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Gingerbread Cupcakes With Coconut Icing

 Gingerbread CupCakes

I made these gingerbread cupcakes for a family get together last weekend and they were an absolute hit! I love gingerbread, especially given the season – all that yummy smelling ginger, cinnamon, and cloves baking in the oven, so good! What makes these cupcakes unique however, is the icing! I love making “healthier” icing because it is usually the worst part of any cupcake recipe. This one uses a unique blend of coconut manna or coconut butter, a little maple syrup, vanilla and coconut flakes for a festive look.

Coconut manna is basically dried coconut meat that is blended until really smooth like butter (just like almonds are ground and blended into almond butter). Coconut manna can replace many dairy ingredients like milk, cream cheese and butter. 

For the cake part, I love using a mix of almond flour and coconut flour or entirely spelt flour. I’ve made them both ways and they turn out fantastic every time. Coconut flour is much drier and absorbent than the average flour so if you’re substituting it, you’ll need to make some adjustments – for every 1/2 cup of coconut flour, you will want to add more liquid to your recipes. An extra egg does the trick!

And it’s no secret I’m a huge fan of coconut oil and coconut sugar to replace any refined oil or white sugar in recipes. Coconut sugar has more vitamins and minerals than any other type of sugar, it’s completely unrefined and considered a low glycemic sugar that has a smaller effect on blood sugar. And thankfully Nutiva (who I buy all my coconut products from because they support GMO labeling and my investigations) sources their coconut sugar sustainably without hurting the environment or animals.

Gingerbread Cupcakes With Coconut Icing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12-24
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg (or flax egg (combine 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 and ½ cup spelt flour (gluten free option: 1 cup almond flour + ½ cup coconut flour + 1 more egg)
  • ½ tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ tablespoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line muffin tins with baking cups
  2. In a bowl, combine coconut oil, coconut sugar, and molasses and egg and mix well
  3. In a medium bowl whisk flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Whisk into molasses mixture until well combined
  4. Boil water and remove from heat. Add baking soda and whisk into batter.
  5. Fill baking cups ⅔ full and bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. (If making mini cupcakes - bake for only 12-14 mins)
  6. After cupcakes have cooled completely, top with coconut manna frosting
***Please use all organic ingredients if possible***


Coconut Manna Frosting
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 12
  1. Combine vanilla, maple syrup and coconut manna together and whisk well
  2. Use as frosting or topping on your favorite dessert
  3. Top with coconut flakes for a festive look if desired


Hope you enjoy these healthy holiday treats and share these cupcakes with your friends and family. Making your own desserts are far better than resorting to store-bought chemical filled fattening toxic crap. 


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75 responses to “Gingerbread Cupcakes With Coconut Icing

  1. Dear Food Babe , LOVE YOU & LOVE this recipe… But am new @ being Vegan, & without the talent to remove & replace the EGG(s) … Could you suggest an altered recipe for us Vegans ? Hope so !!! TY, Again XXX

  2. Hi! Would unsulphured black strap molasses work? What type of molasses do you recommend? Thank you!

  3. Hello Food Babe!
    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! I am a HUGE fan of you and appreciate the time and efforts you put out to helping the many make better healthy choices! My family and I really enjoy watching the videos you post, and my 13 year old son, who used to refuse to stir away from unhealthy choices, now quotes on saying: “Is that food Babe approved?” now, who would of thought! 🙂
    Thank you again, and best of luck to you always!
    xoxo, Zahraa

    1. I dont know if you can eat seeds but sunflower and hemp seeds make good replacements for almond flour.

  4. This looks amazing! Food Babe: why don’t you have a cookbook??? If you do, I sure can’t find it.

    1. Coconut just got on my no no food list and I’m so upset. Apparently my body does not like it and I didn’t know. Such a bummer. Nice recipe tho

  5. Does anyone know if coconut meal or almond meal can be used for the flour in this recipe (or the icing)? I make homemade coconut or almond milk all the time, and have been stockpiling the “pulp” in my freezer – but can’t find many recipes for using them. Thanks! This recipe sounds delicious!

    1. Kim… I make my own nut milks and dry and save all my pulp and use it for all my recipes from gravies to baked goods…so the answer is Yes, and it saves alot of money.

      1. Interested. How do you make the gravy? Is the nut pulp used in place of flour for thickenet?

    2. Kim, I made this recipe yesterday for the first time. I used coconut flour & almond meal and I think it turned out really well. They got eaten up in a hurry! I changed the icing by adding coconut sugar and some organic heavy whipping cream.

