Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting

We've made these cupcakes once before, and they were amazing. But the frosting didn't really work out how we anticipated. It was with marscapone cheese and it was good and all, but it just didn't quite turn out.

It's really good cake though. So when we were having a Christmas party we decided they should be on the menu. But with a better frosting

Enter: eggnog frosting

Eggnog frosting is delicious. Eggnog frosting is amazing. Eggnog frosting is better than plain eggnog. Eggnog frosting on these gingerbread cupcakes is phenom. (I've heard that using repetition in writing really helps get a point across.)

If I repeat eggnog frosting enough times, maybe it'll be like subliminal messaging. You'll wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, half asleep, and the only thought on your mind will be eggnog frosting. You'll push it out of your mind until the next day at work, where you'll start seeing swirls of eggnog frosting on top of your coworkers' (or, fellow students') heads and you'll realize you need to make this frosting.

But I really don't think it should have to go that far. It's just so good. And perfect for the holidays. You should already be setting out the butter really. No need to start hallucinating.

I hope my subliminal messaging works. (Even if you're only reading it.) For the sake of your Christmas, really. No diabolical plots in my subliminal messaging. Just the desire for you to have a wonderful Christmas time with the help of some amazing cupcakes.


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Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup dark molasses
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk or cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 recipe eggnog frosting (below)

Preheat oven to 325F.  Spray a 9-inch bundt pan with nonstick spray. Dust with cocoa powder and tap out excess.  Set aside.

Over medium-low heat, melt together the oil, molasses, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan until all of the brown sugar has dissolved.  Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Whisk the eggs and milk into the molasses mixture after it has cooled (to avoid heating and scrambling the eggs).  Set aside.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg into a medium bowl.  Gently fold the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until just combined.  There will be lumps remaining.  Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins. Bake 15 minutes for mini cupcakes, 25 minutes for normal sized cupcakes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Eggnog Frosting

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup Eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the beater and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Turn the mixer to medium low, gradually add the powdered sugar, and beat until combined, about 2 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and beat until the frosting is very airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Use immediately to frost cookies or cupcakes, or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Cupcakes adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction; frosting adapted from CHOW