Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes
Whip up a batch of these festive Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes for your holiday celebration! Moist and fluffy vanilla cupcakes are studded with sugared cranberries and topped with a silky white chocolate buttercream frosting. You’ll love the contrast of flavors and textures in this fun dessert recipe!
Hey how’s your holiday season going? Are you done your shopping yet? Is your house all decorated? I’m getting there, bit by bit. We put up our tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I’ve got the stairway just about done. Next is the mantle, then we’re hosting a family brunch for Hanukkah this weekend, and then I’m just going to bang out all the gift shopping (hopefully) in a matter of days. It’s not ideal, I know, but if I have a list then I can usually knock it all out in a hurry.
It’s getting down to the wire, and thanks to a scheduling error on my part, this is going to be a three-post week. I was thinking I’d be sharing a kick-a$$ cookie recipe yesterday, but evidently I had my dates mixed up and that will come later in the week. Along with a kick-a$$ cheesecake recipe. So stay tuned!
For now, I’m happy I had these little gems patiently waiting in the wings!
I made them on a whim. I just wanted something wintry and beautiful. They did not disappoint! In fact, I loved them even more than I anticipated.
There is just something about those sugared cranberries! I just love their sweet-tart, juicy crunch. And, along with this incredibly silky-smooth, rich yet whisper-light white chocolate Swiss buttercream… perfection! The contrast of flavors and textures just can’t be beat.
These beauties started with my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. It’s moist, fluffy, full of rich vanilla flavor, and it all comes together in one bowl. I was fresh out of Greek yogurt, so I subbed in buttermilk and it worked like a dream. The cranberries were sugared the day before (they keep in the fridge for about a week), and after I scooped the batter, I decided to add a few right in. I filled the cups halfway, dropped about 4 or 5 right in, and then tucked them in under a blanket of more batter.
After they’re cool, you can swirl on that satin-y buttercream, and garnish with a few more sugared cranberries. Don’t they just look so perfect for a Christmas party? Or even for New Years, I think they’d be great.
If you’re looking for something fun and different to treat your friends and family to this season, you can’t go wrong with this recipe! I hope you’ll give it a try- it’s just so perfect for this time of year!
…got questions on the frosting? I bet you they’re answered in this HIGHLY comprehensive Swiss Meringue Buttercream post! Click on over to learn lots more!
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Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes
For the Sugared Cranberries
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar,, plus extra for coating
- 12 ounces (340.2 g) fresh cranberries, (1 bag)
For the Cranberry Vanilla Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups (187.5 g) cake flour
- 3/4 cup (93.75 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter, (1 1/2 sticks), softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- 2 cups (200 g) sugared cranberries, (approx.)
To Make the Sugared Cranberries:
- Place the water and sugar in a medium pot, and place over medium-low heat.
- Bring to a low simmer, stirring, just until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.
- Toss the cranberries in the simple syrup, to coat.
- Drain the cranberries, and spread in single layer on a wire rack.
- Allow to dry for about 1 hour, or until no longer wet but sticky to the touch.
- Roll in additional granulated sugar to coat. (Sugared cranberries can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to a week.)
To Make the Cranberry Vanilla Cupcakes:
- Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed, until the mixture resembles damp sand.
- Stir in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Add the buttermilk and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute, to aerate the batter and strengthen the cake's structure.
- Fill each well of the cupcake pan about half full with batter, then drop 4-5 sugared cranberries in, and top with more batter (they should be no more than 2/3 full).
- Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool completely, then top with White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
To Make the White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- Place the egg whites and sugar in a large metal bowl, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and whisk together until the mixture looks thin and opaque, and the sugar has completely dissolved (it should no longer feel gritty when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger).
- Remove the bowl from the heat, and whip on high speed (using a whisk attachment) until completely cooled. (There should be no hint of warmth when you press your palm against the side of the bowl.)
- Whip in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until thick and fluffy. If it begins to look curdled, continue to whip until it comes back together, before adding in remaining butter. If the frosting seems runny, refrigerate for 10-20 minutes, then re-whip.