If you love cupcakes and you love Thanksgiving then you’re sure to be excited about these cranberry orange cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream.
My favorite holiday has to be Thanksgiving. My family always ends up making several different types of cranberry sauce or relish; It’s hard to pick just one so everyone has to have “their” favorite cranberry dish.
Between the several types of cranberry dishes and the number of people who may show up (not to mention leftovers get passed out after the meal), there is always leftover cranberry sauce. It’s good on turkey sandwiches, but even after sandwiches, there is still some leftover. What to do?
Cupcakes, of course! More specifically, cranberry orange cupcakes filled with cranberry sauce and topped with white chocolate buttercream. I realize when you think cranberry sauce cupcakes are not the first thing your mind jumps to, but trust me, it works.
Our Inspiration for Cranberry Orange Cupcakes
Have you ever had the cookies with white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and nuts? Yeah, you know the ones I’m talking about, so good! It’s such a good combo., cranberry and white chocolate go so well together. I also like the combination of cranberry and orange. So…when thinking about the leftovers from Thanksgiving, how to use them up, and daydreaming about the pumpkin cupcakes we made back around Halloween, cranberry orange cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream frosting seemed like the only way to go!
Making Orange Cupcakes
Sometimes it’s best to not overthink things. All we did to add orange flavor to these cupcakes was add a little orange juice and a little orange zest. So simple, right?!!! These are almost certainly 2 ingredients you have in your house right now. And cranberry and orange together? Meant to be!
Small Batch Cupcakes
This recipe only makes about 7-8 cupcakes. Not a bad thing for a few reasons:
- Cranberry sauce leftovers are likely enough to get the job done
- Desserts are best enjoyed in moderation
- It’s a long holiday season filled with goodies. A huge batch of cranberry orange cupcakes laying around is not a good idea! Trust me, once you try these it’s hard to stop devouring them.
Of course, if you decide to modify this recipe for a larger batch we won’t stop you. 😉
Making White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
When making the white chocolate buttercream frosting, I used the microwave to melt the white chocolate. The first batch I clearly zapped too long because it turned into a large flaky clump. (palm to forehead). But you learn through trial and error, right? Really, you just need it to change from white chocolate chips to something that is spreadable and no longer chip shaped. So the second time I melted for a minute on 70% power, mixed with a fork, then an additional 15-20 seconds. Then cooled slightly and mixed in with the butter. Mix in your vanilla, then your sugar and mix until smooth.
A Few Final Tips
- If you are not a fan of the orange/cranberry combo, I also recommend just subbing in milk for the orange juice with a teaspoon or vanilla. We tried this version as well and loved it just as much.
- If you are looking for a pretty garnish, I made sugared cranberries after seeing them on Vanilla and Bean’s blog. Check it out, her photos are gorgeous and her food looks amazing! I made enough to garnish a drink. Stay tuned for that in the future.
So….are these Cranberry Orange Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream calling your name yet? If so please give them a try and let us know in the comments below what you think.
On to the recipe:
White Chocolate Buttercream Cranberry Orange Cupcakes
For the cranberry relish
- 2 cup cranberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
For the cupcakes
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 4 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
For the buttercream
- 1/2 cup butter , softened
- 1 cup white chocolate chips , melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the cranberry sauce
- Bring water and sugar to a boil.
- Add cranberries and return to a boil.
- Simmer and stir occassionally for about 10 minutes.
For the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Mix in eggs.
- Mix in flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Mix in orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice.
- Fill lined muffin tins approximately 2/3 full (should make 7-8) and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
- Cool before frosting.
For the buttercream
- Beat butter until fluffy.
- Add cooled chocolate and mix.
- Add vanilla and mix.
- Add sugar and mix until smooth.
To finish cupcakes
- Using a melon baller or teaspoon, scoop out a small part of the center of the cupcake (save the bites for another purpose or to fend of swarming children).
- Fill with 1/2 T. of cranberry sauce.
- Pipe top with buttercream.
Cupcake recipes, clockwise from top left:
- Vanilla Almond Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (Rosemary – An Italian in My Kitchen)
- Cranberry Orange Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream (Melissa – My Wife Can Cook)
- Apple Spice Cupcakes (Arlene – Flour on My Face)
- Spicy Chai Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting (Gloria – Homemade and Yummy)
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Frosting (Sarah – The Fit Cookie)
- Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Caramel (Veena – Veena Azmanov)
- Sweet Potato Pecan Cupcakes (Michelle – The Gracious Wife)