As part of my quest to bake through Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book, I chose this festive-looking dessert to bring to a family Christmas gathering - Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cookie Cutouts. I've never made gingerbread before and had two concerns about the recipe - 1. The large amount of spices (2 Tablespoons of ginger!) and 2. No sign of a leavening agent! Despite my reservations, the cupcakes turned out moist and flavorful and were similar in density to a quick bread.
The instructions called for Martha's Fluffy Vanilla Frosting recipe and a topper of homemade cutout gingerbread men. I substituted cream cheese frosting (because it's my favorite) and found these ready made, perfectly sized gingerbread men right at the grocery store! Of course, homemade cookies would be adorable, but when perfection is staring you in the face, why look the other way?
These boys are ready to party!
Gingerbread Cupcakes With Cookie Cutouts
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flour and spices.
Cream butter and sugar. Add molasses and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour and beat until incorporated.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick comes out clean, 20 - 25 minutes.
Top with frosting and gingerbread men.
Archway Holiday Gingerbread Men
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
2 sticks butter
32 ounces powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch kosher salt
Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Beat again. Gradually add in powdered sugar, beating until fluffy again.