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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. Hi! Just windering about the salted butter in the cupcake and buttercream recipes. I’m so used to using unsalted, so I’m just checking to make sure that I should definitely use salted. Alternatively, could I use unsalted butter and add 1/2 tsp of salt?

    1. HI! Yes, I always use salted butter. You can use unsalted butter with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. That works great too! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

    1. HI! These are from Anthropologie, but from last year. They no longer carry them. So sorry! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    I LOVE gingerbread and I’ve always been too intimidated to attempt to make it. This year I wanted to take an attempt at it, and I can say that I am glad that I did! This recipe was was not only easy but super delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. I am not sure how that will turn out, but it sounds like a good idea! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much!! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    The best cupcake I have ever eaten and I bake almost daily. It is so moist and filled with flavor. I love a recipe that just works as written. Thank you for sharing and happy 2019.

  4. Hi I’m sorry I said they was waste of time. But I tried them an they don’t look good but taste really good . So yes I’m going do try to make them again. I tested my baking powder with hot water and it didn’t fizzle so it was bad. Got new baking powder and going to try this recipe once more.
    Thank-you for your recipe 🙂

    1. Hi Sue! I am glad these still tasted amazing for you. Thank you for this comment! I hope you love some other recipes of mine!

  5. 5 stars
    frankly, i was looking for a gingerbread muffin but all comments on every recipe i found suggested the muffin turnout was DENSE and thats not something i like associating with muffin goodness. skipping the icing and dusting with sugar for a family treat.

    i will say that when i mixed my softened butter, sugar with milk and vanilla… the butter like thickened up into these weird gooey chunks that didn’t break up until i folded in some flour. it may have been me just throwing all wet ingredients together after mixing butter, egg and sugar but… i don’t know! it ended up just fine – i trust all your recipes! they took those last little minutes to really rise up into some beautiful cupuffins.

    my husband hates gingerbread, but you’re about to change his mind! I LOVE YOU

  6. 5 stars
    These are SO GOOD! SO GOOD! The frosting… oh my goodness this frosting! And it’s the perfect amount of spice in the cake with a great texture. My husband said this is the best cupcake he’s ever had! Definitely a hit at the Christmas party!

  7. Hi,I nave been planning to make this the first time eversince I saw this recipe on your website ,I am a fan of yours.My question is if I bake it tonight christmas eve should I wait to put the frosting tomorrow to be served christmas day or it does not matter,i was just worried that the frosting will melt the next day.Thank’s!!

    1. HI! I like to frost these just before serving, so wait to frost them! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much and happy Holidays!! xTieghan ?

      1. Hi Dana,
        I like to use blackstrap molasses. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  8. Hi First time making them. And they all are SUNK in MIDDLE. Probably won’t make these again. Waste my time& all the ingredients.I was hoping they would come out. Wanted to have for party . Very SAD : (

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  10. I made these over the weekend! They were such a hit and so adorable!!
    Super easy and fun to make. I found the icing to be a little too sweet for my liking, but I loved the overall consistency of it, held up really well. I also liked how the cupcake wasn’t too sweet, so it balanced well with the icing.

  11. 5 stars
    I made them! They were a smashing success, and came out looking pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I did the frosting similar to yours with a piping bag, but used store-bought ginger snaps in the shapes of hearts, little gingerbread men, Christmas trees, etc. , All in all a great result, and they tasted fantastic. I had run out of vanilla extract, (blasphemy, I know) 😀 so I used a combo of vanilla flavored sugar and dark rum. It worked. 😉 Thank you for this great recipe!

    1. I am so glad this turned out amazing for you Aline! And so great that the vanilla flavored sugar worked! Love that! Thank you so much!