Don’t be afraid of the amount of fresh ginger in these cupcakes from Maxie’s Supper Club. The balance of the fresh ginger, black pepper, molasses, and warm spices is just right, and topping the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting rounds out all the flavors. Add a festive sprinkling of candied ginger for some flair.
What to buy: There are various intensities of molasses available, from light to blackstrap. Light (sometimes marketed as mild) tastes best in this recipe.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoonground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoonground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup light (or mild) molasses, such as Grandma’s
3/4 cupvegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoonsbaking soda
1/2 cup packed, peeled, and minced fresh ginger (from about 1 [5-inch] piece)
1/4 cup small-dice crystallized or candied ginger, for garnish (optional)
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 (12-well) muffin pans with 9 paper liners each; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt to break up any lumps and aerate; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the molasses, oil, and sugar together until smooth.
In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the baking soda, then whisk in the molasses mixture until combined; remove from the heat. Using a rubber spatula, stir the minced ginger into the molasses mixture.
Whisk the dry ingredients, a little at a time, into the batter until just combined. Using the rubber spatula, stir in the eggs until just combined.
Fill the muffin wells about three-quarters of the way. Place the muffin pans side by side in the oven and bake for 9 minutes. Rotate the pans front to back and side to side and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 8 to 9 minutes more.
Place the pans on wire racks and let them cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and cool completely on the racks before frosting, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with the candied ginger, if using. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.