Our Best Gingerbread Buttercream Frosting is a creamy buttercream frosting infused with iconic Christmas Gingerbread flavor. A great frosting choice for so many different Holiday desserts!

Closeup on three cupcakes topped with The Best Gingerbread Buttercream Frosting.

There are a lot of great Christmas flavors .. Peppermint, Egg Nog, Sugar Cookie … but Gingerbread is by far our favorite.  We like it in CakeIn Cookies.  And in Cupcakes.  And don’t forget frosting!  Our The Best Gingerbread Buttercream Frosting takes our delicious Best Buttercream Frosting recipe and infuses it with the creamy and spicy iconic taste of Gingerbread. It is super delicious and will definitely be featured on one of our Christmas desserts this year!

How to Make

Collage image showing the ingredients needed to give the Gingerbread frosting its iconic flavor including Molasses and Ground Ginger.

Step 1: The yummy Gingerbread flavor in this Christmas-themed frosting comes from the Molasses and Ground Ginger you will add to the icing.

Collage image showing how to mix the butter with the molasses and ground ginger for the best gingerbread flavor.

Step 2: Add the butter, molasses, and ground ginger to a mixing bowl. The butter needs to be what we call “slightly softened” which is somewhere between straight out of the refrigerator and room temperature. If the butter is too cold it will be hard to mix with the gingerbread flavors.  If it is too soft, it will start melting during the mixing process and your frosting consistency will be off. 
Step 3: Mix the butter and the molasses together on medium speed until thoroughly combined (about 2 minutes.)  You really want the molasses and ginger flavor to meld with the butter to enhance the flavor of the frosting. Use a spatula to scrape the butter mixture down from the sides of the bowl.  

Collage image showing the steps for adding the powdered sugar to the frosting mixture.

Step 4: We use a food scale to measure 1 Pound of Powdered Sugar.  If you don’t have a food scale, measure 4 cups instead. We normally do not sift the powdered sugar and instead rely on the mixer to do that work for us.
Step 5: Add the powdered sugar to the butter mixture in the mixing bowl.
Step 6: Here is a Two Sisters Tip – cover the mixer with a towel during this part of the mixing process to keep the powdered sugar from flying out of the mixer.
Step 7: Start your mixer (or electric beater) on the lowest setting and keep it on low until the butter and sugar are incorporated (about 30 seconds). Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and then increase the speed to medium-high and mix for another 30-45 seconds so the frosting gets light and fluffy.

Closeup on a white mixing bowl filled with Gingerbread Frosting and a white spatula.

Step 8: This is the fun part of the recipe where you get to taste your frosting. You are trying to determine if the consistency and the taste are just right. Does it need a tiny bit more molasses or ground ginger? If it tastes great, test the consistency.  Too thick? Add some milk and mix again to check to see if it is now the right consistency.  The amount of milk to use depends on the state of your frosting and sometimes the time of year (if it is a hot humid day, you might not need to add any milk.) A good rule of thumb is to add the milk a teaspoon at a time. You can check out our FAQ section below to see some other advice on making the perfect batch of frosting.

How to Serve

Closeup on a decorating bag filled with Gingerbread Frosting sitting in front of a batch of unfrosted chocolate cupcakes.

How much frosting will you need?  That always depends on how thick or thin you apply the frosting or how much decorating you do but here are a couple of guidelines. Our recipe should make enough Gingerbread Frosting to cover a 9″ x 13″ sheet cake or a two-layer 8″ cake.  If you are making cupcakes, you should be able to frost 24 cupcakes if you apply the frosting with a knife.  If you swirl on the frosting with a pastry bag, you should be able to frost 15-18 cupcakes depending on the size of the swirl.

Expert Tips and FAQ’s

Does the frosting need to be refrigerated?

No, the frosting does not need to be refrigerated. For example, brownies frosted with this Gingerbread Icing would be fine left out on the counter for 2-3 days if the pan was tightly covered with aluminum foil. That said, we usually refrigerate our frosted desserts to keep the baked good from going stale even if the frosting would be fine. We think frosting tastes best at room temperature so we will then remove the item from the refrigerator a couple of hours before we will serve them.

How do I store any leftover frosting?

Frosting stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator should be good for up to a week. If you carefully wrap the frosting in order to avoid freezer burn, the frosting should be fine in the freezer for 3-4 months.

What should I do if my frosting turned out too thick?

Add another teaspoon of milk and mix again. Continue to add the milk, a teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is the consistency that you like it

What should I do if my frosting turned out too thin?

Temperature plays a big part in the consistency of frosting. A thin frosting could mean that the butter has gotten overworked and is too melted. The first thing to do is refrigerate the frosting for an hour and then check to see if the frosting has set back up again. If not, the next step is to add more powdered sugar or cornstarch. Start with either 1/2 cup of Powdered Sugar or 1 tablespoon of Cornstarch. Mix again and see if the consistency is better.

Is there a substitute for milk?

Yes. You can use Half n’ Half or Whipping Cream or even almond milk or another milk substitute.

Closeup on three chocolate cupcakes topped with The Best Gingerbread Buttercream Frosting sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Other Frosting Recipes You Will Love

The Best Gingerbread Buttercream Frosting

The Best Gingerbread Buttercream Frosting

Yield 2 1/2 cups
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

The Best Gingerbread Buttercream Frosting is a creamy frosting infused with iconic Christmas Gingerbread flavor. Great on so many different Holiday desserts!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter, slightly softened (We use Salted Sweet Cream Butter)
  • 1 tablespoon Molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 pound Powdered Sugar (or 4 cups)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Milk (as needed)

Instructions

  1. Add the butter, molasses, and ground ginger to a mixing bowl. The butter needs to be what we call “slightly softened” which is somewhere between straight out of the refrigerator and room temperature. If the butter is too cold it will be hard to mix with the gingerbread flavors.  If it is too soft, it will start melting during the mixing process and your frosting consistency will be off. 
  2. Mix the butter and the molasses together on medium speed until thoroughly combined (about 2 minutes.)  You really want the molasses and ginger flavor to meld with the butter to enhance the flavor of the frosting.
  3. Use a spatula to scrape the butter mixture down from the sides of the bowl.  
  4. We use a food scale to measure 1 Pound of Powdered Sugar.  If you don’t have a food scale, measure 4 cups instead. 
  5. Add the powdered sugar to the butter mixture in the mixing bowl.
  6. Start your mixer (or electric beater) on the lowest setting and keep it on low until the butter and sugar are incorporated (about 30 seconds). Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and then increase the speed to medium-high and mix for another 30-45 seconds so the frosting gets light and fluffy.
  7. Taste your frosting. You are trying to determine if the consistency and the taste are just right. Does it need a tiny bit more molasses or ground ginger? If it tastes great, test the consistency.  Too thick? Add some milk and mix again to check to see if it is now the right consistency.  The amount of milk to use depends on the state of your frosting and sometimes the time of year (if it is a hot humid day, you might not need to add any milk.) A good rule of thumb is to add the milk a teaspoon at a time.

Did you Make this Recipe? Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @twosisterscrafting on Instagram so we can see it!

If you are looking for more tips and tricks for making that perfect batch of homemade frosting we have a few other posts you might want to check out: