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Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Smoky Caramel Frosting

Do not, I repeat DO NOT, get sidelined by the amount of ingredients in this great tasting recipe. Odds are, you already have most everything in your cupboard already. If you choose not to use large grained salt for the tops of these moist cupcakes, simple omit or add some additional sugar. Either way, the ratio of salty and sweet is well balanced and about that bacon in the frosting?!......well, who doesn't love bacon?


For 12 Serving(s)


  • 1/2 cup(s) chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup(s) butter or margarine
  • 3 cup(s) flour
  • 1/2 cup(s) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 cup(s) your favorite eggnog
  • 1/2 cup(s) molasses
  • 1/2 cup(s) apple sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Kosher, or other large grained, salt
  • Easy Smoky Caramel Frosting:
  • 1 (11.75-ounce) jar caramel topping
  • 2 cup(s) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup(s) marshmallow topping
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Smoky Caramel Frosting Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Spray 2(6-cup) muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or use cupbcake liners. In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate chips with butter, stirring ocassionally. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, blend flour, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and baking powder. Fold in eggnog, molasses, apple sauce, egg and chocolate mixture until well incorporated.
  2. Evenly divide among the prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4-full. Sprinkle the top of each with Kosher salt and bake 18-20 minutes, or until the center bounces back when lightly touched. Remove from oven to cool slightly before transferring to plate or rack to cool completely before frosting.
  3. To make Smoky Caramel Frosting, add all ingredients to a bowl and beat on low until the sugar has been incorporated. Then turn the mixer on high and beat for 30 seconds, until it is as creamy as possible. Either spread with a knife dipped in water, pipe with a pastry bag or place in a resealable bag, snipping off a corner to pipe out.
  4. Makes 12 cupcakes