1.Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-count cupcake pan with liners; set aside.
2.In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the shortening and brown sugar; beat on medium speed until fluffy; about one minute.
3.Add the extract, molasses, egg, and milk. The mixture will look a little bumpy at first but will even out once the dry ingredients are added. Be sure to scrape down the stand mixer bowl with a rubber spatula since this batter will become sticky.
4.Reduce the stand mixer speed to low and slowly add in the flour, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Scrape down the bowl sides to mix all the batter.
5.Scoop batter into lined cupcake pan and fill each about ¾ of the way. This recipe makes exactly 12 standard cupcakes.
6.Bake cupcakes for 20-23 minutes. A toothpick or tester inserted into the center of a cupcake will come out clean once removed.
7.Allow cupcakes to cool for at least one hour before frosting.
1.Add room temperature butter, shortening, ginger, and molasses to a stand mixer; mix on medium-low speed until creamy.
2.Slowly add the powdered sugar and reduce the stand mixer speed to low. Once the ingredients start to incorporate, add the milk, and increase the speed. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides. The frosting will be thick and moist. If it is too dry add a tablespoon more of milk.
3.Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with frosting and ice cooled cupcakes. Pipe cupcakes, and then sprinkle each with gold sanding sugar. Garnish each cupcake with a topper and enjoy!