These Candied Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect dessert for any holiday celebration. Made from scratch using clove, cinnamon, applesauce, and candied ginger in the batter, these cupcakes are nice and moist with a hint of spice!
This cupcake recipe is my old Gingerbread Cupcake recipe updated! A few minor changes and more candied ginger for delicious, moist, and spicy cupcakes that are perfect for any holiday party or celebration.
I originally had this recipe paired with my Gingerbread Martini, which is another delicious holiday treat you should check out!
Ingredients for Candied Ginger Cupcakes
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- ground ginger
- ground cloves
- freshly grated nutmeg
- unsalted butter
- vanilla extract
- unsweetened applesauce
- candied ginger (see recipe below)
How to Make Cupcakes with Candied Ginger
- Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside. Sifting is important here because the ginger, cloves, and nutmeg can create clumping.
- Add the room-temperature butter to your mixer bowl and beat until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and continue to mix for 2 more minutes. Mix in the vanilla and egg and then add the apple sauce. Fully combine everything.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix just until combined. Add the candied ginger pieces and mix them in by hand.
- Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
What is Candied Ginger?
Candied ginger, also known as Crystalized Ginger, is fresh ginger that has been cooked in water and sugar and then dried so that it crystalizes from the sugar. The ginger still has its spice bite, but the sugar balances the strong flavor to make a delicious treat. Check out my full recipe and tutorial HERE or in the recipe card.
Ginger is also good for you! Research has also shown ginger to be effective in treating upset stomachs, nausea and morning sickness, motion sickness, lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and more. Of course, always consult a doctor before trying any of these health remedies.
Easy Cream Cheese Frosting
Everyone needs a basic cream cheese frosting in their baking arsenal. Cream cheese frosting is great because it's a little less sweet than regular buttercream which helps enhance the flavor of the baked good you are putting it on. I use shortening in this recipe to make the frosting pipeable.
To make the cream cheese frosting, place the cream cheese and shortening in a stand mixer or mixing bowl and beat at medium speed. Mix in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until nice and smooth. Add the cream or milk to get your desired consistency.
How to Decorate the Cupcakes
Cupcakes are fun because you can decorate them in so many ways and they don't all have to be the same. You can pipe the frosting on with your favorite tip or just spread it on with a spatula. Top the cupcakes with candied ginger pieces, sprinkles, or even a dusting of pumpkin pie spice (which is basically a mix of the spices you used in the cupcakes).
Notes and Tips for Candied Ginger Cupcakes
- You can use store-bought candied ginger if you didn't want to make your own.
- The cupcake recipe can be used to make a bread loaf as well, you will just need to cook it longer and increase your oven temp by 25 degrees.
- Orange is another flavor that works really well with ginger and gingerbread flavors. If you don't have candied ginger or don't enjoy a strong ginger flavor, candied orange peel or orange zest would be a great alternative.
- You can substitute butter for shortening in the frosting. As I mentioned, I wanted a little more structure to the frosting for piping which is why I used shortening.
Candied Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- frosting bag and frosting tip
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temp
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ⅓ cup candied ginger (see recipe below)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered confectioners sugar
- 1-2 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
- Sift flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside. Sifting is important here because the ginger, cloves, and nutmeg can cause clumping in the flour.
- Add the butter to your mixer bowl and beat until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and continue to mix for 2-3 more minutes. Put in the vanilla and egg and continue mixing. Add the apple sauce and fully combine everything (it gets a little curdled effect here but that is normal).
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Add the candied ginger pieces and mix them in by hand.
- Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl or mixer, add the cream cheese and shortening and beat together until nice and smooth. Mix in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until nice and smooth. Add the cream or milk to get the consistency you like. I only needed 1 tbsp.
- Place the frosting in the fridge for about 20 minutes so it firms up before piping. Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost, add edible decorations, and enjoy!
- This batter makes 12 cupcakes and there is a little batter leftover so I was able to make 8 mini cupcakes as well.
- You could use store-bought candied ginger if you don't want to make your own.
- This cupcake recipe can be used to make a bread loaf as well, you will just need to cook it longer and increase your oven temp by 25 degrees.
- You can sub butter for shortening in the frosting.
Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Did you Make these Candied Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting?
If you get a chance to make these Candied Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, snap a pic and tag me on Instagram or Facebook! I love to see my recipes in real life! You can also sign up for my mailing list and follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a recipe or update!