- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup light molasses
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 8-ounce bar cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 pound confectioners' sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Make the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg; set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the molasses and ginger, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).
- Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
- Make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on high until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and salt and beat until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. If necessary, slightly chill the frosting to stiffen it before using. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the lemon zest.
Note: Cupcakes are best eaten the day they’re made, but will keep up to 2 days in an airtight container.