Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes – nostalgic gingerbread spiced cupcakes, topped with chocolate ganache, silky chocolate buttercream, gingerbread cookie crumbles and a chocolate dipped gingerbread cookie topper. A new holiday cupcake recipe, sponsored by McCormick®.
Christmas is less than two weeks away. I repeat, LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY! I don’t mean to shout but can you hear the panic through my capital letters? How can it be mid-December already? Every November I tell myself THIS will the THE YEAR… the year that I get a head start on shopping and baking and wrapping and shipping and all things Christmas. And every year come mid-December, it’s the same story. My holiday prep list is still staring me in the face, with far too few items X’d off, and I resign myself to the thought that NEXT year will be my year to get it all together.
It’s funny though, no matter how crazy December gets, the smell of baking Christmas cookies takes me back to a time when the holiday season was a lot simpler. Ah, to be a kid again! I have such fond memories of making Christmas cookies and candies with my mom and sisters. Our version of Christmas treats involved a lot of chocolate – as in everything was dipped in chocolate! We would dip pretzels, raisins, peanut butter balls, nuts, potato chips – yes, we were ahead of our time dipping potato chips back then – but if you could balance it on a fork and submerge it in chocolate, we probably tried it!
Now with my own daughter, our Christmas traditions look a little different. We started decorating gingerbread houses four years ago and it has become a cherished activity in our house. She watches patiently as I work on projects for the blog all year long. But the gingerbread houses are a different story. She is in charge of the decorating and the possibilities are endless! And there’s just something about the aroma of gingerbread that puts me in the holiday mood. As a mom, it’s so rewarding to watch her creativity flow, knowing that we’re making a whole new generation of family memories.
For today’s recipe, I decided to merge my nostalgic memories of chocolate dipping with our new tradition of gingerbread. And cake of course. The result are these Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes!
It all starts with a fluffy cupcake that embodies all of the traditional spices of gingerbread paired with the smoky goodness of molasses and dark brown sugar. Then we dip the cupcake into a smooth chocolate ganache, creating a thin layer of chocolate perfectly sticky and ready to recieve a light sprinkling of chopped gingerbread cookies. A swirl of silky chocolate buttercream and a chocolate dipped gingerbread cookie top it all off.
I used McCormick Ground Spices because that’s what we always use! Hello quality spices available at my local grocery store. You’ve been making holiday desserts amazing for as long as I can remember and your classic red cap is conveniently easy to spot. Into my grocery cart you go! You will soon fill my kitchen with a glorious aroma and the feeling of Christmas.
Since this cupcake has more than enough steps and your holiday to-do list is sure to be as long as mine, take the liberty of using store bought gingerbread cookies. This is one shortcut that no one will notice and you’ll be plenty pleased with the results. Give them a quick dip in melted chocolate and let them dry on parchment paper to make them your own. Or just leave them plain, it’s up to you.
No matter what your next two weeks looks like, I hope you’re able to spend some time in the kitchen, reliving favorite family memories and making new ones to cherish.
CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD CUPCAKES
a recipe by Carrie Sellman
(makes 24 cupcakes)
For the Gingerbread Cupcakes:
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
4 teaspoons McCormick Ground Ginger
½ teaspoon McCormick Ground Cloves
½ teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, McCormick Ground Cinnamon, McCormick Ground Ginger, McCormick Ground Cloves, McCormick Ground Nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, and eggs.
- Add half of the water to the melted butter mixture, then half the dry mixture, and stir. Add the remaining water and dry mixture, whisking until smooth.
- Divide the batter between the cupcakes liners. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool for 30 minutes.
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
5 large egg whites
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, cubed (room temperature)
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (melted, cooled)
1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.
- Place bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double-boiler. Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add cubed butter and mix until incorporated.
- Add McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract, chocolate and whip on medium-high until silky and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.
For the Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup, optional
Chop up chocolate into small pieces. Place into medium bowl and set aside. Heat cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat just until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes and then stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup.
For the Assembly:
10 crispy gingerbread cookies, chopped, optional
24 gingerbread cookies, dipped in chocolate, optional
Dip tops of cupcakes into chocolate ganache, letting excess drip off before turning upright (alternatively, spread a light coating of chocolate ganache onto cupcake using an offset spatula if you find that easier). Sprinkle tops with chopped gingerbread cookie crumbs. Using a pastry bag fitted with a #867 tip, pipe a swirl of buttercream frosting. Top with a gingerbread cookie, if using. Best enjoyed at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of McCormick.
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