Vegan Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cardamom Infused Frosting

This recipe started as a far cry from what it ended up as.  It began with a gingerbread persimmon upside-down cake that was a true disaster.  All the persimmons stuck to the pan, the cake wasn’t sweet or moist enough, and most of all it had no chocolate!  But 4 or 5 tries later and the result is an amazingly fluffy and moist squad of cupcakes with little chocolate chips tucked inside of them.

To top them off is a recipe I’ve been playing around with for the past few months, Cardamom Infused Frosting.  I grind some fresh cardamom pods and infused almond milk with them to make a truly unique tasting frosting.  If you’re not familiar with the flavors of cardamom it is actually closely related to the ginger plant, which may explain it’s slight spiciness. It is sort of like a cross between black pepper and cinnamon.


Vegan Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cupcakes
2 c flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c oil (I used coconut oil)
2/3 c molasses
2/3 c almond milk or other milk alternative (learn how to make your own)
6 tbsp water
2 tbsp fresh ginger root (minced or grated)
2/3 c chocolate chips

Vegan Cardamom Infused Frosting
1/3 c almond or other milk alternative (learn how to make your own)
15 green cardamom pods
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c vegan margarine
3-3 1/2 c powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Begin by setting the margarine out on the counter to soften.  Then start in on infusing the cardamom.

Pour the almond milk into the top of a double boiler.  I simply use a small ceramic bowl that fits nicely on top of a small pot.  Add a small layer of water to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce to low heat, and put the bowl with the almond milk on top (the water in the pot should not touch the bottom of the bowl.)

Crush the cardamom pods with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder if you have them, if not you can use the side of a large knife.  Try to crush them up as small as you can, then toss it in the almond milk, skin and all.

Cook at low heat for 20 minutes, it should eventually emit a lovely fragrance.  Turn off the heat and carefully remove the bowl, it will be hot!  Let it cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile start in on making the cupcake batter.  In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, dry spices and salt.  In a medium bowl first mix the sugar with the oil, if you’re using coconut oil like I did, simply heat it up slightly so it’s liquid.

Then add the molasses, almond milk (not the cardamom infused milk, that’s for the frosting,) ginger, and water, mix until thoroughly combined.

If you pour the molasses in the same measuring cup you used for the oil, it will help keep it from sticking.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix.  Just make sure there are no big dry patches, but lumps are just fine.  Mix in the chocolate chips last.

Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 the way full of batter and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.  I think 18 minutes is just right, but keep an eye on them because ovens vary.

Meanwhile start in on making the frosting.  Strain the almond milk mixture with some cheesecloth so you can get all the bits out.  By now the margarine should be pretty soft so begin to incorporate it with the almond milk and vanilla extract.

Don’t worry about getting out all of the chunks, they will melt away as you add the sugar.  Begin to sift the powdered sugar in, sifting is essential if you want a creamy frosting without lumps.  It also helps if you make the frosting in a larger bowl than this one, it keeps the sugar in the bowl rather than all over the counter.  Keep adding the sugar in little by little until you get the consistency you want.  It should hold a peak on its own if you expect it to hold its shape on the cupcake.

Once the cupcakes are baked take them out of the pan to cool thoroughly before you add the frosting or it will all melt off.  I like the way they look with tiny icing peaks, it seems to make them more wintery.  Then I topped them with a light sprinkle of cinnamon.  Unless you like a lot of frosting on your cupcakes, this recipe yields much more frosting than you’ll need, so enjoy on other seasonal treats!

Yields 16 cupcakes


Would go great with:


8 Responses to “Vegan Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cardamom Infused Frosting”
  1. Emma says:

    Beautiful beautiful photography! I can imagine the flavour and fragrance combinations of these must be fabulous- ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, cardamom….mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  2. WOW, you have outdone yourself this time! These are truly stunning, and the flavors sound just perfect for each other. I love love love how you did the frosting, it looks like a frosting explosion!

  3. rachel says:

    hey! im justin’s fellow intern worker. one day he showed me your website and I’ve been hooked. You’re amazing. i went into Leaf…you werent there. I had the green slimming smoothie. Thank you for making this website. I read it and love it. Its so inspiring!!! viva la vegan!

  4. Tessa says:

    These cupcakes are so cute! I love the frosting. I’ve been making Persimmon cakes all month, they are delicious! I’m sorry yours didn’t come out well. But the gingerbread cupcake sounds delightful and super tasty – my cakes basically tasted exactly like gingerbread anyway!

  5. chocolate says:

    Hello. Just wanted to say, these pictures are gorgeous. Can I use them as wallpaper? I love chocolate, and I love ice cream with chocolate even more.

  6. Awesome job, the cupcakes look mouth watering good. I’m ashamed, one thing I have never done is make my own frosting, I just may have to try this one out the next time I bake a delicious treat.

  7. Melody Fury says:

    What a stunning holiday recipe! Would you like to submit it to my contest to win a cookbook? Just wanting to share the holiday cheer (and exposure to your blog) Would love for you to win 🙂

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