Experience a delicious blast from the past with this delicious vintage gingerbread muffin recipe. Step into nostalgia as you bake these timeless treats, infusing your kitchen with the warm, spiced aromas of yesteryears.
It seemed to be popular all year not just around the holidays. Even if an issue talking about back to school suggested sending gingerbread cupcakes in school lunches.
They seemed to use gingerbread in a lot of interesting ways. I have a pretty long list of gingerbread recipes I want to recreate that go beyond just gingerbread houses and gingerbread men.
The History of Gingerbread
Gingerbread has a rich and fascinating history that dates back centuries. Its origins can be traced to ancient civilizations, where ginger was valued not only for its flavor but also for its medicinal properties. Early versions of gingerbread were more akin to a spiced cake, created by mixing ginger with honey or molasses.
The first known recipe for gingerbread came from Greece in 2400 BC. Chinese recipes appeared in the 10th century and made it to Europe by the Middle Ages.
In Europe, gingerbread gained popularity as a delicacy and was often shaped into intricate designs, including animals and figures, and used as decorations or gifts. During the Middle Ages, gingerbread became associated with festivals, fairs, and religious celebrations. The first documented instance of gingerbread being used for decorative purposes dates back to the 16th century when Queen Elizabeth I of England is said to have presented gingerbread figures in the likeness of foreign dignitaries.
As trade routes expanded and new ingredients became more accessible, gingerbread recipes evolved and diversified. In the 17th century, gingerbread was baked in various forms, including cookies, cakes, and even gingerbread houses. The Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel,” published in 1812, further popularized the concept of gingerbread houses as a creative confection, which is also credited with making gingerbread popular in the US.
Gingerbread’s popularity in the US continued to grow, and it became closely associated with American comfort food. It was commonly enjoyed at family gatherings, church socials, and community events. Today, gingerbread is celebrated in various forms, from traditional cakes and cookies to modern interpretations like gingerbread lattes and other festive treats.
These gingerbread muffins are a really great way to have delicious gingerbread without a lot of work. And also give you a taste of history!
How to Make Gingerbread Muffins
Gingerbread muffins are very simple to make and don’t require too many ingredients though there are a couple of things you may not always have on hand so be sure to read the ingredients list carefully before starting to make these muffins.
Scroll down to find the full recipe card. There is a printable version as well!
You will need these ingredients:
- Light Molasses
- Oil (I use grapeseed but any neutral oil will work)
- Baking Soda
- Ground Ginger
Once you have gathered your ingredients these muffins will take no time to whip up.
First, combine an egg, sugar, and molasses; beat well. Then add your oil. Set this mixture aside.
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Add to your wet ingredients.
After that, you will carefully add boiling water to the mixture. Then mix everything thoroughly.
Fill a greased or lined muffin pan two-thirds full and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.
This recipe will make you 1 dozen muffins. And if you are looking for a new muffin pan I highly recommend a USA Pan Bakeware muffin pan. They are made in the USA and instead of using Teflon, they use a silicone-based coating that is safer. They are really easy to clean and stay looking great. You don’t even have to use muffin liners with these pans.
How to Freeze Gingerbread Muffins
These muffins can be stored on the counter in a sealed container for a few days but if you want to make them ahead of time or keep them longer you can freeze them.
Muffins freeze really well and also thaw quickly so it’s a great way to make easy grab-and-go breakfast items ahead of time.
To freeze the muffins it’s best to flash-freeze them. This will keep them freshest and make it really easy to pull them out one at a time. Here is the method I have found works the best.
- After the muffins are completely cooled, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
- Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least an hour or until the muffins are frozen solid.
- Once frozen, remove the muffins and place them in a freezer bag or an airtight container. Be sure to label them with the date.
- Freeze for up to 3 months for best results.
There are a few options for thawing your gingerbread muffins.
- Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Thaw at room temperature for about an hour.
- Thaw in the microwave. Place an unwrapped muffin on a plate and microwave on high for about 30 seconds.
- Thaw in a conventional over. Wrap a muffin in foil and place it in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
I usually thaw mine in the oven because I love a nice warm muffin. These gingerbread muffins are especially nice warm with a cup of hot tea.
Now it’s time for the most important part, the full recipe!
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light molasses
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine egg, sugar, and molasses and beat well.
- Mix in oil, and set aside.
- In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, soda, and spices.
- Add to wet ingredients.
- Carefully add boiling water and mix thoroughly.
- Fill a greased or lined muffin pan two-thirds full.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 83mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.