This gingerbread cupcake recipe is the perfect treat for the holiday season. The cupcakes have a moist texture and they are full of warm spices and gingerbread flavor and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting.
The cupcakes are also made entirely vegan, but you can easily switch the ingredients to regular if you don't have vegan options on hand. They're great to make at Christmas time and to bring to holiday parties. They are also great to enjoy at any time of year if you enjoy gingerbread spices and gingerbread flavor!
What you'll need for this gingerbread cupcake recipe
- white whole wheat flour: I like white whole wheat flour because it retains the nutritional value of whole wheat flour, but is more finely ground, which makes it better for baking. You can also use regular whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, or oat flour instead. Almond flour and coconut flour will not work in this recipe.
- coconut sugar: I used coconut sugar because I like the flavor and color for this recipe, but you can also use dark brown sugar, regular brown sugar, or even white sugar, if you wish.
- baking powder
- baking soda
- ground ginger
- ground nutmeg
- ground cloves
- dash of sea salt
- dairy-free milk: you can use any time of plant milk like almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, etc. If you do not care about making these vegan, you can use regular whole milk instead.
- coconut oil: you can also use another neutral oil like canola oil.
- unsweetened applesauce
- vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
- vegan unsalted butter
- vegan cream cheese: if you do not care about making these vegan, you can use regular butter and regular cream cheese.
The full ratios for this recipe are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. If you try and like this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and rating, as it really helps out the blog : )
Equipment you'll need
- muffin tin/ cupcake pan
- cupcake liners/ paper liners
- large bowl and whisk to combine the cupcake ingredients
- measuring cups & spoons
- food scale for measuring flour (optional): this is definitely not a requirement because you can use measuring cups instead, but I find that it can sometimes be tricky to get the exact amount of flour using a measuring cup, so I find that weighing my flour is the best way to ensure I am measuring correctly. This is why I have included the grams for this recipe in the recipe card. You can just make this recipe using measuring cups, but make sure you are measuring correctly. Here is a great video showing how to correctly measure flour.
- stand mixer or electric mixer: to make the frosting
If you wanted to add some fun decorations to top these cupcakes, you can make mini gingerbread cookies as I did. I used my recipe for vegan gingerbread cookies that I am linking here. I just halved the recipe and used mini cookie cutouts for these. I then added some white buttons with vanilla white icing and stuck the mini gingerbread men on top of each cupcake.
Making the gingerbread decorative cookies takes about an extra 40 minutes. If you don't want to do all of that extra work, you can top these with cinnamon sticks, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, chopped nuts like chopped pecans or walnuts, star anise, or orange zest.
Turning this gingerbread cupcakes recipe to a muffin recipe
If you wanted gingerbread muffins instead of gingerbread cupcakes, you can simply leave out making the frosting. I also think adding some chopped nuts (like pecans or walnuts), or white chocolate chips would taste delicious if you made these cupcakes into muffins!
Making these into protein cupcakes/ muffins
I made this recipe many times while experimenting with it, and I tried making it with some added protein, which made it really delicious and gave it an extra healthy twist. I used vegan protein powder to do this.
To make these cupcakes high in protein, I replaced ¼ cup of protein powder for ¼ cup of flour. So this would mean you would use 1 ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup of protein powder, instead of what is used in this recipe.
When making the high protein version of these cupcakes, I also added 1 tablespoon of protein powder to the frosting.
How to make these moist gingerbread cupcakes
In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix them well. Then add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk those together until they are well combined.
Tip: be careful not to overmix the ingredients, so that the cupcakes don't lose their fluffiness when they are baking.
Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and fill each muffin cup ¾ of the way with the cupcake batter. I used a cookie scoop to make sure I added an even amount to each cupcake.
This recipe makes 10 cupcakes.
Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes at 350*F/ 175*C.
While the cupcakes are baking, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to make the frosting.
First, whisk together the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese until they are softened. Then add the protein powder, cinnamon, and vanilla. Also slowly add in the icing sugar, while whisking constantly.
When the cupcakes are done baking, give them plenty of time to cool, or they will melt the frosting.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag, add a star piping tip and frost each cupcake.
For more gingerbread recipes, try these other vegan gingerbread treats
Gingerbread Cupcake Recipe
- large bowl
- muffin pan
- cupcake liners
- electric mixer or stand mixer
- 1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour 150 grams
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dairy-free milk
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar 195 grams
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 2 tablespoon vegan cream cheese
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients and mix them well. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk those together until they are well combined.
- Line a muffin pan with muffin liners and fill each muffin cup ¾ of the way with the cupcake batter. This recipe makes 10 cupcakes.
- Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes at 350*F/ 175*C.
- While the cupcakes are baking, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to make the frosting.
- First, whisk together the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese until they are softened. Then add the protein powder, cinnamon, and vanilla. Also slowly add in the powdered sugar, while whisking constantly.
- When the cupcakes are done baking, give them plenty of time to cool, or they will melt the frosting.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a star tip and frost each cupcake.
- I also topped mine with some homemade gingerbread cookies.
How to store the homemade cupcakes
Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container or in a dish covered with plastic wrap. Store them in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Tried these this weekend for a holiday party and we loved them!
so happy to hear that you liked them ! 🙂
Something you & others might not be aware of just plain cane sugar and brown sugar (you mentioned we could use that instead) are not technically vegan. They are typically processed with bone chard. You want to buy the organic sugars if you want it to be vegan.
I wasn't aware of this- thanks for the info!