Anyone else a sucker for those holiday lattes in red cups this time of year? There’s something just so festive and special about running around town buying gifts with that latte in your hand. Having one of those lattes is essentially like having dessert in the morning (hello sugar and calories!) so… why not turn one into a dessert?
Blowing your diet on one drink? Not worth it. Enjoying a festive dessert with your family? Totally worth it! These gingerbread latte cupcakes are full of spice and warm flavor. The cream cheese frosting takes them beyond your typical holiday dessert. They’re also quick and easy to prepare, so you’ll always be ready for holiday parties and unexpected guests.
Gather your ingredients
Start by gathering your ingredients. You’ll need your standard cupcake ingredients like flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. To create that gingerbread flavor, we’ll use ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and ground cloves. We’ll also add molasses and brown sugar for the gingerbread flavor. Espresso powder will bring out the gingerbread flavor even more and give the cupcakes a kick of latte flavor.
To mix the batter, we’ll add melted butter, molasses, brown sugar, and eggs. Once the cupcakes have cooked, we’ll use cream cheese, room temperature butter, powdered sugar, and pure vanilla extract to make the cream cheese frosting.
A full list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions can be found at the end of this article.
Prepare your muffin tin
Start by preparing your cupcake pan. If you are using cupcake liners, feel free to skip this step. If not, spray each cup with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with flour. Pat the pan on all sides to ensure the flour coats the entire cup. Discard any extra.
Set the pan aside and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk the dry ingredients
In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk the ingredients together to combine. A whisk works better than a large spoon, because the dry ingredients will be mixed more evenly.
Add the spices
Next add the ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and ground cloves. If you’re out of allspice, you could also substitute nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spice.
Add the espresso powder
Once the dry ingredients are combined, whisk in the one tablespoon of espresso powder. If you don’t have espresso, you could also use good coffee.
Not only will the espresso powder give the cupcakes a nice latte flavor, but it will also bring out the gingerbread flavor even more — espresso is often used in chocolate baked goods to bring out the flavor.
Beat the wet ingredients
Set aside the dry ingredients and start mixing the wet ones. Pull out your stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. In the large mixing bowl, add the molasses and brown sugar. Because the molasses is so sticky, be sure to spray your measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray before measuring the molasses. This will help it easily pour into the mixing bowl. This little trick can also be used with honey and maple syrup.
Beat the molasses and brown sugar together for about a minute.
Add the eggs
Once the molasses and brown sugar is combined, pour in the melted butter and eggs. Beat on high for about 30 seconds.
Incorporate the dry ingredients
Slowly begin incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet. Add the flour mixture about one-half cup at a time, making sure it’s fully incorporated before adding more. Once the batter is combined, turn off the stand mixer.
Bake the cupcakes
Fill each cupcake tin about three-quarters full. Place the cupcake pan in the oven and bake for about 16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Allow to cool
Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool. The cupcakes should be cool before frosting. If they’re still warm, the cream cheese frosting will just run off — and no one wants that!
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before carefully lifting them out with a butter knife. Set aside to cool.
Beat the cream cheese
While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. The frosting will keep well in the refrigerator, so don’t worry about making it too early. It could also be made a day ahead of time.
Place the cold block of cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until creamy.
Add the butter
Add in the softened butter and beat until smooth. Next add the powdered sugar and pure vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy, making sure not to over-mix. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
If beaten for too long, the frosting will lose its creaminess and be too thin to frost the cupcakes. If this happens, simply place it in the refrigerator to firm up again.
Prepare to frost
When the cupcakes are ready to be frosted, remove the frosting from the refrigerator and scoop into a piping bag or large Ziploc bag. If using a Ziploc bag, snip off one of the corners with sharp scissors after adding the frosting.
It’s easiest to place your piping bag in a large cup and fold the sides over. This will allow you to add the frosting without it getting all over the outside of the bag. Of course, if this happens, you get to lick it off!
Frost the cupcakes
To frost the cupcakes, start on the outside of each cupcake. With gentle, but constant pressure, pipe the frosting in circles working your way into the center. Once you’ve reached the center of the cupcake, gently press down then lift straight up to create a small peak. Repeat with all 12 cupcakes and serve!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
1 and ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup unsulphured molasses
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, brought to room temperature
For the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with flour, discarding any extra. If you prefer to use cupcake liners, skip the flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Once combined, whisk in the ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and ground cloves. Add the espresso powder and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Attach the whisk attachment to your large stand mixer. In the mixing bowl, combine the molasses and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed for about one minute. Crack in the eggs, add the melted butter, and beat for another 30 seconds.
While the mixer is running on medium speed, slowly start incorporating in the dry ingredients, adding about one-half cup at a time until mixed. Be careful not to overmix.
Fill each muffin tin about three-quarters full and place in the oven for about 16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
While the cupcakes are cooking, prepare the frosting. The frosting keeps well in the refrigerator, so no worries about making it too soon. Place your cold cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until creamy. Add the room temperature butter and beat until combined. Add the cup of powdered sugar and teaspoon of vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Be careful not to overbeat, as this could make the frosting too thin. Place in the refrigerator until ready to frost.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, scoop the cream cheese frosting into a piping bag or large Ziploc bag. If using a Ziplock bag, snip off one corner of the bag with sharp scissors once you have added the frosting. Starting on the outside of the cupcakes, pipe the frosting in circles working your way in. Once you’ve reached the center of the cupcake, gently press down and then lift up to create a small peak. Repeat with all 12 cupcakes and serve.