This cupcake recipe is one that I had been dreaming up ever since the creation of my S'more cupcakes. Taking a flavor combination that you love like chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers, then transposing that flavor profile into an entirely new form is a challenge that I happen to love. For as long as I can remember, I have loved Carr's Ginger Lemon Creme Cookies. The flavor combination of lemon and gingersnap is absolute perfection, so when I began to think about the possibilities for cupcake creations beyond the S'more, Lemon Gingersnap was a no-brainer.
Beyond the fabulous taste of these cupcakes, I love that this recipe is a combination of both homemade and store bought (very Sandra Lee). You are still achieving that homemade product, but saving time during the baking process by incorporating a few pre-made steps (love that!). This is definitely a fabulous and easy dessert idea that I would recommend adding to your recipe arsenal. A crowd pleaser for sure!
For the Crust:
- 1 Box Nabisco Gingersnaps (*Set 10 cookies aside to use for garnishing)
- 3 Tbs Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/2 Sticks Butter (Melted)
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
For the Cake:
- 2 Boxes Betty Crocker Super Moist Lemon Cake Mix
- Water, Vegetable Oil and Eggs (according to box instructions)
For the Frosting:
- 1 8oz Package of Cream Cheese (Softened to Room Temperature)
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter (Softened to Room Temperature)
- 1.5lbs Confectioners Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Zest of 1/2 a Lemon
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon (plus more as needed)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit and place oven racks on bottom third section of oven
- In a food processor, break down one box of ginger snap cookies until they reach the consistency of crumbs
- Combine Crumbs, Sugar and Salt in a bowl with a fork
- Once dry ingredients are combined, add melted butter and continue to combine until mixture resembles wet sand
- Use a cookie scoop (or similar to achieve uniformity) and add one scoop (approximately 1 Tbs) to each muffin cup that has been lined with a cupcake paper
- Press mixture down to create a packed crust (I like to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup with a flat bottom because it fits the space perfectly and I don't have to get my hands dirty)
- Bake in oven for about 15 minutes
- While the crust is baking, make the cake batter per the instructions on the cake box
- When crust is finished baking, remove from oven, move oven rack back to mid-level and increase baking temperature to 350 degrees fahrenheit
- Fill each ginger snap crust cupcake cup with batter and then bake in oven for approximately 20-25minutes.
- Test cakes with toothpick for doneness. When toothpick comes out clean the cakes are done. **Note- Start with less time and then add extra cooking minutes as needed. You can always bake for additional time but you can "unbake" something that has been over baked.
For the Frosting:
- In a bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract with a hand mixer until smooth.
- Add Confectioners Sugar in batches until well incorporated (it will be a little thick)
- Add the lemon zest and lemon juice
- You want to achieve a thicker frosting so that it is easier to pipe, but if too thick/dry simply add more lemon juice (1tsp at a time) until you achieve a smooth consistency
- Using a large spatula, scoop the frosting in a gallon size ziplock bag, cut the tip off of one corner of the bag and squeeze the frosting through that cut opening to pipe onto the cupcakes. I didn't use piping tips, but if you have them, here is a video on how to use a piping tip with a ziplock bag.
- Garnish with a rustic piece of gingersnap cookie.