Gingerbread Muffins

There's so much to love about these quick and easy muffins. That deep molasses sweetness, just like hot squares of fresh gingerbread. That they're low-fat and low-calorie (thanks to half the butter in typical muffin recipes) yet still keep a moist and delicate crumb. Plus, they're made in a flash with a few pantry ingredients. But most of all, they just taste good. What's NOT to love?
Gingerbread Muffins ♥, low-fat, low-cal, moist and flavorful muffins made in a flash with a few pantry ingredients.

  • "YUMMY." ~ Roberta
  • "They are wonderful!" ~ Anonymous
  • "... delicious!" ~ Sabina

Muffin Wakeup Call

BZZZZZZ. The alarm buzzed with insistence until groping fingers located the snooze button. Still half-asleep, my mind began to sketch out a typical busy Saturday. Exercise! I promised. Then stops at the grocery, the shoe man, the car wash. A birthday present for a friend, flowers for a neighbor with cancer.

I checked the weather with just-opened eyes. The sky was unmistakably threatening, the wind unseasonably fierce. Was it February or almost June? Those sounded like blizzard winds!

Muffins! I thought. Postponing the day’s busy-ness, I jumped from bed and headed for the kitchen where I knew the pickings were slim. But what about that recipe for gingerbread muffins, a family hand-me-down? Surely those few ingredients were on hand?

Thirty minutes later, warm muffins and hot coffee were on the table. Ah, there’s nothing better than a busy Saturday kicked off by muffins-as-motivation.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes for mini muffins, 40 for regular muffins
Makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) salted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125g
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

Heat oven to 350F/175C. Spray the muffin tins.

Place the water and butter in a small microwave dish (such as a Pyrex measuring cup). Heat them in the microwave in ten-second increments until the water boils and the butter melts.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg well in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and molasses and mix well. Add the water and butter mixture and stir well. Add the remaining ingredients. Without touching the wet mixture below, lightly stir together the dry ingredients to combine, then stir them into the wet mixture until just combined. (Over-stirring the wet and dry mixtures will create holes in the baked muffins.)

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 10 minutes for mini muffins and 20 minutes for regular muffins. Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

ALANNA'S TIPS No baking spray? No problem. Just mix your own, or use this amazing DIY Substitute for Baker's Joy. The batter will be quite thin, don't worry, it will bake up just fine. The method of mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients is unorthodox but I've used it successfully with cookies and quick breads for many years. If you like, however, stir the dry ingredients separately before adding to the butter-molasses mixture. For a recent batch, I stirred finely chopped dried apricots into the batter. Yummy! Currants or raisins would work too.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Mini Muffin/Regular Muffin: 57/114 Calories; 2/4g Tot Fat; 1/3g Sat Fat; 13/27mg Cholesterol; 81/189mg Sodium; 9/18g Carb; 0g Fiber; 1/2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1/2 & PointsPlus 2/3 & SmartPoints 2/5 & Freestyle 2/5. MY APOLOGIES (2014) Weight Watchers who count points, my apologies. A careful reader, Sabina, questioned the point calculation for this muffin recipe. I re-calculated the points and sure enough, using the system I use now for calculating points versus the one I used back in 2003 when this recipe was first published, the calculations turned out much different. The nutrition information and Weight Watchers points have been updated.
Adapted from my cousin Diane's muffin recipe published in our family cookbook

A Menu

~ Cold-Brewed Coffee ~
Alex's French Eggs
Baked Bacon
Gingerbread Muffins (recipe above)

more breakfast recipes

More Breakfast Specialties

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My Mom's Pancakes Mexican Gashouse Eggs Five-Week Bran Muffins
~ more breakfast & brunch recipes ~

More Family Recipes - Thanks, Everybody!

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Maple-Glazed Salmon Nana's Cucumbers Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake
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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2003, 2009 (online), 2014, 2015 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I have never made any type of gingerbread before, but it seems logical that it would have some type of ginger in it? (Powdered?)

    I don't see ginger listed in this recipe...

  2. Anonymous6/28/2009

    I'm a little surprised there is no "ginger" in the gingerbread muffins. Is this a typo?

  3. Hi Lotus & Anonymous, How funny, I'd not noticed that there's no ginger. For these muffins, the 'gingerbread' taste comes from the molasses. That said, if you'd prefer to use ground ginger to substitute for cinnamon, feel free, I think it would be excellent!

  4. I don't like to mix wet and dry ing. separately, so I've come up with a slightly different solution. I add the salt, baking soda or powder, cocoa powder, etc to the wet ingredients first and mix well, and then add the flour and mix enough to combine. That way, the leavening and flavorings are distributed throughout, and the flour doesn't get overmixed. Easy and one fewer dish!

  5. I had to double-check twice to check the date - somehow I associate anything 'gingerbready' with Christmas, you see :)
    Lovely-sounding muffins, Alanna!!!

