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If there’s anything that truly screams Christmas, it’s these Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream I made in partnership with McCormick. Sweet gingery cupcakes made with brown sugar, molasses and a touch of vanilla extract. Then baked up and frosted with a cinnamon infused buttercream. These cupcakes are moist, full of warming spices, so delicious, and simple enough to make any day of the week for a fun December treat. There is no flavor like home, but, for me, gingerbread comes pretty close!

side angle photo of Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream

Did you ever decorate a gingerbread house as a kid? One of my favorite childhood memories is of spending the day at my Aunt Carol’s house with my cousins, decorating gingerbread houses. She’d bake the gingerbread houses from scratch before we arrived. Then each of us would get to decorate our own house to take home. It’s only now just occurring to me that she must have had to do so much prep work before hand to make all those houses. I’m not sure how many she made exactly, but there had to have been at least four…and these were not small houses.

Anyway, we used to have so much fun decorating those houses. And while I have yet to master the 100% homemade gingerbread house (honestly, I’m all about a good gingerbread house kit…you know?). I have mastered the gingerbread cupcake.

McCormick vanilla bottle

And they are DELICIOUS.

If you love gingerbread cookies, and you love cupcakes, then I’m pretty sure you’re going to fall in love with this recipe.

side angle photo of Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream

I’m so excited to partner with McCormick this holiday season to show-off one of my signature holiday flavors. I put my favorite McCormick spices to good use with these cupcakes, by allowing them to shine in both the cupcake and the frosting. I figured that since it’s December, if there was ever a time a double up on cozy spices it’s now. These cupcakes have very classic gingerbread flavors. They’re made with molasses, brown sugar, McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract and the ideal mix of McCormick ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

close up photo of Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream

The cupcakes bake perfectly light, tender, and moist. My favorite part though? The smells coming from the kitchen as the cupcakes bake in the oven. It’s as if you’re walking into the kitchen of Mrs. Clause herself…I know, a little cheesy, but so true.

Ok, here’s my suggestion. Invite someone you’d like to impress over while you’re making these cupcakes. The smells alone are sure to capture the attention of anyone near the kitchen. But the taste, oh the taste of these cupcakes is even better!

close up photo of Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream

overhead photo of Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream

No cupcakes are complete without a little buttercream.

This one is simple, but delicious. I’m currently obsessed with browning butter. So, I first browned the butter, then added a touch of McCormick cinnamon, a splash of McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract, and sweetened the deal with confectioners’ sugar.


For decorating, I made some mini gingerbread cookies. I then frosted them very simply, with melted white chocolate, and called it a day. Clearly I’m all about cute, but easy, Christmas desserts right now.

side angle photo of Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream with bite take out of cupcake

If you make these gingerbread cupcakes please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 1378 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Cinnamon Browned Butter Frosting


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
    2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. 
    3. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, molasses and egg until combined. Add the milk, alternating with the flour mixture until everything is combined. 
    4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin pan. Transfer to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out with moist crumbs attached, 18-22 minutes. Let cool before frosting.
    5. To make the buttercream. Add 1 stick butter to a skillet set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir often. Remove from the heat and transfer the butter to the mixing bowl, let cool until it's room temp.
    6. Add the remaining stick of butter and 2 cups powdered sugar. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the honey, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until combined, adding more powdered sugar as needed until your desired consistency is reached. 
    7. Frost and decorate cupcakes as desired. Enjoy!
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horizontal photo of Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream

{This post is sponsored by McCormick Spice. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!}

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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve tried a ton of different gingerbread recipes from many different places (my husband’s favorite at Christmas time). This is hands down the best gingerbread recipe I’ve found! And the icing is absolutely delicious! My cupcakes did fall juuust a pinch, but nothing that some icing couldn’t hide. And the taste (which is what really matters) is perfect still!

  2. 5 stars
    Made these cupcakes for a bake sale. They are absolutely delicious. Enjoyed making them with my daughter. Hoping they sell out which I am positive they will. Thanks so much for this recipe. Happy Holidays.

  3. Hi Tieghan! When I make these, the cupcakes stick to the papers… I’ve tried a couple of different paper types with the same result. Any tips here? Trying to make them for a party!

  4. I made these as per the recipe and they were SO delicious!! Planning on making them again for an upcoming bake sale. Wondering if I could bake the cupcakes in advance & freeze them & then thaw & frost them the night before the bake sale?

    1. Hey Joelle,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks so much for your feedback and trying the recipe! Totally, that will work well for you! Happy Thanksgiving! xT

  5. 2 stars
    I made this recipe twice and they fell both times. The first time I thought my BS/BP may have been old so I replaced them. Same thing happened the second time. The taste is great, however, they weren’t presentable as cupcakes. I ended up breaking them up and making a trifle so as to not waste them. And by sink, I mean completely so they couldn’t even be salvaged with some extra frosting. The frosting is divine. I was very disappointed.

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback. Sorry to hear they are sinking for you. Anything you might be adjusting in the recipe? What kind of cupcake pan are you using? Let me know how I can help! xx

  6. I’ve made these twice. Both times the cupcakes have all sunk. I followed the recipe perfectly I officially give up on baking.

    1. Hi Jess,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try, sorry to hear these sunk for you. Like a lot or just a bit in the middle? Sometimes cupcakes do that:) Was there anything you adjusted in the recipe? Let me know how I can help! xx

    2. 3 stars
      Jess, Not sure if this is your answer but have you checked the expiration on the baking soda and powder? The same thing happened to me, and it turns out that was my issue.

    1. Hey Melanie,
      Wonderful!!❄️ Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, I am so glad it was a winner:)

    1. Hi Reemi,
      Sorry, the oil is not going to give you the same results as the molasses, I would follow the recipe as is. Please let me know if you give them a try! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    I baked these cupcakes for a holiday social along with 3 other seasonal themed cupcakes. I didn’t change anything except use a store bought gingerbread man cookie for the top decoration and some green sprinkles. This is the cupcake everyone came back for 2nds of and asked me for the recipe. Omg the brown butter smell when you are making them – just heaven! Thank you for an amazing recipe that I’ll be using again and again, I’m sure 🙂