Gingerbread-Pear Cupcakes

I’ve already confessed by Gingerbread obsession. :) So, when a recent holiday feast left us with some delicious Poached Pear leftovers, I seized the opportunity to kick up a favorite holiday goodie.

I chose to adapt Martha Stewart’s recipe for Gingerbread Cupcakes. Her version has such a wonderful spicy flavor with a moist cake that I knew would be the perfect match to the pears. However, since her recipe is scaled for “jumbo cupcakes”, I needed to tweak the measurements a bit.

The end results were absolutely delicious—-personally, my favorite cupcake of the year. :) And for those who prefer to scale down the sweet factor, swap out my cream cheese frosting for a light dusting of confectioner sugar.

These “Cuppies” will definitely be added to my Holiday Baking Rotation—though maybe next time I’ll use a Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting as opposed to the standard Cream Cheese. After all, it is the holidays!


Gingerbread-Pear Cupcakes © Photo rights reserved.
Sneak Peak of the Pears © Photo rights reserved.
Poached Pears © Photo rights reserved.



Gingerbread-Pear Cupcakes
Makes 12 Cupcakes
The Gingerbread Cupcake Batter was adapted from Martha Stewart’s “Gingerbread Cupcake Recipe” to accommodate a half batch and regular cupcake size.


Cupcake Batter
1 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1¼ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
¾ Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter at room temperature
½ Cup Packed Dark-Brown Sugar
½ Cup Unsulphered Molasses
1 Large Egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
1½ Diced Poached Pears

Poached Pears
3 Bosc Pears (peeled, cored, halved)
1 Whole Cinnamon Stick
5-6 Allspice Corns
5-6 Whole Cloves
1 Vanilla Bean, split with seeds scraped
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Cups White Wine

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 Ounces of Cream Cheese at room temperature
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter at room temperature
2½ -3 Cups Confectioner Sugar (varies due to preferred frosting consistency)
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized saucepan, combine ingredients for poached pears with the exception of the pears. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add pears. Bring liquid to a rolling boil and lower to a light simmer. Cook pears until fork tender. Remove from heat and thoroughly cool. Once cooled, remove pears from poaching liquid and pat dry. Dice pears in small cubes.

In another small saucepan, bring ½ cup water to a boil. In a bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light. Beat in the brown sugar until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Beat in the egg. Carefully fold in the diced pears.

Fill prepared cupcake pans lined with paper cups three-quarters full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in the pans on wire racks.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add vanilla and then gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time. Continue adding sugar to desire consistency. (I typically lean towards the full 3 cups for a firmer consistency to pipe the frosting). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before use.

Once cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with prepared Cream Cheese frosting. Cupcakes can be stored up to three days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Note: Remaining Poached Pears can serve as a light and delicious dessert. Serve with a zabaglione or whipped cream. When storing in the refrigerator, keep pears in poaching liquid to add to the flavor and moistness.


2 thoughts on “Gingerbread-Pear Cupcakes

  1. Odd, Betty N. (I think you know her from Yelp) just blogged about this same Martha Stewart recipe, and was quite disappointed:

    1. Really? Bummer! I noticed our cakes look slightly different in color. I wonder if our molasses were different?

      My cuppies were really moist and not hardened at all. So weird how recipes can turn out different for folks 🙂 Oh well!

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