For the Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with parchment cupcake liners; set aside.
In s small saucepan, boil ginger ale soda. Take pot off heat then stir in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. Stir in molasses and 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Stir to dissolve both sugars; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 2 tablespoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ground cloves; set aside.
In wet molasses mixture, stir in eggs, oil and fresh ginger root or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Carefully whisk over sink to combine well.
Whisk wet mixture into flour mixture a little at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Whisk batter well for a minute to remove lumps.
Pour about 1/4 cup batter into each cupcake liner. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to cool on wire rack while making frosting.
For the Green Frosting
In a bowl fit with a paddle or wire whisk, beat butter, 1/4 cup shortening and sour cream for a few minutes. Beat in clear vanilla extract. I've used clear vanilla so the green color is not tinted brown.
Slowly beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar at a time while continuing to beat. Beat for 1 minute to remove lumps once done.
Add in green and blue food coloring until a green color develops that you like. More or less blue and green color may need to be added. The blue will help to darken the green color.
To make the trees, use an open star cake tip. Fill a piping bag with frosting then frost each cone. I reserve the top half of the cone for my hand while frosting the bottom. Then I set the cones aside on a baking sheet while leaving the top part unfrosted just to use this part for the fingers to place it onto the cupcake later. You can frost the top of the cone once it's on the cupcake in place.
For the White Frosting
In a bowl with a whisk attachment, beat shortening until smooth. Carefully beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar at a time, adding 1 tablespoon milk at a time as needed.
Beat in vanilla extract and butter.
Add frosting to top of each cooled cupcake. Use a butter knife or offset spatula warmed under hot water and dried to smooth and melt frosting lines to make the snow appear smooth.
To assemble, top each cupcake with a frosted tree using the top of the unfrosted tree to slightly push in and secure the tree on the white snow frosting. Carefully hold each treetop at the tip to finish piping with green frosting.
Dust with confectioners' sugar and carefully push in colored candies into tree.