The “Elf”


{Gingerbread Cupcakes With Rum Eggnog Buttercream and Cinnamon Sticks}

You can spare Santa the milk and cookies and replace them with these.

The gingerbread cupcakes can easily get dry, so try to bake these and serve them the same day. The combination with the eggnog and cinnamon flavor are nice touches, without being overwhelming. You can hold the rum if you’ve got kiddos eating these.

I brought these to my aunt’s house during Christmastime, and they were a hit!

Yields 24 cupcakes.


For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 c. and 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c.white sugar
  • 1 c.unsulfured molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2-1/2 c.all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2-1/2 tsp.ground ginger
  • 2 tsp.ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp.ground allspice
  • 1 tsp.ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 2 tsp.baking soda
  • 1 milk

For the icing:

  • 20 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2½ tbsp. eggnog
  • 2 tbsp. dark rum (optional)
  • ground cinnamon
  • cinnamon sticks


Cupcake directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Cream 5 tbsp. of the butter with the white sugar. Add the molasses, the egg and egg yolk.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot milk.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the hot milk mixture. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared tin.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly springy to the touch. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan and remove to a rack to cool.


Icing directions:

*Quantities listed were originally intended for 18 cupcakes.

  1. Beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, 20-30 seconds.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, salt and nutmeg, and mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add in the eggnog and whip on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 minutes.
  4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, blend in the rum.
  5. Frost the cupcakes.
  6. Dust with cinnamon. Cut the cinnamon sticks in half and place a piece in the frosting of each cupcake.
  7.  IMG_5655

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