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Someone holding up a gingerbread muffin with salted caramel icing

Gingerbread muffins with salted caramel icing

These muffins are a cross between a classic gingerbread and a lighter muffin or cupcake. Topped with a salted caramel flavour icing, they're perfect for birthday parties, Christmas parties, baby showers, or any special celebration!
4.5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cuisine British
Servings (click to change) 14 muffins
Author Helen


For the muffin batter

  • cup unsalted butter cold, cubed (10 tablespoons or 5 ounces)
  • cup caster sugar
  • cup treacle or molasses
  • cup golden syrup or equal parts molasses & syrup – see notes below
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ounces candied ginger chopped (I usually use non-crystallised ginger, but crystallised is fine, or ginger in syrup)
  • 1⅓ cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warmed milk (just warm it slightly in the microwave)

For the salted caramel frosting

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons milk or cream for a richer frosting!
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups icing sugar US = confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkles of your choice (I like gold and silver!)


For the muffins/cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line a muffin tin/tins with muffin cases and set aside.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar with a handheld whisk until pale yellow and fluffy (a few minutes).
  • Whisk in the treacle/molasses, golden syrup (or equivalent – see notes) and eggs & egg yolks until well mixed.
  • Stir in the chopped candied ginger.
  • Mix together the flour, ground ginger, nutmeg, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Add half of these dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix together. Then add half of the milk followed by the rest of the dry ingredients and the rest of the milk. Mix everything together well (but don’t overmix).
  • Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases (I used a small ladle as the mixture is quite runny. You can fill them quite full – just leave at least a cm at the top).
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins are well risen and firm on top and a skewer pushed into the centre of a mufin comes out virtually clean. Cool the mufins on a cooling rack.

For the icing/frosting

  • Meanwhile, make the icing. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the milk/cream and sugar and let it all bubble quite vigorously for about a minute.
  • Take off the heat and add the vanilla extract and salt. Then slowly add the icing sugar until the icing is pulling away from the sides of the pan when you stir. You may not need all the icing sugar.
  • If it seems a little too thick to pipe, add a tiny bit more milk. If it’s a little too thin, add a bit more icing sugar.
  • Pour the icing into a piping bag with a nozzle fitted, then pipe onto each muffin in a circle from the edge to the centre. Decorate with sprinkles immediately, before the icing starts to harden. Press down a little to stick if necessary.


Muffin recipe originally adapted from BBC Food.

A note on 'Golden syrup' and 'Treacle'

Golden syrup is made by a company called Lyles in the UK. If you can’t find it where you are (sometimes you can find it in specialist food stores or foreign food sections in supermarkets abroad) then you can substitute with half molasses and half syrup.
So you can substitute golden syrup for:
  1. 1 and 1/3 cups sugar dissolved in 1/3 cup warm water
  2. 1/3 cup honey
  3. 1/3 cup light molasses
  4. 1/3 cup maple syrup
  5. 1/3 cup agave nectar
  6. 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
If you can't obtain treacle where you live, just use molasses!

Sprinkles / Sugar decorations

If you would like to add some sugar decorations at the end, make sure you add them pretty quickly. The frosting sets quite fast! Press down lightly to stop them all falling off if necessary.


Calories: 473kcalCarbohydrates: 84gProtein: 3gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 393mgPotassium: 262mgFiber: 1gSugar: 74gVitamin A: 480IUCalcium: 93mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know if you liked it!