dessert — kid-approved

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting

prep time 30 minutes
cook time 20 minutes
yield 12 cupcakes


These gingerbread cupcakes are all about molasses and spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger make an appearance, creating that warm and cozy flavor that can only mean one thing: it's the most wonderful time of the year! Instead of traditional buttercream, each cupcake is topped with toasted meringue frosting. The best way to describe it? Like biting into a soft homemade marshmallow.

BY:Brown Sugar Food Blogger


For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Nellie’s Free Range Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large Nellie Free Range Egg
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 4 large Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, whites only
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar


To make the cupcake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and brown sugar and beat with an electric hand mixer until well combined. Add the egg and blend until fully incorporated.
  • Add the warm water and molasses, mixing to thoroughly combine, then add in the flour, mixing again until well blended.
  • Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.
  • Divide batter evenly between the 12 lined cups in your prepared muffin tin (an ice cream scoop helps to make portioning easy).
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool while you prepare the frosting.

To make the frosting:

  • Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer, but not a full rolling boil.
  • In a large metal heatproof mixing bowl, add the egg whites and sugar, and whisk heavily by hand until frothy and foamy.
  • Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan (being sure the bowl does not actually touch the simmering water), and whisk by hand constantly for about 7 minutes.
  • Continue cooking until the temperature reaches 140F (if you don’t have a candy thermometer, simply stop at the end of the 7 minutes when the eggs have thickened and the sugar is fully dissolved). Once the mixture reaches 140F, remove from heat.
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the meringue on high speed until stiff peaks form. This can take up to 5 minutes.
  • Pipe or spread the meringue frosting on the cupcakes, and use a culinary torch to lightly brown the meringue (see notes). Finish with any additional decorations as desired and enjoy!

Nellie’s Notes:

If you do not have a culinary torch, you can place the cupcakes under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Just be sure to watch them closely as they’ll toast quickly!

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