Gingerbread Biscoff Coffee Cupcakes

Congrats to Kathlene and Ivy for winning two AWESOME personalized care packages in last week’s giveaway! I can’t wait to create an epic assortment of goodies for you both!

I really dislike chocolate cupcakes.

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Wait, say what?

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It’s funny how we all define the good things in life so differently. Back when kids used to bring boxes of assorted cupcakes to celebrate their birthday, I loved to ogle (okay, creepy) and watch each student make the all-important decision of which type of cupcake to take–chocolate with vanilla frosting? vanilla with chocolate? chocolate with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles?–because it is my personal opinion that you can tell a lot about a person through their cupcake choices.

I know.

I was a pretty deep elementary schooler.

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It was my empirical observation that there were always some cupcakes that got snatched up first: chocolate, then vanilla, then that funky-looking cupcake in the corner that got slightly smushed while your mom made a sharp turn in your car avoiding that crazy granny veering across the street with her roller shopping bag. But the next time you brought this same box to the another place, say to a swim team BBQ instead of school, maybe the vanilla and smushed cupcakes would disappear first before anyone so much as touched the chocolate.

And who can explain why this happens, really? my eight-year old philosopher’s brain would ask.

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Me, I’ve always been a full-fledged vanilla cupcake kind of gal. At those glorious school birthday celebrations, I’d turn full-on gladiator against my peers to grab the vanilla funfetti one with vanilla frosting before anyone else could. I was no cupcake ninja; I was Xena, the cupcake warrior.

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But obviously I’m not blogging to you today about vanilla cupcakes. When I started thinking about what kind of cupcake I wanted to make this week–because it’s been a really long time since I’ve used my muffin tins and they were crying out at me from the pantry–I knew I wanted something warm. Something different. Something comforting.

Something Christmassy. In April.

And then it hit me.

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Aha. Gingerbread.

And aha. Biscoff spread.

And aha again. Kahlua.

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In my vocabulary, that is the same as saying, “Comfort, comfort, comfort.”

It’s been a rough year week for me–there are a gazillion deadlines approaching and I recently had a very big scare with not registering in time for a conference at which I’ll be presenting (thankfully, it worked out in the end). So I really needed the comfort, and these cupcakes fit the bill perfectly.

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I am now a gingerbread kind of gal in the middle of spring, and I don’t care who knows it. Well, my neighbors probably know it since I was belting out “Last Christmas” from Love Actually like nobody’s business while making these cupcakes. And then I crouched on our shared porch for an hour taking photographs of these amazing gingerbread Biscoff coffee (and did I mention Kahlua-spiked?) cupcakes, so…

I’m pretty sure they know.

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Another major comfort is that everyone who tried a version of this recipe went crazy for it. I made these as cupcakes (obvi), a mini loaf, and cake balls. The recipe is sinfully moist, perfectly spiced, not at all cakey, and basically what the holiday season would taste like if you could itemize it and stick it into a muffin tin in spring.

I stuck Biscoff in the cupcake because Biscoff is the closest thing I know to Christmas-in-a-jar. And since Biscoff and gingerbread were created to make little cupcake babies (I’m sorry, that was a really weird image), I did it. Then I spiked the batter with coffee and Kahlua because it’s, uh, a Wednesday. And then I turned up “Last Christmas” a little bit louder and danced a little jig around my porch while my neighbor’s curtain was surreptitiously drawn…

So that’s me. Toppling calendrical and societal expectations, one cupcake–or three–at a time 😉

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Merry April!

Love from the cupcake warrior,


What is your go-to cupcake flavor?

Let me know in the comments–I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Gingerbread Biscoff Coffee Cupcakes

Gingerbread Biscoff Coffee Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Who says you need the holidays to bake the best gingerbread cupcake combo around? This is not your average gingerbread: spiked with Biscoff spread, Kahlua, and coffee, this cupcake is the perfect way to say, "Heck, every day is a holiday!"


  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 tablespoons Biscoff spread or cookie butter, softened in microwave
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua (you may substitute hot water)
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Extra 3/4 cup cookie butter, melted for decorating (optional but so good)
  • Extra powdered sugar for decorating (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, 3 tablespoons Biscoff, and both sugars until completely smooth.
  3. Mix in egg and vanilla extract.
  4. In a small separate bowl, dissolve instant coffee granules in Kahlua (or hot water, if you're substituting it). Add Kahlua coffee and molasses to the other wet ingredients and stir until blended in.
  5. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix in until just incorporated.
  6. Divide batter evenly among 12 prepared cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for 17-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs clinging to it.
  7. Spoon melted extra cookie butter on top of cupcakes; some of my cupcakes caved a bit in the center, which was actually perfect for this extra-cookie-butter enterprise. Sprinkle with extra powdered sugar if desired.