  6. Anonymous6/28/2009

    Alanna, I know you don't "guarantee" your weight watchers points calculations, but when I add up the points in the recipe I get 27 which would be 2 points per regular sized muffin. Am I missing something? Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.

  7. Aiii, numbers are funny, aren't they? I suspect that our different techniques yield different results, more likely to happen when the point values are on the cusp. With your way, adding up the points for each ingredient, the natural consequence is to accumulate more points. The software that I use adds calories, fat grams and fiber grams (and all the others) and then divides by the number of servings. So some ingredients might only contribute .75 points, say, rather than the 1 point you likely assigned.

    Hope this helps - I much appreciate your question. Mistakes happen, of course, but more than that, I'm just so pleased with the idea that we're all in this together. So truly -- thank you!

  8. Good morning Alanna,
    Just made the muffins YUMMY.
    I added ginger about 1 light t. to the mix. This is very similar to the Hot water gingerbread in Boston Cook Book (w/a forward signed Mary J. Lincoln 1884) but lighter texture.
    thanks for the points info. That's what inspired me to make them!


  9. Bobbi ~ You're a woman of my own heart! So glad to know that the ginger works, if I had 30 minutes this morning, I'd be baking another batch myself!

  10. These sound easy and delicious, perfect for breakfast. I love gingerbread at any time of year. I'll add the ginger AND cinnamon.

  11. Carolina Lady11/12/2009

    I love your recipes! I have been on WW since April and lost many pounds. I turned to you for easy good recipes to change up my diet from eating the samo, samo. I made the Gingerbread muffins yesterday, which brings me to the question of how you determined that it is only 1 point per muffin, using the numbers you provides for calories and fat, and there is no fiber in them, I came up with a solid 2 points. I did not run the recipe through WW E Tools, as my internet was down from the storm we had here over the past 2 days. I have never checked behind you before, I always just tracked the points given for any of your recipes that I have tried, which have been many. Was this just an error?

  12. Hi Eunice ~ Aren't the muffins great? No, it's not a mistake, it's a function of a low-fat, low-sugar and small portion size. Those mini muffins are mini!

    One other tip, especially if you're using a Weight Watchers slide tool. I've found that when I calculate points mathematically, when a serving size is on the cusp between two points, the 'slider' will look like the higher point value even while the math doesn't quite push it over.

    Hope this helps, good luck with your Weight Watchers journey!

  13. Anonymous2/24/2010

    I made the gingerbread muffins, mainly because I was hungry for something sweet and I had all of the ingredients in the house. Wow! They are wonderful! I made the mini ones and put then in the freezer. 20 seconds in the microwave and the are so ready to eat! Thank you!

  14. Anonymous11/12/2010

    I'm tempted to give this recipe a try but before I do so could I ask you a question?
    Couls I replace the molasses with sth else? maybe honey?
    I'm not such a fan of molasses because it is full of sugar and I feel t's usually bad quality sugar.
    What do you think?

  15. The grocery store was full of high-fat Christmas goodies but I made these instead. Of course, I changed it a bit: used light butter, Stevia, add 1/2 tsp. ginger and 1/2 tsp. baking powder. I got 9 full size muffins. I used Stevia because I had it left from sugar-free baking I had done. To me, Stevia has a bit of licorice taste and would not use again. Per the WW recipe builder there are 3 PointsPlus with a yield of 9 muffins.

  16. Anonymous1/07/2011

    I just discovered your site today and I am "in love"!!! Can't wait to try some of these wonderful recipes. That said, and I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I did run your recipe through Weight Watcher's Recipe Builder tonight. The mini muffins come out to be 2 PointsPlus points and the regular sized muffins work out to be 3 PointsPlus points. So, for my money's worth - I'm makin' the bigger muffins!! :-)

  17. Khadijah1/02/2012

    Alanna, this looks like a recipe I will love! Do you think it would work in a cake pan instead of muffin pan? If so, what size cake pan would you use? Thanks!

  18. Khadijah ~ Yes I think so! I made a gingerbread cake over Christmas that fit into a bread loaf pan, it had roughly 2x the ingredients at the muffin recipe above. So maybe try an 8x8 or 9x9 or mini loaf pans. Let me know how it goes!

  19. Anonymous8/13/2013

    How much does a cup of fluffed flour weight?

  20. Anonymous ~ A cup of “fluffed” flour weighs 125 grams. I add that information to newer recipes, so that there’s both the “informal” way of measuring and the more precise weight with a scale. Thanks for asking!

  21. Anonymous9/05/2013

    Thank you for answering! Would you please tell me the weight of the other ingredients? If it doesn't bother you ofc

  22. Anonymous ~ Next time I make these, sure. And I happen to be on a muffin-making mission so no promises but this may happen sooner than later.

  23. Sabina2/27/2014

    This morning I made the gingerbread muffins, which are delicious!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna