These simple, homespun mini Gingerbread Muffins are made with warm spices, molasses, and other wholesome ingredients for a sweet treat you can feel great about! Perfect for a holiday breakfast, snack, or coffee break.
A Cozy Little Gingerbread Treat
Once December hits, it’s time to do some holiday baking. My favorite treats this time of year usually take the form of a
jeans size worth batch of peanut butter blossoms and butterscotch haystacks. So good!
But variety is the spice of life, so in the interests of both variety and spice, I’ll also be making some of my favorite gingerbread-inspired recipes. This little recipe for mini Gingerbread Muffins is one of the best! (See the bottom of this post for even more gingerbread goodies.)
What are gingerbread muffins, you say? Let me tell you, they’re going to be a firm favorite in your house once you try them. Soft and moist, sweet and well-spiced, dark and fragrant… they’re a simple, homemade mini-muffin that’s perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast, after-school snack, or quick hit of sugar you can scarf down in the pantry. That’s… that’s not just me, right?
What’s in These Gingerbread Muffins?
Honestly, just pantry basics! Although gingerbread muffins do have a complex flavor, there’s nothing complicated about this recipe. Here’s the list:
- Milk: I recommend whole milk, for the best taste and moist crumb.
- Vinegar: White vinegar adds a slight tang, but also reacts with the baking soda to make the muffins light.
- Brown Sugar: Make sure to pack the brown sugar into your measuring cup for accurate measurement.
- Flour: All-purpose flour works perfectly here.
- Baking Soda: Make sure to use baking soda, not baking powder!
- Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg – yum!
- Egg: A large, whole egg helps bind the mixture together.
- Molasses: You’ll want dark molasses, but not blackstrap molasses.
- Butter: Melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave before using it.
Are Molasses and Brown Sugar the Same?
No, these ingredients aren’t quite the same – although they are similar. Molasses is a byproduct of making sugar, and it is both sweet and tangy, with a distinctive “caramelized” taste that adds depth to gingerbread and other dishes.
Brown sugar, on the other hand, is similar to granulated sugar, except that it still contains some molasses, giving it a rich color and bolder flavor. If you can’t find molasses for this recipe, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of packed dark brown sugar instead. It won’t be quite as strong as using real molasses, but it’s close!
This recipe will make about 32 mini-muffins, but you could definitely pour the muffin batter into a regular muffin tin. It will make 10 – 12 standard-sized muffins, depending on how much you fill them up. If you do make bigger muffins, they will need a few more minutes in the oven.
Prep the Oven, Muffin Pan, and Sour Milk. First off, make sure to preheat the oven to 350°F. Then line a mini muffin pan with mini muffin liners. In a small bowl, stir the milk and vinegar together, and let it sit for about 5 minutes to thicken. Stir again.
Combine the Dry and Wet Ingredients in Two Separate Bowls. In one medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, molasses, melted butter, and soured milk.
Stir the Dry Ingredients into the Wet Ingredients. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix, or the muffins will be rubbery.
Bake. Fill each mini muffin liner about 3/4 of the way with the gingerbread batter. (You can use a piping bag to do this, or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off.) Bake the mini muffins for 8 – 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake, or they’ll be dry!
Enjoy! Serve warm with coffee, tea, or ice-cold milk.
Tips and Variations
Want to know more about making gingerbread muffins? Read on for some easy tips, delicious mix-ins, and more.
- Sour Milk Substitute: The soured milk in this recipe, made with whole milk and vinegar, can be substituted with buttermilk if you prefer! You can also make sour milk with whole milk and lemon juice, or whole milk and apple cider vinegar.
- Gluten-Free: This recipe can also be made with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend, although the texture and rise may vary somewhat. The flour blend should contain xanthan gum.
- Chocolate Gingerbread: Feel free to sprinkle in some mini chocolate chips for an extra-indulgent version.
- Add Lemon: Did you know lemon and gingerbread go together beautifully? It’s true! Add a small amount of lemon extract, lemon zest, or lemon glaze – you won’t be sorry.
- Add Frosting: These are just a hop, skip, and a jump from being full-on cupcakes. All you need is frosting! I recommend cream cheese frosting to go with the slight tanginess of the batter.
Storing Leftover Muffins
Store these at room temperature, in an airtight container or zip-top bag. They’ll keep for 2 – 3 days.
Do Gingerbread Muffins Freeze Well?
Yes, these do freeze very well! Just line up your cooled gingerbread muffins in an airtight, lidded container. Lay sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper between the layers of muffins if you have more than one layer.
Freeze the muffins for up to three months, and thaw at room temperature before you send them.
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line mini muffin pan with muffin liners.
- In a small bowl, whisk together milk and vinegar. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the egg, molasses, melted butter, and milk mixture together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just blended.
- Using a piping bag or ziplock baggie, fill mini muffin liners about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Be careful not to overcook the muffins, as they can dry out easily.
- Store these at room temperature, in an airtight container or zip-top bag. They’ll keep for 2 – 3 days.
- Freeze the muffins for up to three months, and thaw at room temperature before you send them.
More Easy Gingerbread Desserts
- Classic Gingerbread Recipe
- Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Gingerbread Desserts Two Ways
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