such a great thing to read. I’ve recently been trying to figure out – in a more tangible way – what God’s plan for my life is. And given our struggle to have kids, I’m wondering what it all means. Is there another purpose for me that I’m missing? I’ve been feeling like it should be something much bigger and more obvious than what I’m already doing. What I’m realizing is that that isn’t necessarily true. God puts certain desires in our heart in order to lead us to his purpose, and that purpose can change with time.

It’s a great read and while it’s actually given me some peace with some things, it’s also made me realize that I could be better in others – particularly the things I do for others.

Between working full-time and all the work I put into this blog, I sometimes don’t follow through in my relationships and doing things I’d like to do. For example, I’ve been meaning to reach out to a neighbor I know is going through a tough time and I haven’t done it. I need to be better about those things. That feeling should not be ignored.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing

I’ve also realized (through the helpful pointing out of my mom 🙂 ) that there are some things that I need to let go of. For me, I am a total perfectionist in so many things. It ends up making me a bit of a control freak with those things – unwilling to accept help because I’m afraid it won’t be done the way I want it to be done.

So a couple nights ago, I began to hand over control of the bill paying to the hubs. I’ve just always done it, have a method down, and it’s SO hard for me to let go. So hard that even talking about it with the hubs and telling him I wanted to do that made me cry. And yet, he’s thrilled. He’s been wanting to do it. It’s great because it takes something off my plate, and also will be something that he’ll like doing. Why has it taken me so long?

Anyways, I just felt like sharing. 🙂 It’s a great book so far. But back to the cupcakes.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing

How to Make The Best Gingerbread Cupcakes

The molasses and brown sugar in the cupcake add great moisture and flavor. And it’s got just the right amount of spice. I started with my vanilla cupcake recipe (which you guys are loving!) and altered from there. I just love the recipe as a base, because it’s such an easy one to throw together. One bowl, no crazy mixing, just regular ingredients. The only thing to make sure of when mixing everything together is that you don’t over mix the batter. Unlike other batters, you don’t want to mix this for very long, just enough time for everything to come together, scrape down the sides and mix again. Once it’s smooth, you’re done. Over-mixing these cupcakes can cause them to sink in the middle.

The icing is a new favorite. Instead of making caramel on the stove, I decided to try a microwave method. The brown sugar and butter are melted together in the microwave for a few minutes, until the sugar has mostly dissolved. The caramel cools for a few minutes, while you put together the other parts of the icing, and then added in. The caramel and molasses make a great combo.

One note about the icing – it may seem a little gritty at first from the brown sugar, but once the icing sits for a few hours it’ll be smooth. I’ve made it a few times now and just go ahead and ice the cupcakes and let them sit until ready to serve. The icing gets smooth and is so delicious!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing

Other Gingerbread Treats

Moist Gingerbread Layer Cake
Gingerbread Cheesecake
Gingerbread Cookies with Eggnog Icing
Nutty Gingerbread House
Gingerbread Roll Cake

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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Cream Cheese Icing on burlap

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Cream Cheese Icing

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 14-16 cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Gingerbread Cupcakes are some of the moistest cupcakes ever, and they’re topped with my new favorite icing. The cupcake is light and fluffy and the icing is a mix of caramel, molasses and cream cheese! Yum!



  • 1 2/3 cups (240g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup salted butter (170g), room temperature
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) molasses
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk


  • 1 cup butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 oz cup cream cheese
  • 45 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 12 tbsp milk or water, if needed



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk together all dry ingredients (everything before the butter) in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add remaining ingredients and mix on medium speed just until smooth. Do not over mix.
4. Fill cupcake liners about half way.
5. Bake 18-20 minutes.
6. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.


1. Place 1/2 cup of butter and brown sugar into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for about 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval, until the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 3 minutes. It’ll boil and bubble up. Set caramel aside to cool.
2. Cream remaining 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese until smooth.
3. Add 3 cups powdered sugar and 1 tbsp milk or water to butter mixture and beat until smooth.
4. Pour caramel into icing and mix until smooth.
5. Add another 1-2 cups of powdered sugar.
6. Add molasses and milk or water, if needed, to reach desired icing consistency.


Icing might seem a little gritty at first, from the brown sugar, if it didn’t dissolve all the way. After the icing sits for a few hours, it’ll absorb into the icing and become smooth. Also, you may notice little bits of butter in the batter, but that’s ok. They will melt into the cupcake as they bake.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
  • Calories: 682
  • Sugar: 60.8 g
  • Sodium: 296.7 mg
  • Fat: 41.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 74.9 g
  • Protein: 6.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 125 mg

Keywords: gingerbread cupcakes, gingerbread icing, caramel icing recipe, cream cheese icing, cream cheese icing recipe, gingerbread recipe, how to make gingerbread

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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramel Molasses Icing collage

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  1. Alice

    I have one question just for clarification:
    When do I add the butter? Is the butter to be incorporated into the dry ingredients and then mixed with the wet ingredients?

    I’m going to make these soon and I am making sure I’m all clear on the instructions 

  2. Lauren

    Hi Lindsay! I’ve made these cupcakes three years in a row now and they’re always a huge hit! I’ve also frozen them in the past and I’m happy to report that they freeze and defrost beautifully. Now I have a new question: If I were to make these into mini cupcakes, how long would you suggest baking them for?

    Thank you!

      1. Lauren

        Thanks so much! Your blog is my absolute favorite – everything I’ve made from you turns out wonderfully! Merry Christmas!

    1. Alice

      Hi Lauren can you assist me by telling me if the butter is added to the dry ingredients and then the dry is added to the wet? I just want to be clear and sure and since u have made these and loved them I want to be sure mines comes out perfect… thank u

  3. Princess

    Hey Lindsay I am making these cupcakes next weekend can you tell me the brand of the cookies or where you purchase them from, as always I really enjoy your recipes, and blog….

    1. Lindsay

      Gosh, it’s been so long since I made these, I’m not sure. There are some Pepperidge Farms cookies that are similar. Thanks Princess!

  4. Anna

    This looks really great! I would like to try them out, but I live in Sweden and can’t find any molasses. Do you think I can use cane syrup instead? I have no idea what molasses tastes like so I’m a little bit lost…

    1. Lindsay

      Hmmm, that’s a tough one to answer. I’m not sure that the syrup would bake as well. It’d definitely have a different flavor.

    2. Charity

      Hi! I grew up in the UK and the substitute there for molasses is treacle, not sure if you have that in Sweden, though…

    1. Lindsay

      I tend to add it when it’s a little warm. It should cool a bit, but it doesn’t have to be cold or completely room temp.

  5. Ginger

    I’ve made these cupcakes before and they are amazing! Yummy!! Curious, I’d like to make this in to a bundt cake, will this work? Will this be enough batter?

  6. Steph

    Made this frosting to go with a different gingerbread cake recipe and it was perfect! Love the combination of caramel, molasses and cream cheese. Thanks for a new favorite frosting!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29