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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream

Scott Phillips

Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes and 3-1/2 cups buttercream

A rich, silky French buttercream, made from whole eggs whipped with sugar syrup, lends itself naturally to the traditional eggnog flavorings of rum and nutmeg. It’s the perfect pairing with another holiday classic, spicy gingerbread.


For the cupcakes

  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

For the buttercream

  • 4 large Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbs. pieces and softened
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dark rum, optional
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, plus extra for garnish
  • 1⁄8 tsp. table salt


Make the cupcakes

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 regular-size (2-3⁄4 inch diameter) muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a medium bowl.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy and lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, on medium speed, beating well after each addition. Stop to scrape down the bowl and the beater as needed. Add the molasses and beat until smooth. (It’s OK if you see very tiny curdles.)
  • Add half of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Add the milk, and mix until just blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended.
  • Portion the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan and set them on the wire rack to cool completely.

Make the buttercream

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale, fluffy, and greatly increased in volume, about 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, put the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and attach a candy thermometer to the side. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, swirling to dissolve the sugar, until it reaches 235°F, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof measuring cup. Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until no longer warm when you touch the side of the bowl, about 10 minutes. The mixture should be very thick and light yellow in color.
  • Gradually add the butter, in pieces, until it is all incorporated. It’s OK if the eggs lose some volume. Add the rum, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt and beat on high speed until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

Assemble the cupcakes

  • Transfer the buttercream to a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe a generous spiral of buttercream onto each cupcake. Grate a generous amount of nutmeg over the cupcakes. The cupcakes will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • User avater
    TommyOP | 12/25/2018

    Epic fail! Not sure what when wrong: “ok if eggs lose some volume”. Mine lost nearly all their volume once I started adding the butter. I ended up adding at least 4 cups of powdered sugar to give it any chance at all of being piped. I consider myself pretty good in the kitchen. Any ideas what went wrong? Next time, simple butter cream with nutmeg and rum.

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