- Yield: 14
- Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
- Cook Time: 18-20 minutes
Cranberry Orange Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream
One of my favorite Christmas memories is of my mom getting up early and working hard on Christmas morning to bake us cranberry-orange muffins! I looked forward to those muffins every single year and have continued the tradition ever since with my own family. It is definitely one of the best Chrismas holiday flavor profiles EVER!!! There is just one problem…Out of my husband and three kids, I am the only one who likes them. WHAT?!?!? I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one but to each his own…I guess.
So, this year, I thought I would try making cranberry-orange cupcakes. I had a feeling that the family would not be too thrilled, but, to my absolute delight, once they bit into these sweet nuggets of amazing, wonderful, to-die-for yumminess they changed their minds real fast! Having your friends and family enjoy something you make is the best Christmas gift ever!!!
The original recipe called for orange extract, but, honestly, I don’t like using extracts unless it is vanilla or almond because, often times, they give the food a fake flavor. So, I adapted the original recipe by just adding extra orange zest to the cupcakes and adding both juice and zest to the buttercream. I would encourage you to adjust the amount of orange in both to your own tastes. That’s what baking is all about…finding what works for your taste buds. After you add all the ingredients together in the cupcakes and buttercream, just give it a taste. If you can taste the orange, then you are good to go, but if you can’t or it is just faint, add another teaspoon or two of orange zest to the cupcakes and alternate using more juice and zest in the buttercream.
- All Purpose Gluten Free flour blend (I used Great Value All-Purpose Flour Blend or Bob Mills gluten free 1 to 1 flour ) - 1 3/4 cup
- baking powder - 1 tsp
- baking soda - 1/2 tsp
- salt - 1/2 tsp
- milk - 1/2 cup
- fresh-squeezed orange juice - 1/2 cup
- white vinegar - 2 tsp
- sugar - 1 1/4 cup
- vegetable oil - 1/3 cup
- orange zest - 3 tsp
- vanilla extract (pure) - 1 tsp
- cranberries (fresh and chopped) - 1 cup
- Orange Buttercream
- Crisco - 1 cup
- unsalted butter (room temperature) - 1 cup (2 sticks)
- almond extract - 2 tsp
- milk - 3 tbs (or however much you need to make a good buttercream texture)
- confectioner's sugar - 2 lb bag
- orange zest - 2 tsp (or more as needed)
- fresh-squeezed orange juice - 2 tbs (or more as needed)
Orange Cranberry Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners.
- Sift together flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, orange juice and white vinegar. Allow to sit for a 1 minute to curdle.
- Add the sugar, oil, orange zest, and vanilla extract.
- Slowly stir in flour mixture. Beat for 1 minute. The batter will begin to thicken.
- Gently fold in chopped cranberries. (I use a small food processor to chop the cranberries quickly) Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and center is set.
- Place cupcakes on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Beat room temperature butter and Crisco together until creamy.
- Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk until you get the consistency that you want.
- Add almond extract, zest, and orange juice until you reach the orange flavor that you like.
Tip: I added a lot more orange juice and orange zest than the recipe called for!!! To be honest, I didn’t actually measure it though. I just kept alternating adding orange juice and zest until I could REALLY taste the orange flavor. It’s hard to put too much orange flavor into this buttercream. So, just keep tasting and adjusting the orange juice and orange zest until it is to your liking, but be careful not to put too much orange juice though, because it can thin out your icing too much.