Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter Cranberry Cupcakes

I went a little crazy a few weeks ago when cranberries went on sale, and I bought 7 (7!) bags that I promptly stuffed in my freezer. I was so happy thinking I'd be able to make cranberry-whatever all through the summer. Then I realized we are likely moving well before then. Whoops!  No time like the present, apparently, to work down the stock I just created!

First on my list was this recipe for cranberry white chocolate cupcakes. Cranberries and white chocolate are two of my greatest loves, so I knew this would be a great combo. I almost left the white chocolate bits out of the batter, and ultimately I think it would be better without them, especially with the white chocolate frosting. For the snowflakes, I melted some white chocolate, then added it to a ziplock bag. On a piece of parchment paper, I traced some snowflake designs, then flipped the parchment over. I cut a small tip off the end of the bag, and piped white chocolate, following the snowflake designs, onto the parchment. I let them set for about 20 minutes while I frosted the cupcakes, then carefully lifted each one off the parchment with an off-set spatula.

These cupcakes are fantastically delicious with the cranberries providing just the right amount of tart, and the hint of orange play very well with the cranberry. Perfect for any winter gathering!


White Chocolate-Cranberry Cupcakes
Source: Culinography (adapted from Baker’s Chocolate)
Yield: 18-20 cupcakes
  • 6 (1 ounce) squares white baking chocolate
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake tins with liners. Chop 6 of the chocolate squares and set aside. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, orange peel, and orange juice; mix well. Add flour and baking powder; beat until well blended. Fold in chopped chocolate and the cranberries. Bake approximately 18-20 minutes (mine took more like 25) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to wire rack. Cool completely.

White Chocolate Buttercream
Source: Cupcake Shop
  • 7 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1 package (8 ounces) philly cream cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • ~2 cups powdered sugar
1. In a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, gently melt the white chocolate. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.
2. Beat in the melted white chocolate.
3. Add the vanilla and 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar to arrive at the consistency and sweetness you like. 2 cups worked for me.


  1. Your darling snowflakes show such creativity and give your cupcakes a real "Wow!" factor. Oh, and I'm sure they taste great too :)

  2. Oh yum! I've been looking for a Christmas cupcake recipe. This is the one!

  3. They sound incredible, and I love the little snowflakes! Great presentation and photography :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. This looks amazing, and I can't wait to try them!

  5. My friend made these cupcakes and I was lucky enough to sample them. So delicious. Thanks for inspiring him! I'm going to try them with dark chocolate next time to satisfy my dark chocolate-loving peers.

  6. These look beautiful and delicious! I love the snowflakes!

  7. YUM! Those look soooo perfect and the snowflakes totally make them! :)

  8. You state to use 6 T. of orange juice but the directions only use 3 T. what happens to the other 3 T of orange juice?

  9. It looks like the extra 3 T of orange juice were to go in the frosting recipe used by Culinography. I ended up using a different frosting recipe, so that extra 3T of juice isn't needed. Thanks for pointing that out, I will amend the recipe!