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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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{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 made these in a mini muffin tray and baked for 10 mins, they were perfect. I’d eat them as a muffin without the buttercream but man! Browning the butter and adding honey really makes this the best frosting.

  2. I‘ve just made them on boxing day. I cut out a little hole and filled the muffins with some leftover christmas jam and some peanutbutter. Sooo amazing!! The spices in the muffins are perfect. Gonna bake them every Xmas from now on. ? Merry Christmas from Germany!

    1. Hey Kristen,
      Yes, almond milk will work just fine. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  3. i saw on your instagram story that you made caramel to drizzle on top. could i fill the cupcakes with the caramel? or do you think that would be overkill? thanks!

    1. Hey Cierra,
      Sure you could do that. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Cambrie,
      Yes, that would work! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. Hello! So I made these today and I gotta say, not really loving the flavours, it seems the molasses has really taken over in flavour, do you think I could half the amount of molasses? I haven’t added the frosting yet though so I’m trying to reserve judgement for when I have completed the recipe, was planning to make the frosting tomorrow to test out for Christmas Day. Any suggestions on the strong molasses flavour?

    1. Hey Levi,
      So sorry you are not enjoying the flavors here. You could use corn or maple syrup in place of the molasses. I hope this helps for next time! xTieghan

  5. Hello! I really want to make these, but molasses is super difficult to find in Norway.. Can I use dark sirup instead? 🙂
    Thanks! Camilla

    1. Hey Camilla,
      That should work! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve been baking treats to deliver to friends during this quarantine season, and these were my latest project. All three groups of people I brought these to said they were amazing and/or the best cupcakes they have ever had! The frosting with the browned butter is absolutely incredible and the gingerbread is perfectly spiced!

  7. 5 stars
    I tested these out as an option for my holiday cupcake box and OMG they taste amazing even without the icing. Such a rich but gentle flavour. Good amount of spices but not overwhelming at all and the molasses is just the perfect touch. personally im not a fan of molasses at all but this one definitely changed my mind!