These vegan gingerbread cupcakes are made with molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves for a perfect spiced holiday cupcake. They have all of the delicious flavor of gingerbread cookies in a light and fluffy cupcake topped with vegan frosting or icing.

Vegan gingerbread cupcakes with white frosting with a bite taken out of one of them.

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❤️ Why make gingerbread cupcakes

If you want a holiday dessert that’s not cookies, these plant-based gingerbread cupcakes are the answer. They’re light, moist, perfectly spiced, and simply amazing topped with some vegan lemon frosting or eggnog-flavored vegan icing.

Throughout the year my family loves it when I make vegan chocolate cupcakes, strawberry cupcakes, lemon cupcakes, or mini vegan vanilla cupcakes, but around Christmas time, I always make these gingerbread cupcakes.

🧾 Ingredients and substitutions

  • All-Purpose Flour – white flour works best for this recipe, but you can also use any grain-based gluten-free flour.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder – to help the cupcakes rise.
  • Ginger – you can also use half the amount of fresh grated ginger root.
  • Spices – Cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves
  • Salt – for flavor
  • Molasses – this is a key ingredient to make the gingerbread taste authentic. You can not swap this for any other sweetener.
  • Plant-Based Milk – I usually use soy milk, but you can also use oat milk, almond milk, or coconut milk.
  • Lemon Juice – you can also swap this for apple cider vinegar.
  • Dark Brown Sugar – you can also swap this for light brown sugar.
  • Vegan Butter – you can use any vegan margarine that you want or my homemade vegan butter.
  • Applesauce – this serves as the egg replacement in the recipe.
  • Vanilla Extract – for flavor.
  • Vegan Frosting – I like to use my vegan lemon frosting, vegan buttercream frosting, or vegan eggnog-flavored icing on these cupcakes.

🔪 Helpful tools

  • Cupcake Pan – to bake the cupcakes.
  • Cupcake Liners – to line the pan.
  • Electric Mixer – This is important for creaming the butter and sugar together and getting it light and fluffy. If you don’t have one, you can do it with a wooden spoon and stir a least 100 strokes.
Someone holding a vegan gingerbread cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

🥄 How to make vegan gingerbread cupcakes

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

Step 1 – Preheat your oven to 350°F (176° C) and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners. Spray the cupcake liners with spray oil, so they don’t stick to the paper.

Step 2 – In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices) and set aside.

Step 3 – In a measuring glass, mix the plant milk and molasses and set aside.

Step 4 – With an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Step 5 – Mix in the applesauce and the vanilla and mix again for 30 seconds.

Vegan gingerbread cupcake batter in a mixing bowl.

Step 6 – Add half of the dry ingredient mixture, then the entire milk/molasses mixture, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix just until you have a thick batter with no dry ingredients showing.

Step 7 – Evenly distribute your batter among the 12 cups, filling them 3/4 of the way. Bake the cupcakes at 350°F (176° C) for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Step 8 – Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Note – This recipe will also make about 36 mini cupcakes that are perfect for parties. If making the mini cupcakes reduce the cook time to 12 minutes.

Vegan gingerbread cupcakes with lemon frosting on a silver serving tray.

👩🏻‍🍳 Pro Tips

  • Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, this whips air into the cupcakes and makes them lighter and fluffier.
  • Gingerbread and lemon go great together. You can elevate these cupcakes by cutting out a little hole in the center of them and filling them with vegan lemon curd before topping them with lemon frosting.
  • I like to sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with a little vegan powdered sugar so it looks like snow.

🌾How to make these gluten-free

If you need a gluten-free vegan gingerbread cupcake, you can swap the all-purpose flour out for a grain-based gluten-free flour mix. If your GF flour mixture does not contain xanthan gum, add a teaspoon of xanthan gum to the dry ingredients to achieve a better texture.

🥡 How to store gingerbread cupcakes

Store your dairy-free gingerbread cupcakes on the countertop for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also wrap the cupcakes in plastic wrap and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Vegan gingerbread cupcakes with lemon frosting sprinkled with powdered sugar on a sliver tray.

Enjoy your holiday cupcakes with some vegan hot cocoa or some homemade vegan eggnog.

🌟 More holiday desserts

📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!

📋 Vegan gingerbread cupcakes recipe

Vegan gingerbread cupcakes with lemon frosting on a decorative serving plate with powdered sugar sprinkled over them.
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5 from 4 rating

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes

Moist and fluffy gingerbread cupcakes made without eggs or dairy.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, (205 grams) spooned and leveled (use GF flour mix if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the lemon buttercream

  • 1 cup vegan butter , or Miyoko Brand or half Earth Balance half coconut oil
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, Plus 1-3 tbsp if needed to firm up the frosting
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon soy milk , or any other plant-based milk if needed

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (176° C) and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners. Spray the cupcake liners with spray oil, so they don't stick to the paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices) and set aside.
  • In a measuring glass, mix the plant milk, lemon juice, and molasses and set aside.
  • With an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the applesauce and the vanilla and mix again for 30 seconds.
  • Add half of the dry ingredient mixture, then the entire milk/molasses mixture, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix just until you have a thick batter with no dry ingredients showing.
  • Evenly distribute your batter among the 12 cups, filling them 3/4 of the way. Bake the cupcakes at 350°F (176° C) for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

For the lemon frosting

  • Soften vegan butter until it reaches near room temperature.
  • Whip butter with an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 1 minute.
  • Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time whipping for about 30 seconds between each scoop.
  • Add 1 tsp lemon extract and the zest of one lemon then continue to whip for another minute until light and airy.
  • If needed, slowly add a small splash or two of dairy-free milk while whipping the buttercream until the desired consistency is achieved.

Notes

  • Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, this whips air into the cupcakes and makes them lighter and fluffier.
  • Gingerbread and lemon go great together. You can elevate these cupcakes by cutting out a little hole in the center of them and filling them with vegan lemon curd before topping them with lemon frosting.
Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 247kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Sodium: 176mg, Potassium: 229mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 402IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 96mg, Iron: 2mg
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