Sticky, fluffy ginger muffins topped with lemon buttercream are perfect with mulled cider or spiced apple juice on a chilly November eve. 

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Ginger muffins topped with a swirl of lemon buttercream on a cake stand.

I adapted this recipe from my large sticky ginger cake recipe because I fancied a handful of gingery deliciousness for Bonfire Night this year. I also had some very beautiful muffin cases calling to me from my baking cupboard and I can never resist a pretty cake case!

Somehow a tin of small cakes feels easier to achieve than a big cake. Obviously I know this isn’t true but, if the baking mood grabs me, I am more likely to grab a muffin tin than a cake tin.

These little ginger muffins are super easy to put together and that comforting smell of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves wafting around the kitchen is just divine.

If you can’t be bothered with buttercream just leave it off. I only ever ice half of my small bakes to satisfy the cravings of my frosting haters! It also makes them much easier to pop into lunchboxes for a treat.

Ginger Muffins in gold cake cases.

How To Make Ginger Muffins

This is a super simple recipe, you’ll find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, but read on if you want some extra tips and tricks.

  • While this is a super quick recipe to pull together you do need to leave enough time to melt together the butter, sugar and treacle and for it to cool.
  • The treacle mixture doesn’t need to be completely cold but leave it to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  • If you don’t have cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon as ground spices use a teaspoonful of mixed spice instead.
  • The fluffy rise in this vegan ginger muffin recipe is created by combining plant based milk and cider vinegar to make vegan buttermilk. This then reacts with the bicarbonate of soda and baking powder to create a fluffy lift.

A gingerbread muffin split in half to show the fluffy interior.

Toppings For Muffins and Cupcakes

  • I used vegan lemon buttercream. Lemon and ginger are such a good flavour pairing. Brew yourself a cup of lemon and ginger tea and you’re sorted!
  • Top them simply with a scattering of chopped mixed nuts or a single pecan nut like I use on my chocolate brownies. This adds a lovely crunch!
  • Brush cold muffins with some warmed golden syrup and crumble some homemade cinder toffee honeycomb over them for a real bonfire night treat! 
  • I often leave my small cakes undecorated to allow all their flavour to shine through. These ginger muffins have lots of lovely comforting flavours – leave them naked if the mood takes you!

A selection of small ginger cakes on a cake stand.

More Easy Vegan Small Cakes

If you are planning a vegan afternoon tea here are a few more simple vegan baking suggestions:

More Bonfire Night Recipes

I love bonfire night! Coming in from fireworks with friends, eyes sparkling, hands, toes and noses cold, we are always hungry for comfort food. Here are some suggestions for wintery celebrations.

Lemon Buttercream on ginger muffins.

If you make my recipe I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. Please leave a comment and a star rating below and share your pictures with me on social media. Tag me @thinlyspread and include the hashtag #thinlyspread so I can see them!

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Lemon Buttercream on ginger muffins.

Ginger Muffins With Vegan Lemon Buttercream

Sticky, fluffy ginger muffins with or without vegan lemon buttercream are perfect with mulled cider or spiced apple juice on a chilly day.
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Course: Baked Goods, Cake
Cuisine: English
Keyword: ginger cake, ginger muffins, gingerbread
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 155kcal


  • 2 twelve hole muffin pans
  • 24 paper muffin cases


  • 200 g vegan butter or margarine
  • 200 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 200 g black treacle
  • 200 ml soya milk
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 300 g plain all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • vegan lemon buttercream optional


  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  • Line 2 twelve hole muffin tins with paper cases.
  • Melt the butter, sugar and treacle together in a small pan over a gentle heat. Leave to cool.
  • Add the vinegar to the milk and leave for about 10 minutes until curdled.
  • Sift the flour, spices, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a large bowl.
  • Once the butter mixture has cooled pour it and the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, stir together until combined.
  • Pour into the prepared cake cases. You should have enough for about 24 muffins.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until risen and springy to the touch.
  • Leave to cool completely before decorating.


Nutritional information doesn't include optional buttercream - check out my vegan buttercream recipe for ingredients and nutritional information. 
If you want to make lemon buttercream add 1 tsp lemon juice and the grated rind of one lemon to the buttercream mixture.
Nutritional information is only an approximate guideline. Calculations will vary according to the ingredients you use and your cooking methods.


Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 351IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg
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