15 Replies to “Gingerbread Biscoff Coffee Cupcakes”

  1. Hi Ala, these look amazing, I was always the vanilla cupcake child, great pics!

    1. Cheri, we can still be bloggy friends, yay! Just kidding, I’d like you even if you did pick chocolate 🙂 still, vanilla is the way to go. Thank you for stopping by again, Cheri!

  2. Gingerbread always works for me. Funny, I rarely have it outside of the winter holidays. Need to change that! Fun post — thanks.

    1. Well, we need to change that, don’t we? Maybe Mrs. KR will do something about it 😉 hehe.

  3. Um, excuse me? You dislike chocolate cupcakes?! Well, that marks the end of what was supposed to be a beautiful friendship between the two of us. Ok, I’m totally joking. I was always the kid who went straight for chocolate and while I’m still a hardcore chocoholic, I find myself reaching for the classic, understated yet always tasty vanilla cupcakes now. A beautifully well done vanilla cupcake just can’t be beat. Just like how this incredible gingerbread biscoff coffee cupcake can’t be beat – girl, I LOVE that you made something Christmas-y in April! Who the heck says you can only use gingerbread in December? I love the flavour combo here and that cookie butter spread is slaying me. I want to stick a little straw into it and drink it!

    1. Yeah, you’re not going anywhere now that I’ve snared you with my cookie butter net…muahaha…..Also joking(ish). Your comment on my About page made me laugh so loud and clap my hands. Yay! If we were in the same kindergarten class though I would totally have been judging you with my five-year old eyes, which warned me of the indulgent nature of all chocolate cupcake eaters. Try this cupcake! I may or may not have tried the straw idea already. It was hypothetically delicious. Good to see you, and yeahh, stick around! I see you have a shiny new post today….

  4. I’m pretty sure that Kathlene is me, but goodness, thank you! I found you by chance after the Edible Book Festival ( I’m a UCLA undergrad), so I haven’t been following too long but I’ve been enjoying your blog! I hope I can try this gingerbread/coffee combo in the future!

    1. Kathlene, it IS you–it’s my pleasure and I’m so glad you stopped by after the festival! Look out for an email from me sometime today about arranging details to receive your package 🙂 And again, congrats on the (well-deserved) win!

  5. I was always a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing kind of girl — like my variety! These look crazy good, I am obsessed with Biscoff spread

    1. Hah, I just attacked a quarter of a jar of Biscoff spread with my spoon two nights ago…and won. So I know what you mean about obsessed! Thanks for dropping by, Erica 😀

  6. Oh so YOU’RE one of those vanilla weirdos…hahaha :p I was definitely always a chocolate girl, but these days I find myself reaching more for the non-chocolate-y desserts, and even vanilla on occasion! *gasp* It makes it soooo much harder to select a cupcake when I’m at Sprinkles now since I don’t have blinders on when it comes to vanilla…or delicious spiced cupcakes like this. Yum!

    1. Sprinkles! Gosh, it’s been ages since I’ve been there–I’m not exactly a gourmet cupcake person either (gosh it’s like I’m deliberately coming up with more reasons we can’t be friends or something). But you’re right, I always have such a hard time deciding once I get there! Guess that’s why I’m glad I can make them at home instead now 🙂

  7. Leila the Elder says: Reply

    Oh Ala, these cupcakes look so good. You have a lot of my favorite ‘tastes’ and smells all wrapped up in a cupcake. I was the kid that took the smashed, strange looking cupcake, I mean we all know what vanilla tastes like, the same for chocolate. But the smashed, strange looking cupcake would have a new taste (if I was lucky) and I was always open to taste something new.

    Now just from the pictures alone, I am hungry, hungry I tell you. It’s 11:15 PM here in Saint Louis, so no I am not running out to get the stuff to make these little lovelies. Maybe I can fool my 71 year old body with a nice banana before I go to bed.

    Thank you for some lovely recipes, and I really enjoyed the ‘book’ cake contest. In fact I always read your blog knowing it will make smile…and make me hungry. Take care now.

    1. I always do a little jig when I see your comment waiting for me in my inbox, Leila–you’re too kind! I was actually wondering what type of person it takes to reach for the smushed cupcake, but then I realized I’m the same way with a lot of strange things like smushed cookies and the crumbs of cake at the bottom of the box. Oh, and you’re from St. Louis! My friend tells me the weather has been slightly better there these days, hopefully it’ll make up for these pictures making you too hungry in the middle of the night 😉 though you could definitely test them out and indulge that midnight craving, too–heh. Thanks for stopping by–lovely to see you, Leila!

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