Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingerbread Cupcakes

I have yet to write about our Thanksgiving feast with the Franks, but the big hit of the evening was the gingerbread pumpkin mousse trifle. This masterpiece of gingerbread inspired me to bake up another gingerbread creation. My coworker's birthday was the perfect occasion to test out some gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I found a neat idea for a lemon frosting on This recipe combines your basic cream cheese frosting with lemon zest and juice. I jazzed up the lemon factor by using meyer lemons. I absolutely adore meyer lemons. They have a slightly sweeter and brighter flavor.

Rich molasses batter.

The cupcake batter came together very easily. The recipe indicates that the mixture will look curdled after adding the boiling water to the molasses mixture. This could not be more accurate. It looks kind of gross, but once mixed into the flour the batter begins to look normal again. The molasses is so dark that the batter almost looks chocolate.

Fresh out of the oven - these smell like Christmas!

Dress them up with lemon cream cheese frosting!

Out of the oven, the gingerbread has an intense molasses flavor, which gingerbread lovers will appreciate. The ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves adds warmth and depth. The gingerbread is complemented by the tangy, sweet cream cheese frosting. The meyer lemon adds a slight tartness and brightness that lightens up the dark cake. Definitely be sure to refrigerate before frosting, as the juice makes the frosting a bit runny before refrigeration. The combination of flavors is really perfect for the holidays.

Sprinkle with crystallized ginger.

Hope you all enjoy!

Gingerbread Cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp thinly sliced crystallized ginger

In a bowl sift together, the ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt. In another bowl, cream 1/2 stick of the butter, add the granulated sugar, and beat the mixture until fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the egg, beating until the mixture is smooth. In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1/2 c boiling water. Stir the mixture until dissolved and add to the molasses mixture (the mixture will appear curdled). Add molasses mixture to flour and stir until well combined. Line twelve muffin tins with paper liners and spoon batter into the liners, filling halfway. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

For lemon cream cheese frosting:

In a bowl cream together cream cheese and remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Beat in zest and lemon juice. Chill frosting for 30 minutes and spread on cupcakes. Top with crystallized ginger.