Cranberry Vanilla Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes

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Vanilla cupcakes, filled with homemade cranberry filling and topped with a swirl of white chocolate frosting — the perfect festive holiday treat!

white chocolate cranberry cupcakes with sugared cranberries

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.

cranberry vanilla cupcakes cut in half and lying on paper liner

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.

overhead image of cranberry vanilla cupcakes with one cut open

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.

hand holding up cranberry cupcake revealing filling

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

4.93 from 14 votes
Perfectly sweet and fluffy vanilla cupcakes filled with sweet, tart cranberry filling and topped with a silky white chocolate buttercream — perfect for the holidays!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 429cal



  • 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 (195 grams)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cranberry Filling

  • 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.


*These can be made in stages. I made my cupcakes and filling one day, and I put my filled cupcakes into a container and in the freezer for about 3 days until I had time to frost them. I made the frosting the day I photographed and served them. You could definitely freeze them completely frosted, as long as they come close to room temperature before serving as the chocolate in the frosting sets up quite firmly when cooled.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 429cal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 174mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 446IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

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Cake recipe adapted from Add a Pinch.

Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Mary beth says

    These look so yummy! I love cranberry but the rest of the clan , not so much. Could you use raspberry jam/preserves in a pinch? Can’t wait to make them!

  2. Anne says

    The frosting ingredient proportions seemed way off. I had to fiddle around with it for a while to get it to come together. In the end they turned out lovely!

    • Ashley says

      This is my go-to white chocolate frosting recipe, and these are the proportions I use. It’s definitely easy to customize to your tastes though!

      • Ashley says

        I have never used that much. But you should make it according to the consistency you like. It does whip up a lot when you beat it on high.

  3. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says

    I always look forward to Christmas every year. I wish it didn’t go by so quickly though and we could have more time to just enjoy all the wonderful treats that come along with it. Like these gorgeous cupcakes! I love that you stuffed them with the cranberry filling. It sounds perfect with the white chocolate frosting!

  4. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. says

    These cupcakes are so beautiful Ashley! I love that cranberry filling, it so bright next to the white cupcakes and frosting. So pretty! I still need to start my Christmas baking, which is bizarre, since I’m usually right with you on wanting to start around Halloween! Need to get on that!

    • Ashley says

      I always like the idea of doing a bunch of Christmas baking, but I don’t think I ever really have until this year because of the blog! Lol. I wanted to have at least some things to share, and enjoy some Christmas cheer before new baby comes mid December!

  5. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    I’m totally with you, Ashley…I think about Christmas way too early, too! And these cupcakes definitely scream Christmas! They’re absolutely gorgeous! I’m in awe of your frosting piping skills. Mine usually turns out like big fat blobs! πŸ™‚ And I love the cranberry filling in the middle, sounds delicious! Pinned!

  6. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says

    I also love Christmas and this time of the year. . hey, I feel like I saw Costco and Target put out the holiday decorations before Halloween in October so you’re not alone!! people start thinking about the holidays in October! πŸ™‚ love love love these cupcakes!! White chocolate and cranberry are perfect together!

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Alice! Most shopping centers and are on the same page I think… so it’s totally justified, right?! πŸ™‚

  7. Baby June says

    Ah now that looks like a delicious cupcake flavor! Love the use of cranberries, it’s a shame we don’t enjoy that fruit more often during the year…it works so well in desserts!

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