Gingerbread Muffins (with Blackstrap Molasses)

About the same time last year, I was testing out a recipe that called for molasses. I scaled the supermarket shelves and only saw jars of organic blackstrap molasses. In my uninformed mind, I figured regular molasses and the blackstrap variety are interchangeable.

In less than an hour later, I realized that they are in fact NOT the same thing. It turns out blackstrap molasses are what you would consider the last strain of cane syrup that has been boiled down so many times that no sucrose is left. It’s intense, dark, thick and bitter. Very much like dark dark dark caramel. The kicker was that it contains loads of nutrients like calcium and iron and good for digestion.

Regular molasses on the other hand are from the prior boiling down process of cane syrup and are hence lighter and sweeter.

As a consequence, whatever I was trying to make turned out bitter and almost burnt tasting. Ugh. I tossed the jar of blackstrap molasses at the back of my drawer. And then recently, I discovered this black smudge at the bottom of my drawer and lo and behold, the jar leaked.

After the cleaning out, I knew I had to start using this jar of black sticky stuff in the best way possible. And score I did! This recipe made a really nice spiced, caramelly batch of muffins. It even had a little nutty smoky property that is so good. Lemme share 😉

The ingredients list is pretty simple: flour, butter, brown sugar, eggs, orange, lemon, baking soda, ground spices, molasses, milk & turbinado/coarse sugar.
Gingerbread Muffin 1

Dry ingredients. I’d use even more spices. I’m so in love with spices.
Gingerbread Muffin 2

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar.
Gingerbread Muffin 3

Then beat in eggs one by one.
Gingerbread Muffin 4

Sprinkle in the zest & drizzle in the molasses.
Gingerbread Muffin 5

Alternate between flour…
Gingerbread Muffin 6

Gingerbread Muffin 7

Gingerbread Muffin 8

…milk… and flour again. I forgot to take the last flour pic. But you get it.
Gingerbread Muffin 9

Excuse my messy messy muffin tin. I’m not very good with keeping my hands steady.
Gingerbread Muffin 10

Sprinkle with a little coarse grain sugar. Then bake!
Gingerbread Muffin 11

This didn’t look much like the original recipe but I really like how this turned out.
Gingerbread Muffin 12

The coarse sugar gave them a nice shimmer while the blackstrap molasses made them super dark and gorgeous.
Gingerbread Muffin 13

Tasted like winter. Malaysia doesn’t have winter but I can imagine having this with a cup of chai in front of the fire.
Gingerbread Muffin 14

Beautiful sugar crystals.
Gingerbread Muffin 15

And they are beautifully fluffy too. 
Gingerbread Muffin 16

Now thinking about it, this is both warm and bright. Spiced and lemony. Perfect for now.





“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:9)

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Gingerbread Muffins (with Blackstrap Molasses)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert, Breakfast
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cloves (I didn't have cloves so I used mixed spice - cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice)
  • ¼ cup Butter, softened
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ⅓ cup Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Orange Zest
  • 1 cup Milk
  • Turbinado sugar for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F or 180C and grease a 12 muffin tin.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and brown sugar until creamy and smooth. I used a hand whisk but feel free to use a stand mixer.
  4. Mix in eggs, one at a time until smooth.
  5. Add vanilla, molasses, lemon juice, orange juice and zests to the mixer bowl. Mix until smooth.
  6. Alternate between flour mixture and milk to the stand mixer bowl until all ingredients are just combined. End with flour.
  7. Divide batter into oiled prepared muffin pan, filling each to the top.
  8. Sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.
  9. Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and firm in the center.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

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