Vanilla cupcakes, filled with homemade cranberry filling and topped with a swirl of white chocolate frosting — the perfect festive holiday treat!
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White chocolate and cranberry just scream “Christmas” to me.
And around the week before Halloween, I start thinking about Christmas.
I know, you probably think that’s ridiculous, but I just love everything about Christmas and the months leading up to it.
The snow (I’ll take the snow and leave the cold!), the long evenings, the lights, and how much more enjoyable cooking and baking is when it’s absolutely frigid outside.
The way people gather to enjoy all of these things (although not as much this year). Shopping and picking out gifts for loved ones. Seeing how my toddler’s face lights up over a tube of Lipsmackers or a new pair of socks.
But now that we’re getting closer to December, it’s finally acceptable for me to share with you all of the Christmas treats I’ve been dreaming up (and devouring!) lately.
These cupcakes are totally indulgent.
They are perfect for making and sharing, as the recipe produces quite a few. And since they’re individually portioned, you can feel better about indulging right? Even if you happen to have 2.. or 3… individual portions.
Also, they freeze perfectly, so feel free to make a batch and stash them in the freezer, even if you don’t have a crowd to feed this holiday season.
No one’s judging here.
Variations on these Cranberry Vanilla Cupcakes:
- Not into frosting? Feel free to serve with whipped cream or whipped white chocolate ganache if you’re feeling fancy (no recipe here, just find a recipe for whipped ganache and use white chocolate)
- Swap the cranberries for another berry you love
- Swap the vanilla cupcakes for chocolate if you’re digging that dark chocolate and tangy cranberry vibe
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Cranberry Vanilla Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting
- 1/2 cup melted butter 1 stick
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk 1%, whole milk, buttermilk — I use 1%
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup cranberries I used frozen, but fresh would also work
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1/3 cup chopped white chocolate or chips
- 1 tablespoon cream (any kind)
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, oil and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, and beat until combined. Add milk and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Add flour, baking powder, and salt and beat just until combined.
- Fill muffin cups about ⅔-¾ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
- Set aside to cool.
- Filling: In a medium pot, combine sugar, water, cranberries, vanilla and corn starch (make sure there are no lumps of corn starch before you begin cooking). Bring to a simmer and cook 3-5 minutes, until cranberries start to soften and burst, and the sauce has thickened.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Frosting (make just before using — this frosting firms up nicely so it's difficult to pipe after it's been refrigerated)Combine white chocolate and milk in a medium bowl or measuring cup and microwave on high in 20-30 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth and fluffy.
- Add chocolate, icing sugar and vanilla and beat on low for 1-2 minutes until the sugar is incorporated. Beat on medium-high for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Set aside.
- Assembly: Using a sharp knife, cut a small hole into the top of each cupcake, making sure not to cut through the bottom or any of the sides. Set cake pieces aside for another use (they're great for trifle, or just for munching!)
- Spoon about 1 tsp of filling into the top of each cupcake.
- Spread or pipe frosting on top of cupcake, completely covering the filling. If desired, garnish with additional cranberries and colored sprinkles or sugar.
- Refrigerate if not serving for quite a while. Remove from the fridge 20 minutes before serving to allow the frosting to soften slightly, as it firms up quite a bit in the fridge.
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Cake recipe adapted from Add a Pinch.