Candied Ginger Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

12 cupcakes
50 min

These Candied Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect dessert for any holiday celebration. This recipe is made from scratch using clove, cinnamon, applesauce, and candied ginger in the batter. The applesauce makes these cupcakes nice and moist with a hint of spice. YOu can also make your own candied or crystallized ginger (check out my full post on for the recipe). This is the perfect cupcake for Christmas or a holiday party. It basically tastes like gingerbread in cupcake form.

Candied Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and a piece of candied ginger on top.

Candied ginger cupcakes with different edible decorations.

Close up of a candied ginger cupcake with cream cheese frosting and gold sprinkles.

Candied Ginger Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe details
  • 12  cupcakes
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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Gingerbread Cupcakes
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ⅓ cup candied ginger (see recipe below)
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1-2 tbs heavy cream or whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside. Sifting is important here because the ginger, cloves, and nutmeg can cause clumping in the flour.
Add the butter to your mixer bowl and beat until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and continue to mix for 2-3 more minutes. Put in the vanilla and egg and continue mixing. Add the apple sauce and fully combine everything (it gets a little curdled effect here but that is normal).
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Add the candied ginger pieces and mix them in by hand.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large bowl or mixer, add the cream cheese and shortening and beat together until nice and smooth. Mix in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until nice and smooth. Add the cream or milk to get the consistency you like. I only needed 1 tbsp.
Place the frosting in the fridge for about 20 minutes so it firms up before piping. Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost, add edible decorations, and enjoy!
  • This batter makes 12 cupcakes and there is a little batter leftover so I was able to make 8 mini cupcakes as well. 
  • You could use store-bought candied ginger if you don’t want to make your own.
  • This cupcake recipe can be used to make a bread loaf as well, you will just need to cook it longer and increase your oven temp by 25 degrees.
  • You can sub butter for shortening in the frosting. 
Emily |
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