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Candied Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These Candied Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect dessert for any holiday celebration.
5 from 16 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: EmilyFabulous




  • 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
  • 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


Gingerbread Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
    cupcake pan with cupcake 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.
    dry ingredients for ginger cupcakes
  • 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).
    wet ingredients for ginger cupcakes
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Add the candied ginger pieces and mix them in by hand.
    candied ginger being mixed into batter for ginger cupcakes
  • 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.
    baked candy ginger cupcakes on 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.
    cream cheese frosting for pumpkin bread in a bowl
  • 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!
    candied ginger cupcakes



  • 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.