Cranberry Orange Cupcakes

| |

Today’s Cranberry Orange Cupcakes are a fruit-forward Christmas cupcake that delivers a punchy flavor that is unexpected yet absolutely crave-worthy. A simple vanilla-orange cupcake with whole cranberries baked in, topped with a silky orange buttercream and sugared cranberries – if you love tart, citrusy desserts, you are going to love these cupcakes!

These Cranberry Orange Cupcakes are tart, sweet and bursting with flavor, from the orange-vanilla cake with cranberries baked in to the orange buttercream and sugared cranberries on top. A fresh take on Christmas cupcakes for when you want something a little different.

Cranberry Orange Cupcakes Recipe

My daughter loves my triple chocolate cupcake recipe and suggests it for almost every party, however, I like to have fun in the kitchen so while I’m still going to make those standard chocolate cupcakes, I like to also offer guests something a little bit unexpected.

And these cranberry orange cupcakes are definitely unexpected!

Cranberries and oranges are such a classic Christmas flavor combination, but you don’t tend to see it often. They are both tart and sweet, but in different ways that play together beautifully. These cupcakes aren’t going to make your mouth pucker but they are going to give you a punch of flavor that is bright and refreshing.

Now, if you’re not a fan of having whole cranberries baked into the cupcake, you can instead chop up the cranberries before incorporating into the batter OR prepare our simple cranberry sauce and use it to fill the orange-vanilla cupcakes after baking. Simply allow the cupcakes to cool, then use a cupcake corer and add a teaspoon or two of the cranberry sauce before frosting. (Just note that this will make the cupcakes sweeter.)

While I made our cranberry orange cupcakes from scratch, you can just doctor up a boxed mix by adding orange zest and cranberries to a vanilla boxed cake mix. Just be sure to make the frosting from scratch – there is no comparison between homemade buttercream and the stuff that comes out of a can!

Can these cranberry orange cupcakes be frozen? Yes, you can freeze the unfrosted cupcakes by placing in an airtight freezer bag or your favorite freezer containers for up to two months (this set of freezer containers is a crazy bargain).

Fruit-filled cupcakes like these should be stored in the fridge to prevent spoiling, however if you’re enjoying these cupcakes within a couple days of making them, they can be kept at room temperature. These cupcakes will last for up to a week in the fridge.

More Christmas Cupcakes

Cranberry Orange Cupcake Ingredients

Orange Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

Sugared Cranberries Ingredients:

  • Cranberries
  • Water
  • White Sugar

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: you can use half vanilla extract and half orange extract or a few drops of orange oil, if you have it.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Electric mixer <– this is a great hand mixer if you don’t want to make the investment into a stand mixer
  • Cupcake pan
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Piping bag with large star tip <– a basic piping set will have all you need
  • Cupcake Scoop
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spoon or Spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Line two muffin trays with 18 muffin liners. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and oil until light and fully combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract and milk.

Add the flour in gradually until well-combined and no lumps remain. Add orange zest and cranberries and stir to distribute.

Portion the cupcake batter into the prepared liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake cupcakes for 18-22 minutes, until lightly golden and an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

While the cupcakes cool, prepare your frosting.

How to Make Orange Buttercream Frosting:

Beat together the butter, powdered sugar and orange juice for 2 minutes until light and forming stiff peaks. Adjust flavor with additional orange juice or zest. Adjust consistency with more powdered sugar for a stiffer frosting, or more juice for a softer frosting.

Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, starting in the center and rotating your wrist to work your way out to the edges and then back towards the center and up. Flick your wrist upwards to stop the stream of frosting.

Dip each cranberry in the water then roll in the white sugar. Garnish each cupcake with a cranberry (or more, if desired).

Makes 18.

 

Pin this Christmas Cupcake recipe for your next holiday baking session:

How to make cranberry orange cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting and sugared cranberry garnish. These punchy Christmas cupcakes are a refreshing alternative to chocolate cupcakes to add to your holiday baking list.

Grab your free printable recipe card for our cranberry orange cupcakes recipe:

Yield: 18 cupcakes

Cranberry Orange Cupcakes

Cranberry Orange Cupcakes

These Cranberry Orange Cupcakes are tart, sweet and bursting with flavor, from the orange-vanilla cake with cranberries baked in to the orange buttercream and sugared cranberries on top. A fresh take on Christmas cupcakes for when you want something a little different.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes

Ingredients

Cranberry Orange Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • Zest of One Orange (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
  • 1 cup Cranberries

Orange Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 5-6 cups Powdered Icing Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Orange Juice, as desired
  • Orange Zest, as desired

Sugared Cranberries Ingredients:

  • 18 Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar

Instructions

How to Make Cranberry Orange Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line two muffin trays with 18 muffin liners. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and oil until light and fully combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract and milk.
  5. Add the flour in gradually until well-combined and no lumps remain. Add orange zest and cranberries and stir to distribute.
  6. Portion the cupcake batter into the prepared liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full.
  7. Bake cupcakes for 18-22 minutes, until lightly golden and an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
  8. While the cupcakes cool, prepare your frosting.

How to Make Orange Buttercream Frosting:

  1. Beat together the butter, powdered sugar and orange juice for 2 minutes until light and forming stiff peaks. Adjust flavor with additional orange juice or zest. Adjust consistency with more powdered sugar for a stiffer frosting, or more juice for a softer frosting.
  2. Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  3. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, starting in the center and rotating your wrist to work your way out to the edges and then back towards the center and up. Flick your wrist upwards to stop the stream of frosting.
  4. Dip each cranberry in the water then roll in the white sugar. Garnish each cupcake with a cranberry (or more, if desired).

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1030Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 260mgCarbohydrates: 222gFiber: 5gSugar: 203gProtein: 3g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

Pin this Recipe for Later

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

I hope your family loves these cranberry orange cupcakes as much as mine did! They were such a hit at our Christmas party.

For more scrumptious cupcakes, check out our full cupcake collection here:

Or, for more decadent desserts, check out our full dessert collection here:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.