Cranberry Cupcakes

While everyone is so focused on pumpkin being the “it” flavor of the Fall, another fruit quietly makes its way into the fold – albeit mainly to be a nice accompaniment to your Thanksgiving turkey… the cranberry. Granted most of us don’t (or won’t) eat raw cranberries due to their bitterness, but they are quite tasty when dried, blended into wonderful juice combinations (thanks Ocean Spray!) or made into a sauce (my personal favorite.) So when I came across a recipe for Cranberry Cupcakes  in a recent issue of Food Network Magazine I knew I had to try it.

To begin, I whisked together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg in a bowl and set it aside.

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I then mixed together my wet ingredients. Starting with the sugar and butter, then adding in an egg and vanilla extract.

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Next I added in the flour mixture and mixed it until the two mixtures were just incorporated.

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And finally I added in sour cream, which allows for a denser cupcake. After mixing it with the mixer I gave it a couple of extra stirs with a spatula.

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The batter was the perfect amount for 12 cupcakes.

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I baked them for 20 minutes in a 350F preheated oven and voila…

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Next, I made a small indentation in each of the cupcakes…

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And then added in a few teaspoons of canned cranberry sauce into the indentation. Since the cupcakes are denser there are no concerns about them falling apart due to the liquid of the sauce.

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While they cooled I made a Cranberry Buttercream Frosting.

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Once they cooled completely I piped a 1M Swirl of frosting on each of the cupcakes.

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Final verdict… They’re a keeper! Although next time I’m thinking of trying them with a different fruit, maybe blueberries.

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Cranberry Cupcakes

Makes 12 Cupcakes

For The Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/8 to 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce

For The Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Dried cranberries, for topping

1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

2. Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about 3 more minutes. Reduce the speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes.

3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, then gently press the back of a small spoon into the center of each cupcake to make an indentation. Fill each indentation with a few teaspoons of cranberry sauce. Remove the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the butter and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium low; gradually add the remaining 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium high; beat in the cranberry sauce, vanilla and salt until combined. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes and top with dried cranberries.

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