HoHo Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes

Merry Christmas! These HoHo Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes are so incredibly festive and delicious. Just know that if you decide to make the cupcake sans the “Ho Ho” topper, this dessert is still festive and amazingly delicious. The cupcake is made up of gingerbread and spices, and topped with a light, fluffy cream cheese frosting. Even though you’re knee-deep in the holidays, know that you can whip up a batch of these cupcakes, get the kids to sprinkle the glitter, and bam! – you’ve got some seriously festive desserts on your hands. That is, for like a second…before they get devoured. HoHo Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes


First, let’s start with the topper and work our way down. The HoHo dough (love that it rhymes) can be sugar, gingerbread or almond. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and using the cookie cutters, cut out the letters. I found these italic script alphabet cutters from Meri Meri.

Dip cookies in sanding sugar

Dip in a little water, and add blue sanding sugar to the face of the cookie.

Bake cookies

Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.

HoHo Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes


For both the cupcake recipe and the cream cheese frosting recipe, I’m paying an homage to my fellow blogger Sally’s Baking Addiction. However, I modified the frosting slightly – but, trust me, both are beyond delish!

Cream cheese frosting


Don’t let the piping bag scare you. It’s truly very basic: pop on the tip (I used Wilton No. 12), add frosting and squeeze. Swirl into luscious little puffs of delight.

Sprinkle silver glitter on top

I added silver edible glitter to the top of the frosting. This is where you pull in the little people in your family for some decorating help. Dust and sprinkle away!

Place cookie on top of frosting

Make sure the cupcakes are completely set, then add the HoHo toppers. Push gently down until secure. I just couldn’t resist these super cute cupcakes cups by Paper Eskimo.

HoHo Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes

I hope you all find time to be with family and friends, put your feet up, and get some baking in (and, yes, in that order!). Merry Christmas!


Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

HoHo Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes
HoHo Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes

Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes

By TheSweetNerd  

December 4, 2019



2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsulphured molasses

3/4 cup hot water

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 and 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon cream or milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sugar Cookies

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla


Blue sanding sugar

Silver edible glitter



1Preheat oven to 350°F. Put cupcake liners in pan. Set aside.

2In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together until combined. Set aside. In a separate bowl or dish, whisk the molasses and hot water together.

3In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 1 minute.

4Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed for 1 minute until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

5On medium-high speed, beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

6With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the hot water/molasses, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated.

7Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for around 20 minutes or so.

8To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean with only a couple moist (not wet) crumbs, it is done.

9Allow cake to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. The cake must be completely cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until creamy and no lumps remain - about 2 minutes.

2Add confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.

3Beat on low speed for 20 seconds then increase to high speed until everything is completely combined and the frosting is creamy.

4Taste. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

Sugar Cookies

1Dries: Whisk flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

2Base: In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Next, add eggs, vanilla and optional flavorings of citrus zest or spices (ie: cardamom).

3Gradually, add dries to base just until incorporated. Chill in refrigerator up to one hour. Roll on lightly floured surface. Cut shapes.

4Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

5Note: When you cut into a shape, chill in freezer to set. Then, transfer directly to hot oven.


1Lay out pan with blue sanding sugar and roll sugar cookies into sanding sugar.

2Ice cooled cupcake and sprinkle with silver edible glitter.

3Place decorated sugar cookies into cupcake icing.



  • Ryan A
    6 years ago

    Oh boy, this looks adorable. Merry Christmas, SweetNerd! Everyone needs some Ho, Ho, Ho on their special day.

  • Kendall
    6 years ago

    These are so adorable! I love the idea of putting sugar cookies into a cupcake. Merry Christmas Cindy!

  • 6 years ago

    These cupcakes are super cute and creative! Love the glittery “Ho Ho” topper.

  • 6 years ago

    The cookie toppers are so adorable. I love gingerbread anything songhis is a great combination for me.. hope you and your family had a merry Christmas

  • 6 years ago

    Soooo cute! I wish I saw this post a few days ago – it’s such a great idea I would have loved to try on our Christmas party ♥ Next year 😉

  • Those toppers are cookies?! What an amazing idea! Think I’ll make a variation of these for my boyfriend’s upcoming birthday.

  • These cupcakes are a piece of art! Seriously, these look superb!

  • Lorna Soonhee Umphrey
    6 years ago

    These are so cute and festive!

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