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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

These seasonal cupcakes are perfect for the fall/winter season. The blend of spices, molasses, and even the orange in the buttercream are perfect in these cupcakes.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gingerbread cupcakes, gingerbread cupcakes with orange
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Amy- A Red Spatula


  • bowl for mixing, hand mixer (optional), cupcakes pan


  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • cup greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Orange Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • fresh orange juice The amount you use will be to the consistency you are looking for. I like my icing thick, so I used about 2 teaspoons

Toasted Pecans

  • 1 cup whole pecan halves

Simple Caramel Sauce

  • 8 wrapped caramels
  • 2 tablespoons milk


Gingerbread Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Line cupcake pan with liners for 12 cupcakes. Set aside.
    In small bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
    In another medium bowl, add softened butter, oil, and brown sugar. Mix well. Add in eggs, vanilla, Greek yogurt, and molasses. This time, only mix to combine. You don't want to overmix it. Last step is the dry ingredients. Add these in and mix again to combine. Be careful not to overmix here! A few small lumps is not a big deal.
    Scoop batter evenly into your lined cupcakes pan.
    Place in oven.
    These will take between 12-18 minutes to bake, depending on the actual temp of your oven.
    I like to under bake these just a touch. The reason for this is even after your remove the cupcakes from the oven, they will continue to cook. This is called carry-over cooking. It really important when working with whole grains as they absorb more liquid than refined flours. I test the cupcakes for doneness by touch. This is done by gently pressing in the center of the cupcake. If you can feel it slightly underbaked in the very center of the cupcake, like about ½ inch in the very center, it is perfect. Remove from oven, and the carry over cooking will finish off the last little bit.
    Remove from oven. Allow to cool aboout5 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove and place on a cooling rack.
    Now, they are ready for icing and doesn't your house smell amazing!!
  • Toasted pecans
  • Leave your oven on from baking the cupcakes, at 350 degrees.
    Pour whole pecan halves onto a baking sheet and place in the oven.
    You will want to bake these for about 7-10 minutes. They will darken a touch and start to smell "toasted". It is such a great smell.
    Remove from oven and allow to cool before using.

Orange Cream Cheese Icing

  • Add softened cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and orange zest to small bowl. With a hand mixer, whip the icing until ingredients are well blended. Now, check for the consistency. Everyone perfers their icing a little different, so add orange juice to get to that consistency. If you want it to be more thick, add in another tablespoon or so of powdered sugar. Whip it really well, this will give you the best consistency for this icing. When cupcakes have cooled, pipe or spread the icing as desired.

Simple Caramel Sauce

  • Add caramels and milk to a microwave safe bowl. You will wan the caramels to melt and then mix with the milk. Each microwave is different, but I would recommend starting in 15 second intervals. As soon as the caramel starts to soften, mix. Microwave back in as needed to get the smooth consistency you are looking for.
    Allow to cool just a touch, then pour it over the iced cupcakes.