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Cherry Gingerbread Cupcakes

A sweet frosting with a hint of lemon complements these little spice cakes, each with a maraschino cherry in the center. They're one of my dad's favorite desserts and a sure way of getting him to come over for a cup of coffee. —Laura McAllister, Morganton, North Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 24 maraschino cherries, well drained
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1-3/4 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in walnuts.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full; place a cherry in the center of each. Bake at 375° for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy; add vanilla and lemon zest. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Frost cupcakes.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 266 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 28mg cholesterol, 107mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • mikeopug
    Dec 13, 2010

    Instead of cupcakes I turned it into a bundt cake. Great taste and the frosting is perfect, not to sweet.

  • asnunez
    Dec 9, 2010

    Made mine following Kerry Amundson's suggestion about the cloves and orange zest. Omitted the nuts due to an allergy in the family and used 1/3 cup dried cranberries, plumped in orange juice instead of the cherries. Fantastic Flavor!

  • Kerry Amundson
    Nov 22, 2010

    I'm giving this a four ONLY because I did not follow the recipe - I modified it. But I will give mine a 5! I made mini cupcakes (yielded 64), added 1/4 t. cloves and 1 t. orange zest to the batter and left out the nuts and cherries since I was making these for the little kids in my class. I doubled the frosting and added 1 T. maple syrup and left out the lemon zest. Then I topped each one with a piece of candy corn. These are for a Thanksgiving treat at school. I will be making these again - my way. But some day I will follow the recipe!!

  • persephone778
    Dec 21, 2009

    No comment left

  • dwinokur
    Apr 1, 2009

    If you are on a diet, make sure you send these cupcakes home with your guests-they are irresistible !