Get into the holiday spirit with a batch of gingerbread muffins. Perfect for breakfast, snacking, or dessert, these tender muffins are filled with holiday spices and topped with a dusting of confectioner's sugar.
This homemade gingerbread muffin recipe makes a wonderfully soft, moist, and tender batch of muffins. And since they're not too sweet, they're perfect for snacking, breakfast, or a light dessert.
Make a batch of gingerbread muffins for Christmas morning, holiday movie night, or just because.
Want to make a loaf of gingerbread instead? I have a recipe for that, too: Homemade Gingerbread Loaf. Muffins and bread loaves make a great homemade holiday gift!
These muffins also freeze incredibly well. Make a batch now and enjoy them throughout the holidays.
Ingredients and substitutions
Since this is a baking recipe, I do not have many substitutions to offer. Baking is an exact science, and each ingredient serves its purpose in the recipe. I do not recommend making any substitutions that I haven't mentioned in this section!
Unsalted butter and salt can be substituted with salted butter.
Make sure you grab the baking soda for this recipe - not baking powder. They react differently in recipes and you'll need baking soda for this particular recipe!
Can I make a gingerbread loaf?
Yes! This is actually my exact recipe for a gingerbread loaf, except in muffin form! For my full post on how to make a beautiful loaf of gingerbread for the holidays: Homemade Gingerbread Loaf
In short, this same batter can be prepared and made into a single bread loaf. Pour your batter into a lightly greased or parchment lined 9x5 loaf pan. Then, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
You'll also want to cover your loaf pan with foil for half of that baking time to ensure the top doesn't burn.
Make ahead and freezing
To freeze, you'll need a freezer safe container or two gallon-sized plastic freezer bags. Carefully layer your muffins into your container or bag, using layers of wax paper between each row of muffins (to prevent sticking).
Freeze overnight in a place where they won't get squished easily. Once frozen solid, they'll be a little easier to move around and store in your freezer.
When ready to enjoy, allow your muffins to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
How to prevent dry muffins
If your muffins are dry straight from the oven, this is caused by over-baking. When baked just the right amount of time, your muffins will turn out soft, moist, and tender.
- Ovens can run hot or cold. If your oven runs hot, your baked goods may be done a few minutes before what is written in the recipe.
- Use an instant-read thermometer inside your oven to make sure your oven is set to the proper temperature for any given recipe. Here's what I use: Rubbermaid Instant Read Oven Thermometer
- If your oven runs hot, try testing your muffins about 2 minutes earlier than suggested in the recipe card. Stick a toothpick in the center of a muffin. If the toothpick comes out dry, or with crumbs, your muffins are done. If your toothpick comes out with wet batter, give them another 2 minutes and check again.
- Dry muffins can also be caused by improper storage. After your muffins have cooled completely, store them in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.
- Homemade muffins will stay moist for about 3 days before they'll need to be eaten, frozen, or discarded.
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar for dusting, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
- In a small bowl, add molasses and boiling water. Stir until combined. Add to butter mixture and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk (or sift) together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Stir until just combined.
- Portion batter into muffin pan, filling about ¾ full. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a mufifn comes out clean or with crumbs, not batter.
- Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before dusting tops with confectioner's sugar (optional).
- Store cooled muffins in a tightly sealed container at room temperature. Homemade muffins will keep for about 3 days.
- Muffins can be frozen in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Set frozen muffins on counter top for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature.