Gingerbread Cupcakes

It was brought to my attention this week that I haven’t done cupcakes in forever! I realized I haven’t made cupcakes because I didn’t want to get stuck feeling like I made nothing but cupcakes so I tried to do a bunch of different things. As I was trying not to get stuck in cupcakes, I forgot them completely! Also, with the holidays I got hung up on more traditional holiday desserts. But here they are, the next batch of cupcakes, Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cranberry frosting. I found a recipe for gingerbread cake with lemon frosting over at Joy Of Baking but I modified it for cupcakes and thought I’d add some cranberry to it, too.
I was a bit apprehensive about these when we were baking them because I am not particular to the smell of molasses, so I was worried I wouldn’t like them in the end but my nose deceived me for sure. They came out scrumptious and I think that the toppings were the perfect combination. The lemon frosting was a bit on the sweet side and the cranberries were a bit on the tart side but they evened each other out to a delicious frosting.
It’s a good thing I was reminded to make cupcakes because over Thanksgiving I picked up some great little Christmas cupcake liners and I have to use them all!

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Gingerbread Cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c unsulphured molasses(To prevent the molasses from sticking to the measuring cup, you can spray the cup with a non stick vegetable spray.)
1 cup milk

Lemon Icing

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cranberry Compote

Frozen cranberries
zest of one lemon
splash of water
splash of lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line cupcake tins.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

In bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the lemon zest and molasses and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the dry ingredients and milk, alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 15 minutesor until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and remove cupcakes from baking pan.  Let cool completely and then, if desired, frost with the lemon icing and cranberry compote. 

Cranberry Compote: Cook down all ingredients, stirring occasionally until cooked down to desired consistency.

Lemon Icing:  Mix together the sifted confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  (The icing should be thick but still spreadable.) Mix in some cranberry compute and swirl together. Pour the icing onto the center of the cupcake and spread with an offset spatula.

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