Gingerbread Cupcakes

Anyone who lives two hours east of Sacramento and beyond into midwest and east coast territory will probably hate me for the next couple paragraphs BUT I wish I could see snow.

Being from the valley, the one or two instances of “snow” reported are hardly what anyone who’s seen snow would call snow. It’s more like some pathetic, barely fascinating flake that dissipates before it hits the ground. It’s like even our grass is too hot to keep snow alive.


One time, my parents took my siblings and I to the snow. Well, we tried go. Most of the time, we’d be nearing a fancy resort and my parents would just pull off at a rest stop, point to some half-melted snow and say, “have at it!” This would, of course, result in all childlike snow-activities like throwing snowballs, half-heartedly making snowmen and making snow angels.

So any real snow-sport activity that requires actual maneuvering in the snow: snow-mobiling, tobogganing, skiing, snowboarding? Yeah, never done that.

But I would be really good at riding on garbage can lids! We used to bring those saucer disks to the snow and have a blast travelling down teeny mounds of snow, falling face or butt first into the powdery white after we crashed.

Good times!

See how poor people have fun in the snow? Screw buying hundreds of dollars worth of equipment–give me a garbage can lid and I’m set to laugh until I cry.

Rich people have no idea how to have real fun.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about all-things-wintery and am delighted that Starbucks released their winter drinks (almost a month ago but whatever) because I LOVE their gingerbread syrup.

Besides the lattes, I’m crazy for using the gingerbread syrup in my non-fat iced chai tea lattes. It tastes like a liquid gingerbread cookie thanks to all the spices in the chai and syrup. Amaaazing.

So I decided to make a gingerbread cupcake, because I’m sure that’s what poor people who have no snow do to compensate for lack of snow. Or, if you have snow, that’s cool. You’re allowed to make these, too. In fact, you should–they’re super freakin’ good.

Gingerbread Cupcakes *recipe from Betty Crocker’s Big Book of Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1/3 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe & ingredients follow)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 24 paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat together cake mix, water, oil, eggs, molasses, and spices until blended, about 2 minutes. Portion batter evenly into muffin tins, about 2/3 full, and bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely while you prepare the frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
About 4 cups powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until a stiff but spreadable consistency is reached. Beat in cinnamon.
2. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes (you may want to double the recipe if you’re piping it high like mine). Sprinkle with festive jimmies or gingerbread quinns, like mine (I got them in a 4-pk at Michael’s). Store airtight.

I can’t believe how a box of yellow cake mix can transform into such a yummy gingerbread cupcake… mmm. The cinnamon cream cheese is totally delish, but the cupcake itself is to die for. Try it and let me know how you like it!

Happy (Non) Snow Days!

xo, Hayley

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  1. Oh my goodness, you always have the cutest little sprinkles! These cupcakes look so yummy! I think I am going to make them for my Uncle’s birthday next weekend!

  2. These are beautiful! I love the decorations on top. Thank you for sharing!

  3. LetterKilled says:

    those pictures came out amazing!

  4. The cupcakes are tasty but the frosting is the BEST CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. EVER. Thank you for sharing! I can hardly wait to feed these to people!

  5. Michelle–thank you bunches! If I could make you a giant vat of cream cheese frosting to swim in, I totally would!

  6. can u make these with spice cake mix plus the other ingredients?

  7. I was searching for an idea for my son’s day care to use white cake mix but spice sounds better and this is just what I was looking for!

  8. Hi! Just wanted to say thanks for posting this! It’s Christmas Eve, I’m doing a ton of baking… a million other things ( like everybody ). I had a scratch recipe, I was planning on doing, but just ran out of time and steam. I knew there had to be a quick way to put them together, seconds counted! Thank you (and Betty) so much! They turned out great!

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