  6. Perhaps I missed it somewhere, but I’d like to know the calorie count per serving/cupcake. Thanks so much.

    1. Connie Faris: To make your own manna (coconut butter): take about 2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut and put in a food processor and let it go until it’s like a nut butter, scraping down the sides every few minutes. It may take a while…10-15 minutes.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing: I am just a tad confused , is the recipe asking for 3 cups of flour or, is it one and a half of either one . Lastly I cannot use molasses
    Any suggestions for an alternative. Thank you , best regards

  8. Icing is usually the BEST part of the cupcake. Otherwise why would I eat the cake and leave just eough cake to go with the frosting. LOVED IT!! That when I was little but it is still a wonderful option!

  9. Do you know if the GF version will work with the egg replacer? I’ve had trouble stabilizing recipes with coconut flour and egg replacers.

  10. Hi food babe

    Due to my sons food allergies, we do not eat eggs, nuts, coconut, oat or sesame products. How can we live a healthier lifestyle without these items as many of your recipes call for those items. Thanks!

  11. This sounds awesome but like another poster I’m very concerned with calories. Could you please consider posting the nutritional values for us calorie counters?
    Thank you!

  12. I’ve wanted to try coconut manna for so long. This just gave me a reason to stop procrastinating. Thank you!

  13. I just made these and unfortunately they sank.They still look tasty. Mine also look a lot darker than yours but I’m not too concerned! Once they cool I’ll be able to see if they’re still delicious despite the sinking!

    1. I had trouble with them sinking as well! I have never had this happen before with any of my cupcake recipes in the past. I used the gluten-free option with the almond meal and coconut flour. I wonder what could have made that happen. I will note…the sinking did not affect the taste…they were fantastic. Everyone loved them, even those who had them sans frosting.

    2. These foods without the gluten of wheat flour will fall, it is normal. Also, lots of food pictures are taken when the food is still uncooked or undercooked so the pictured will look better.

  14. Hello Vani,

    You have a very well thought site. If you are interested, I will be creating a Blog based on what I saw and experienced in my 20+ years of management in the National School lunch Program. If you are interested in joining forces with me to better educate people concerning what goes on behind the serving line, please email me.

    Thank you,
    Dianne Guilfoyle
    Bugmuscle LLC.

  15. “…store-bought chemical filled fattening toxic crap.”
    Haha! Very well said, & to the point! Love it!

    Thank you for sharing this goodness with the world. <3

  16. Grazie Vani per le deliziose ricette. Sono una signora italiana e preparo in casa pane e dolci per la mia famiglia, purtroppo non posso approfittare delle offerte Nutiva perchè spediscono solo negli Stati Uniti!!! I love you

    1. Giuseppina, provi a trovarlo a ! Ho visto che c’e sono un po di Nutiva proddoti. Good luck!! =)

  17. seems like everything Foodbabe recommends is out of my budget. 5 dollars for a pound of coconut sugar when i can get 10 pounds of cane sugar for for about 8 bucks. i guess eating healthy is for the well off too.

    1. You don’t need desserts. Cakes are processed foods. All of the cheap foods are being subsidized by the gov’t so we are paying twice … once for all the subsidies on foods we don’t eat and again for real food quality food if we choose to buy it. Save up and make one of these copycat recipes for a group of people who care about their health when you can enjoy it too. Actually there is no reason to make a recipe with almond meal unless you are trying to avoid wheat.

    2. See if you have a co-op or grocery store that sells in bulk. I save so much $ only buying what I need. It’s my biggest money saving recent discovery!

      1. i thought of that Maureen. nothing like that within 50 miles of my town. Shawano Wi. i`m the kind of guy who gets lost going around the block. ha ha thanks anyway.

    3. I think the same thing sometimes. Why does the cheap stuff do the worst things to the body? The answer is because of all the stabilizers, preservatives and other additives that make them stay consumable longer so that the companies can make more money. So to help my budget, I only buy one or two ingredients at a time and sacrifice with the cheaper, less healthy ones. Try going gradual and replace one or two things at a time.

  18. Thank you Food Babe. I placed my order just in time for the discount! I am really looking forward to baking delicious goodies with these Nutiva ingredients!

  19. I wonder if you could make cake balls from these?
    I just poured my bag of coconut sugar in the blender and made powdered sugar to try and make a healthier icing, never thought of coconut butter and maple syrup. Yum.

