Festive Orange and Ginger Cupcakes

Christmas cupcakes idea

Nothing says Christmas like the bright flavors of orange and ginger for a unique Christmas cupcake idea. In this recipe, complementary tastes have been blended into a moist cupcake topped with a creamy orange cream cheese frosting, giving you a delightful seasonal treat for your holiday gatherings.

The ginger lends itself perfectly to winter holidays celebrated around this time of year, from Christmas to New Year. Its spicy warmth makes for a cozy complement to the refreshing citrus of orange.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest

Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined.
  4. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Stir in the orange juice and zest.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared liners, filling nearly to the top.
  6. Bake 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Instructions:

  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.
  • Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until fully combined. Stir in the orange zest and juice.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Pros and Cons

The generous amounts of orange juice and zest provide flavor throughout while keeping the cupcakes moist. Ginger lends warmth without being overpowering. However, the oranges and ginger may be an unfamiliar flavor combination for some.

Preparation and Cooking Time

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18-22 minutes
Yields: 12 cupcakes
Calories per cupcake: 230

Country of Origin

While oranges and ginger are commonly used in many cultures, these complementary Christmas flavors have roots in Northern European winter traditions such as Yule logs and mulled cider.

Kitchen Tools Needed

Mixing bowls
Hand or stand mixer
Measuring cups and spoons
Cupcake liners
Muffin tin

FAQs for this Christmas cupcake idea

Q: Can I make these gluten-free?

A: You can substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour for the regular flour.

Q: Can the oranges be replaced with another fruit?

A: While oranges pair especially well with ginger, you could try other citrus fruits like lemon or tangerine.

Q: How long will these stay fresh?

A: Properly stored in an airtight container, the cupcakes will stay fresh for 3-4 days. You can also freeze extras for up to 3 months.

Q: Can I make a batch to bring to a party?

A: Yes, these cupcakes travel well and are a festive treat to share during the holidays. Transport them in an airtight container or cake carrier.

Q: What can I frost them with besides cream cheese frosting?

A: You can also use a simple vanilla, orange, or ginger buttercream frosting instead. Whipped cream or lemon curd would also pair nicely.

Give Them a Try!

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy these unique orange and ginger Christmas cupcake ideas. Their bright flavors are sure to elicit oohs and aahs and get everyone in the holiday spirit. Don’t wait – grab your ingredients and get baking!

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