Gingerbread Lemon Cupcakes {with Vanilla Bean Cream}

I know.  The title sounds like a mouthful.

Maybe a  little bit of overkill?  I don’t know.  Sometimes I like to jam a bunch of flavors together and then…it’s too much.

But these?  Were perfect.

Well, that’s my opinion anyway, so take it as you will.  But I will tell you that Doodle gave them the double thumbs-up, even after originally informing me he was not going to eat “that lemon part” {he ate the lemon part}.

I’d love to tell you that I made these from scratch, carefully measuring out molasses, cloves, and ginger…but I didn’t.  I used a cake mix.  And I’m unapologetic about it.  Sometimes the busyness of the season mandates shortcuts.  At least in my kitchen.  🙂

My husband has a terrible habit of coming home from work and announcing that he needs “something” to take to work for a potluck lunch–the next day.  So if you need something quick and easy for a last-minute gathering or work function…this is it.

Plus, they look kind of fancy…even though they’re not.

Gingerbread Lemon Cupcakes {with Vanilla Bean Cream}
  • 1 box gingerbread cake and cookie mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup lemon curd
For the Vanilla Bean Cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, egg, water and lemon zest. Beat until well-combined, about 1 minute. Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling about two-thirds full. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cakes from pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  3. Using a piping bag (or ziplock bag) and a #10 pastry tip, poke a hole in the top of each cake, and squeeze approximately 1 tablespoon curd inside of each cupcake. Or, just carefully cut a small hole in each cake and spoon the curd inside.
For the Vanilla Bean Cream:
  1. Pour the heavy cream into a chilled mixing bowl and add the vanilla bean powder/vanilla bean seeds. Beat on low speed until foamy; gradually add in sugar and increase speed to medium, beating until soft peaks form. Chill until ready to use.


If you’re interested in participating in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, stop by Brenda’s blog to sign up!

I’m partying here!

XO, Ashley

Don't stop here! Check out this other yummy stuff...


  1. These look delicious Ashley!! I love the lemon and gingerbread combo, and I’m not one to judge about shortcuts 🙂
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets recently posted..Grandma’s Peppermint Puff CookiesMy Profile

  2. Love the idea of pairing it with lemon!
    Blog is the New Black recently posted..Gingerbread TrufflesMy Profile

  3. These are absolutely gorgeous and sound delicious!
    Dawn recently posted..Pretzel Turtle BitesMy Profile

  4. I love these Ashley. Cake mix is always my go-to, especially for busy days!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted..Triple White Chocolate Peppermint BlossomsMy Profile

  5. Vanilla bean cream? Too much? A big mouthful? HECK YES to the first and NEVER to the last two–I don’t think there’s ever such a thing as too much vanilla bean cream. OR that luscious lemon curd filling. I’m swooning!
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted..Peppermint Bark Ice CreamMy Profile

    • HA! Thanks, Hayley! Don’t tell, but I was eating big spoonfuls of that vanilla bean cream like it was ice cream.

  6. OMG ashley. I am making a gingerbread loaf with lemon glaze this weekend! get out of my head! Great minds think alike I suppose. your cupcakes sound better than bread any way. LOVE lemon + gingerbread together. a killer combo.
    sally @ sallys baking addiction recently posted..homemade cinnamon sugar candied nuts.My Profile

    • Oh Sally! I can’t wait to see your bread!! After trying the lemon and gingerbread cupcakes, bread was next on my list. But I’ll just wait for your recipe, because I know it will be awesome!

  7. You don’t have to convince me to use box mixes…I am all over them every month:-) These look awesome…love that pocket of lemon curd!!!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted..Caramel Coconut Cookies and 75% off Holiday CardsMy Profile

    • The pocket of lemon was awesome! My kiddo first ate the frosting, then dug out the lemon filling and asked for more.

  8. I absolutely love gingerbread! What a fun idea to put a little surprise inside! Thanks for visiting me and commenting at OneCreativeMommy. I would love it if you shared some of your great ideas at The party is open Fri-Wed each week. Hope to see you there!

  9. I love the lemon curd in the middle! What a nice detail to make these cupcakes extra special. 🙂
    Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection recently posted..Cookie Dough FudgeMy Profile

    • Hi Elaine! The lemon filling was an easy way to jazz up the cupcakes, and it tasted phenomenal. I’m in love with the lemon and gingerbread pairing now!

  10. These look amazing Ashley! Genius idea to put lemon curd in the middle 🙂 I made similar cupcakes recently, gingerbread + lemon is amazing! 🙂
    Joy @ Baking-Joy recently posted..Gingerbread bundt cakeMy Profile

  11. Mmmmm…. these cupcakes look so delicious and very festive. I love the lemon filling – it looks so good.
    Amy (Savory Moments) recently posted..Clementine and anise seed cookiesMy Profile

  12. These look delicious! And I love that you used a cake mix – not all of us have time to make everything from scratch every time, (as you know!), so I love a good shortcut recipe. =)
    amy @ fearless homemaker recently posted..Chicken Enchilada + Black Bean Rice BakeMy Profile

  13. The cupcakes look delicious. i would never have thought to combine gingerbread and lemon. Nice going.
    Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction recently posted..12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Week 11 ~ Decadent Bourbon BallsMy Profile

  14. These look amazing! What a creative combo of Lemon and Gingerbread. I am in love with that vanilla bean cream!

  15. Wow, these cupcakes look fabulous! During this hectic time of year, it’s totally ok to bust out a box of cake mix! I’m drooling over that smooth lemon curd filling and that huge gorgeous dollop of frosting on top. And I’m in love with your beautiful white lacy plate – it’s now on my holiday wish list!

  16. Who cares for using a shortcut or not when the final result is awesome like these cupcakes you made. I’ve featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.
    Vera Zecevic-Cupcakes Garden recently posted..Gingerbread Lemon CupcakesMy Profile

  17. Hi there. Food on Friday: Muffins and Cupcakes is open for entries. This looks like a neat one! I do hope you link it in. This is the link . Please check out some of the great links there are already. Cheers

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