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Witchhat Gingerbread Cupcakes


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  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 115g plain flour, sifted twice
  • 30g unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 80ml sour cream
  • 4 tbsp strong espresso, cooled
  • For the chocolate frosting
  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature.
  • 30g unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • 1/3 tsp salt.
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract.
  • 250g icing sugar.
  • 2 tbsp whole milk.
  • 2 tbsp double cream.
  • For the gingerbread
  • 450g plain flour, plus extra to dust.
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
  • 2 tsp ground ginger.
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon.
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.
  • ¼ tsp salt .
  • 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature.
  • 100g granulated sugar.
  • 160ml unsulphured molasses or black treacle.
  • 1 large egg.
  • Zest of ½ lemon, finely grated.
  • White icing pen.
  • For the decoration
  • Cocoa powder (for the 'soil').
  • Ready-made small white fondant flowers


Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a muffin tray with cupcake cases.

Cream the butter and sugar together with an eletric mixer until light and fluffy (This should take about 4 - 5 minutes).

Crack the egg and mix with vanilla extract, before adding to the mix and mixing well.

Step 2

Add the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda into another mixing bowl.

Add in the dry ingredients in three stages, alternating with the sour cream. Then add the tablespoons of coffee (not hot).

Mix the wet and dry ingredients.

Step 3

Spoon in the batter into the cupcake cases, to about 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool before decorating with

Step 4

4.To make the gingerbread, sift together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture and lemon zest gradually, and beat until incorporated. Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours.

Step 5

5.Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of around 5mm. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the tombstone shapes, or cut them out freehand with a knife or cut around objects of the right shape and size.

Step 6

6.Transfer the cookies onto lined baking sheets, about 2.5cm apart. Bake for 6–8 minutes depending on size, until each cookie is firm and the edges are just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then using a white icing pen, ice text onto the 'tombstones.'

Step 7

7.For the frosting, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the cocoa until combined. Add the salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and milk and continue to beat, slowly adding the cream. Beat until very smooth.

Step 8

8.Cover the top of the cupcakes with chocolate frosting, then dust with a thick layer of cocoa “soil.” Insert the iced gingerbread “tombstones” and decorate with white fondant flowers.

Tip: You can make really effective cookie cutters using sheets of aluminum—using scissors, cut long strips with very straight edges from an aluminum tray, fold to a double thickness, and shape however you like, bending them around things to help you get a clean shape. Staple the ends together and you have a bespoke cookie cutter.

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