Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

My gluten free gingerbread cupcakes were the hit of the party. I used the Gluten Free Pantry’s Mix, doubling the ginger, but the key to this dish was the frosting. I made a luscious cream cheese frosting that was a perfect compliment to the sharp spice of the gingerbread. I planned on doing some experiments with ginger or nutmeg in the frosting but decided that simplicity was best.

In lieu of sprinkles, I tried shaving crystallized ginger with my microplane. Unfortunately the ginger I bought wasn’t firm enough to get a nice topping. Rather than admit defeat, I chopped the ginger into small pieces to top half of the cupcakes. The presentation wasn’t as lovely as the shaved ginger would have been, but they were mighty tasty. (I chose not to put the ginger on all of the cupcakes as the flavor is quite strong. While I can’t get enough of it, I realize not everyone feels the same.)

Gluten Free Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)

2 eight-ounce packages cream cheese, softened slightly, cut into small pieces
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5-5 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In a medium-size bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and the butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually add the sugar and beat until well incorporated.

With 5 cups of sugar the icing will be slightly runny. If you want a stiffer icing, keep adding sugar until it reaches the desired consistency.

This frosting worked well with the gingerbread but would also be great with other quickbreads or hummingbird cake.

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