Cranberry Orange Cupcakes Recipe

The perfect holiday cupcake, these Cranberry Orange Cupcakes are infused with orange zest and fresh cranberries, then topped with a silky cranberry orange buttercream. Make them even more festive by topping them with sugared cranberries.

Serves: 14 cupcakes


Sugared Cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries
½ cup superfine sugar*

1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
zest of 1 orange
¾ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon orange extract
1½ cups fresh cranberries, roughly chopped

¾ cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream**
¾ cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped

*If you don’t have superfine sugar, you can run regular granulated sugar through the food processor to break it down into smaller particles.
**regular milk can be substituted for the cream, but cream makes a richer buttercream, so it is preferred.


To make the cranberries:

  1. Combine the 1 cup of sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. If the water gets too hot and starts to boil, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then add the cranberries. (You don’t want the cranberries to burst, which is why you don’t want the water too hot.) Pour the simple syrup and cranberries into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain the cranberries. Place the superfine sugar in a shallow bowl and add the cranberries. Shake to coat the cranberries with the sugar. Transfer to a surface lined with waxed paper and allow to dry for at least 1 hour.

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Visit for full directions.

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