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.