Orange Cranberry Cupcakes
What you'll need
Cranberry Sauce for Frosting: ½ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup orange juice, ¼ cup cranberry juice
Simple Syrup and Sugar Dusted Cranberries: about 30 fresh cranberries (one per cupcake), ⅔ cup cranberry juice, ⅓ cup Zulka granulated sugar plus more for rolling the cranberries
Orange Cinnamon Kissed Cupcakes:
1 cup Zulka granulated sugar
¾ cup packed Zulka brown sugar
¾ cup packed Zulka brown sugar
zest of one orange
1 ½ cups of butter at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup half and half
2 ¾ cups of flour (using the fluff and scoop method)
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Frosting: 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature, ¼ cup unsalted butter also at room temperature, zest of one large orange, pinch of salt, 1 tbsp orange juice, ½ tsp lemon juice, juice from cranberry sauce, 4 cups powdered sugar
Directions for Cranberry Sauce: In a small pan bring the cranberries, orange juice and cranberry juice to a low boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cook for 10 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to cool fully before using.
Directions for Simple Syrup and Sugar Dusted Cranberries: In a small pan measure juice and sugar, whisking to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil on medium heat, whisking occasionally. Simmer for five minutes then remove from heat, letting it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use. After frosting cupcakes, put cranberries in a large bowl and drizzle cranberry simple syrup on top. Toss to coat. Roll cranberries in sugar. Place one cranberry on top of each cupcake.
Directions for Orange Cinnamon Kissed Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl measure flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Stir to combine and set aside. Combine sugars, orange zest and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat for one minute at medium speed. Scrape the paddle attachment and the bottom of the bowl, then mix for another minute. Add the butter and beat for three minutes at medium speed. Scrape the paddle and mix for one more minute.
Add eggs one at a time, scraping the paddle and the bottom of the mixing bowl after each addition. Now add the vanilla, mixing for about one minute. Turning the mixer on low gradually stir the half and half into the wet ingredients, alternating with the dry ingredients. Bake for 16-18 minutes or just until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. You don’t want to overbake.
Directions for Frosting: Begin by adding cream cheese and butter to the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk on medium or medium high speed for one minute then scrape the bottom of the bowl and scrape out the whisk attachment. Repeat two more times until the cream cheese and the butter are incorporated. Add in the orange zest, salt, orange juice, lemon juice, juice from cranberry sauce and powdered sugar on medium speed until smooth.
Add the cranberries from the sauce and whisk for about another minute, scrape the bottom of the bowl and whisk for one more minute to make sure everything is mixed in. Refrigerate until the cupcakes cool. To frost I spoon the frosting into a large plastic zip bag and cut the tip.
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