THESE CUPCAKES. They are hands down some of the best I’ve ever had. Tansey says that they are THE best that he’s ever had…

Molasses Cupcakes with Buttered Rum Icing

I would say that even if you are not crazy about molasses, you should still give them a try. They are dark, dense, rich, and sweet. It’s rare to find a cupcake where the cake actually rivals the icing for flavor, but for these, that is totally the case.

We’re hardcore fans of molasses cookies, so we happened to have some molasses on hand. And thanks to Eric’s recent visit to a local distillery (Raleigh Rum Company), we had a bottle of delicious spiced rum on our bar that was just begging to be incorporated into a dessert.

And so, the heavenly combination was born!


Just look at these beauties.

I based this on a truly interesting recipe that depends on baking soda as the primary baking agent. Basically, you mix together most of the ingredients–leaving with you a thick, pasty concoction that doesn’t seem quite right–then slosh in a mixture of baking soda and water. The batter immediately transforms into what you can only call a mousse. Light, fluffy, full of air bubbles. I was skeptical.

But oh my gosh, was the result amazing!

You should really give these a try when you are in the mood for a decadent, and decidedly unique treat. They will not disappoint. Scout’s honor. Seriously. Try them.



A note on the alcohol: As of this writing, I’m pregnant with out third child. I’m in the second trimester. And although the rum added to the frosting does not get “cooked off” in any way, the amount used was so minimal that I had absolutely no qualms about eating a cupcake. It’s really just enough to lend you that luscious, spiced rum flavor. Do NOT skip the rum, at least for half of the batch.

Molasses Cupcakes with Buttered Rum Icing
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
  • For the cake
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • For the icing
  • 2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered/icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1.5 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons spiced rum
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk
For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, molasses, and eggs until smooth and well incorporated. Whisk in the flour and salt.
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from stove and stir in the baking soda until fully dissolved.
  4. Stir the baking soda mixture into the cupcake batter until just combined. The mixture should be light and airy, like a mousse.
  5. Fill each cupcake liner with batter. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes depending on your oven. Cool on a rack.
For the icing:
  1. Use the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, or electric beaters, to cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until creamy and well incorporated.
  2. Add the milk, and then the rum, one tablespoon at a time. Beat on high for 3-4 minutes, or until fluffy.
  3. Spread on cooled cupcakes.
  4. Enjoy!


Molasses Cupcakes with Buttered Rum Icing. Decadent, sweet, and a bit boozy. What's not to love?