Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

You know those articles about people who find their dream job and get to spend every day doing what they love? I thought it was all just a bunch of crap, until I got this job. Yes, teaching middle school definitely has its moments, but I honestly feel like there is nothing in the world I would rather do. Even as much as I love baking, (and considered trying to make it a career at one point), I think being in the classroom is the perfect place for me.

But obviously I’m still going to bake (for fun), and I’m going to take a lot of what I bake to school, because my co-workers are truly amazing people who are making my first year as a teacher so much less stressful than it could be. Okay, I think that’s about enough sappiness for one blog post. Onto the cupcakes.

Gingerbread, cream cheese frosting and lemon are almost magical when combined into one cupcake. As someone who loves anything and everything ginger (and believes most things are better with cream cheese frosting), these were an ideal treat. And I know my co-workers agreed because they vanished pretty quickly!

(adapted from Epicurious)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water

6 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners.
Sift the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon together into a medium bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, then add the egg and molasses and beat on medium until smooth.
Combine the boiling water and baking soda in a small bowl, mixing so the baking soda dissolves. Add to the molasses mixture, and stir well. Then add the flour, and mix on low until all traces of flour disappear.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely (the tops may sink slightly).

To make the frosting, mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar. Add additional powdered sugar if it seems too runny, then spread onto cooled cupcakes.

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