  20. Turned out dry and crumbly and the icing was very difficult to work with in a cooler home. It kept getting thick on me and wouldn’t spread. Flavour was nice but they looked terrible!

    1. Wow, that is difficult to even imagine. These turned out crazy moist for me! I used the gluten free option with the almond meal and coconut flour. Maybe try that version next time and see if it turns out better. As far as the icing…try the Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread as the base. Good luck!

  21. Made these this afternoon! Didn’t have all ingredients on hand. Soooo… I used honey and maple syrup instead of molasses.Used Organic cane sugar, rather than coconut sugar. Then whole wheat flour, rather than the spelt. For the icing, I had no coconut butter, so I used, coconut oil, maple syrup, fresh local honey, and the coconut flakes for texture. Despite alll my substitutions, this was super yummy! Thanks!

  22. Okay just made these and I must say, delicious !!! I followed the recipe exact and got 12 cupcakes. I made a little extra frosting =] I tried these out to make sure I wanted to make them for chritmas and I am so happy I did. They will definitely be a hit! Thanks FOOD BABE !

  23. None of my measuring devices will measure a 1/2 tablespoon (as the baking soda is called for). How can I bake these cupcakes accurately with the measuring spoons I have? Mine are: 1/8 tsp, 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, and 1 Tbs. I would much appreciate it. My “guestimating” resulted in overleavened cupcakes that sank during baking.

  24. These are unbelievable!! I was told by my husband it was like ‘a rock star party was happening in his mouth!’ Also, my Mother has never liked any store bought GF treats I have offered her and she loved these! Loved finding and using these ingredients that are new to me! Easy!

  25. These are really good. Super moist. I made them both ways, first with spelt flour, then with coconut flour and almond meal. Mine did sink both times which made it difficult to frost. The frosting was really thick and crumbly (but good). If I could get it on easier/ smoother it would be perfect! I topped them with shredded coconut and mini gingerbread star cookies for Christmas, and beeswax candles for a birthday. Beautiful.

  26. These cupcakes were absolutely delicious. I substituted Bob’s Organic Whole Wheat pastry flour. And they came out great. To the frosting I needed to add a bit more coconut mamma and pure maple syrup that we harvested. GREAT.

  27. What altitude are these cupcakes made?
    What adjustments must I make for altitude that is 5280?

    Healthy baking


  28. Thanks, I just made this recipe and the taste is wonderful. Instead of making cupcakes I made a little cake very moist and good! Also, I used 2 tbl spoons of canned coconut milk to help the frosting come together! This little cake has a lot of personality – I thought about making it again with pecans and xtra coconut in the frosting and call it “The Good Little German Chocolate Cake” : )

  29. Love love your site. News travels about you as far as New Zealand. I make a Gingerbread Muffin too but use Date and Fig Purée. Ever tried making it? Digging up the nutritional value surprised me how awesome dates/figs are as a sugar replacement in baking. Cheers from NZ, Irina

  30. Hi I’ve read and re-read the instructions as well as all the comments and I’m not clear on what to do with the boiling water after removing it from the heat. Do I add it to the batter at the same time as the baking soda? I just don’t want to make any mistakes, they look so delicious!

    1. Well, I made them and used the boiling water. They tasted okay, but they didn’t hold together at all. I hesitated to put it in, it seemed like normal muffin/cake batter without. Can anyone tell me the necessity of the water? I would like to try without next time, I think the flavours would pop more and maybe the cupcakes wouldn’t be so crumbly.

  31. I made the icing with Nutiva Organic Coconut Manna and when I added the Maple syrup – it became very thick and crumbly – way to crumbly to spread. I tried letting the bowl sit in hot water for about 10 minutes with no success at it becoming more spreadable. Do I need to use a different Coconut Manna or what do you recommend. I followed the recipe exactly. I love the cupcakes and they turned out beautiful, moist and delicious. I used the Jem Almond Butter as an icing at first, but I just LOVE Coconut Manna and couldn’t wait to try your original recipe for icing.

  32. Can I freeze these? I need to pack an alternative for my children’s lunchboxes for special birthday celebrations at school when the parents bring cupcakes, doughnuts, etc. I’d love to prepare a batch of something, freeze them, and then take them out as necessary.

  33. Made the cupcakes gluten free. We did our own icing flavored with cinnamon. Yummo! Could you use the recipe to make chocolate? Oh and my mom brushed the wrappers with melted coconut oil so it could pop out okay

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