ginger and molasses cupcake {msc}

"What was I thinking?" is what I asked myself as I looked at this recipe last week. A few months ago, I chose this cupcake for the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club (to which you can belong, too- just check it out here.)  I suppose that ginger could be an autumnal sort of flavor, particularly paired with pumpkin or pear, (try saying that five times fast!) but when you add molasses with it, it starts heading into the direction of gingerbread. I must have been in some sort of fog, or I was being extremely forward thinking in having an option for wintertime.  Let's just choose the latter reason.

So, bookmark this recipe to tackle after Thanksgiving festivities are over, because these cupcakes definitely put you into the holiday mood.

There's the thick, syrupy molasses.

Fresh ginger, or if you're a little afraid of ginger pieces, 
you can substitute ground ginger.

It's a two bowl, no mixer recipe.
One bowl has the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
The other bowl contains the sugar and the other ingredients.

The fun began when I rotated the cupcakes midway through baking. They appear to be donut-like. I had read that the cupcakes would not be domed, but concave? This was a first for me, and frankly, very curious! I am not Harold McGee, so I have no idea why this occurred. All I know is the cupcakes taste GREAT, they're moist and flavorful. There is a slightly chewy texture to the part of the cake that spilled over the top that I particularly like. And those indentations? They give you extra room for more whipped cream, which must be a good thing.

 For a fancier dessert, whip up some cream and top it with some minced crystallized ginger.

For an afternoon snack, dust it with some confectioner's sugar and down it with a glass of milk.
It's delicious either way!

Ginger and Molasses Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar
⅔ cup unsulfured molasses
2 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup hot water
9 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and minced (1 cup) or substitute 2 teaspoons ground ginger
whipped cream
ground ginger, for dusting, or minced crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves (and ground ginger, if using). In another bowl, whisk sugar, molasses, and eggs until smooth; whisk in melted butter and the hot water. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated, then stir in minced ginger.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes (cupcakes will not be domed.)

Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers

To finish, dollop whipped cream onto cupcakes. Dust lightly with ground ginger or sprinkle with minced crystallized ginger. Serve immediately.


  1. Yes, I agree they were delicious! I can usually resist my baking, but after my third delicious cupcake, I realized I need to send these out of the house! I am also curious about the concave results. Looking at other bakers, it looks like simply flat topped results are possible! :-) Thanks for baking!


  2. Oh great job! I actually thought this was a perfect pick. The ginger and molasses taste autumnal to me. Thanks for the pick!

  3. What a nice choice, this is. I have to pull the book out and start making cupcakes.

    My grandchildren are coming to visit and I know they would love cupcakes although, I am guessing, chocolate is for them and these are for the adults.


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