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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting

Our Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting recipe takes the classic flavors of gingerbread and eggnog and puts them together in this easy holiday dessert.

Can’t get enough gingerbread and eggnog before the holidays are over? Our Gingerbread Bundt Cake, Eggnog Latte, and Gingerbread Cookies made without Molasses will carry you through to New Year’s!

Cupcake next to a red linen.

How to Make Gingerbread Cupcakes from Box Mix:

These cupcakes couldn’t be easier. Simply follow the ingredients and check out our tips, and you’ll do great! Here’s a quick breakdown of the instructions (keep scrolling to recipe card for the full recipe):

For the Cupcake Batter:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F, and lining two standard sized muffin pans with cupcake liners. Spray the cupcake liners then set aside.
  2. Whisk together the spice flavored cake mix, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg.
  3. Pour in the eggnog, eggs, oil, and molasses. Using an electric mixer, beat the ingredients until combined.
  4. Use a medium cookie scoop to fill each cupcake liner with batter. Only fill each well about ½ full, just under ¼ cup.
  5. Bake the gingerbread cupcakes for 16 to 18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean or the top of the cupcake springs back when lightly pressed.
  6. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cake mix and spices in a bowl.
Cupcake batter in a bowl.
Cake mix, eggs, and oil in a bowl.
Cupcake batter in a pan.

For the Eggnog Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and softened butter.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and eggnog, a little at a time, until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.
  3. Use your favorite piping bag with tip to frost the cupcakes. Add holiday sprinkles or a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg as a garnish.
Creamed butter in a bowl.
Top down view of frosting in a bowl.
Frosting being applied to a cupcake.

Tips for the Best Cupcakes:

  • It’s important not to overmix the batter. You’ll only need to mix about 1 minute or until the batter is smooth. We want the texture of the cupcakes to be light and fluffy. Overmixing makes the cupcakes dense and tough.
  • This batter is thick and sticky (hello molasses!). For the very best results, use cupcake or muffin liners and spray them with cooking spray. Otherwise, the cupcakes will stick to the liners and tear apart.
  • Use a cookie scoop to fill the cupcake liners. It’s quick, easy, and ensures you fill each liner evenly.
  • Only fill each cupcake well about ½ full (or a little less than ¼ cup) . We don’t want any overflowing cupcakes and sticky batter messes on top of the pan.
  • You’ll want to add the eggnog to the frosting about a teaspoon at a time. Adding the full tablespoon all at once may cause the frosting to be loose in texture. Add it slowly and only use the entire amount if needed.

How to Store Gingerbread Cupcakes:

Refrigerator: Frosted cupcakes store well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freezer: These cupcakes freeze well! Let the cupcakes cool completely and leave the frosting off. Wrap the cupcakes individually in a couple of layers of plastic wrap, or place 6 cupcakes in layers of Press N’ Seal wrap.

Drop the wrapped cupcakes into a large plastic bag and they’ll stay fresh for about 2 months. Thaw completely in refrigerator before frosting.

Make Ahead: Make gingerbread cupcakes up to 1 day ahead of time to help with holiday prep! Bake the cupcakes then let them cool completely and don’t apply the eggnog frosting. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Bite taken out of a gingerbread cupcake.

Should you use non-alcoholic eggnog?

We used non-alcoholic eggnog that way this recipe is kid-friendly. Plus, non-alcoholic eggnog is easy to locate for several weeks during the holidays in most U.S. supermarkets.

What are other frosting options if you can’t find eggnog?

We love eggnog frosting for these gingerbread cupcakes, but there are tons of other flavor options. Here are a few great choices:

  • Cinnamon frosting.
  • Cream cheese frosting.
  • Cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
  • Molasses buttercream.
  • Salted caramel icing.
  • Cinnamon browned butter buttercream.
  • Buttercream frosting.

What do gingerbread cupcakes taste like?

They are deliciously sweet with a bit of spiciness from the ground spices. Molasses gives these cupcakes depth and warmth. Overall, they are sweet with warm, wintery flavors of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Gingerbread cupcakes with eggnog frosting.

What do you do when gingerbread cupcakes sink in the middle?

Assuming the cupcakes are baked through, you have two options.

  1. Don’t sweat it! Frost the cupcakes and enjoy. No one will see that it’s a little sunken in the center.
  2. Hollow out the center and add a sweet filling, add a piece of cupcake back to the top to close up hole, and apply the frosting.

Can you use blackstrap molasses in these cupcakes?

Nope, not for this recipe. Blackstrap molasses are slightly more bitter than unsulphured molasses which have a touch of sweetness. To keep these cupcakes on the sweeter side, reach for unsulphured molasses.

How long do you bake gingerbread cupcakes?

This gingerbread cupcake recipe takes about 16 to 18 minutes to bake. Use this as an estimate, since there are several factors that affect bake time. For best results, take a peek at the cupcakes around 14 minutes, see how they look, and go from there.

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Close up view of a gingerbread cupcake on a plate.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes
Servings: 24 Servings

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Ingredients

For the Cupcake Batter:

  • 15.25 ounces spice cake mix 1 box
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup eggnog
  • 3 large eggs
  • cup canola oil or other neutral tasting oil
  • ¼ cup unsulfured molasses

For the Eggnog Frosting:

  • 8 ounces block-style cream cheese softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (brand name butter recommended)
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar (*See note.)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon eggnog (*See note.)

Optional Garnish:

  • Nutmeg
  • Sprinkles

Instructions 

To Make the Cupcake Batter:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line two muffin pans with cupcake liners. Spray the liners with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake mix, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
    15.25 ounces spice cake mix
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pour in the eggnog, eggs, oil, and molasses. Use an electric mixer to beat the ingredients until well combined and smooth, about 1 minute.
    ¼ cup unsulfured molasses
    ¾ cup eggnog
    ⅓ cup canola oil
    3 large eggs
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to fill each cupcake liner about ½ full, just under ¼ cup.
  • Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or the top of the cupcake springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Allow the cupcakes to remain in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Make the Eggnog Frosting:

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
    8 ounces block-style cream cheese
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and begin to combine. Add the eggnog, a little at a time, until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.
    4 ½ cups powdered sugar
    ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon eggnog
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes then add nutmeg or sprinkles. Enjoy!
  • See the post for tips, FAQs, and storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cupcake. Actual calories will vary.
 
*Add the eggnog to the frosting in small amounts. Adding the whole tablespoon may require more powdered sugar. If your frosting is not stiff enough to pipe, you can refrigerate it briefly or add more powdered sugar to firm it up.
 
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
 
*Photos courtesy of Natalie Booras Photography.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating