This post is sponsored by Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Can you believe it? Christmas is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with seasonal gingerbread cupcakes! I couldn’t help but share a classic treat to enjoy for the holiday.
From afar, there’s nothing very fancy-schmancy about these cupcakes. But once you come close and smell the robust aroma of spices—particularly ginger and molasses—you know this itty-bitty cupcake will no doubt be intense with flavor. The best part is its brown-sugar cream-cheese frosting made with the original preservative-free Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It’s made with fresh milk and real cream, which creates a perfect combination with the rich, full-bodied flavor of the cake portion.
One thing I’ve noticed since I started baking is how finicky I can get with frostings. I’m not a huge fan of those with massive amounts of air pockets, although I understand that sometimes you can’t help but have air bubbles incorporated into the frosting. However, this doesn’t happen if it’s made with Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which makes this frosting one of my favorites because I know I can always rely on it to work in my favor.
It’s light, it’s silky, and it balances most sweet and hearty flavors. Lightly sweetened with powdered sugar to reduce the mild tang the cheese may give, it is one of the best flavors to pair with many desserts. In addition, this frosting can easily be manipulated to create a multitude of designs minus the fuss. For this recipe, I have decided to go with the classic “cloud” look to give these cupcakes a softer touch to their powerful flavor.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon all-spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 8 ounces PHILADEPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a cupcake liner into each of the 12 cupcake or muffins wells; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, all-spice together and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and molasses until just combined.
- Fold in the flour mixture alternating with the hot water in 2 parts. Note: Batter will be thick.
- Using an ice cream scoop for even measure, scoop 1 mound of batter into each of the lined cupcake wells.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool over a wire
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat all frosting ingredients—butter, PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered sugar—until smooth.
- In a new piping bag, fill frosting about half full. Twist the open end closed to prevent backflow, and cut the tip of the plastic to create a hole, about ½ inch in diameter.
- Using your dominant hand with the cupcake on the counter, angle the piping bag vertically. Gently squeeze the back of the bag to push frosting onto the cupcake. Continue pushing frosting through until a large “cloud” begins to form. Before releasing the bag away from the frosting, repeat again, this time pushing less frosting through. Lift and release to create a peak.
- Sprinkle cinnamon if desired. ENJOY!
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Thanks to Philadelphia Cream Cheese for allowing me to partner with them to come up with some fun and delicious recipes! I had a blast. Do you have any favorite holiday recipes using Philadelphia Cream Cheese? I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below. For some additional inspiration, click here.