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White Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes

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Are you looking for a delicious and festive dessert to make for your next holiday party? Look no further than these white chocolate cranberry cupcakes that are sure to be a hit with your guests.

white chocolate cranberry cupcakes with sugared cranberries and rosemary garnish

Don’t these cupcakes just look like they would be the perfect addition to your Christmas feast?

Not only does the sugared cranberry garnish have a wonderfully festive flair, but they’re also delicious!

The tart cranberry and sweet white chocolate flavors compliment each other perfectly.

And the recipe is really easy to follow. So even though there are a lot of steps, don’t worry! You can whip them up yourself with no problems.

Ingredients

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white chocolate cranberry cupcakes ingredients - water, flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, butter, vanilla, cranberries, white chocolate chips, powdered sugar, buttermilk, eggs

This recipe makes enough for 12 cupcakes.

Here’s your shopping list:

  • cranberries: 2 cups frozen whole cranberries, 1½ cups fresh cranberries
  • sugar: 3¾ cups granulated sugar, 3 cups powdered sugar
  • baking supplies: 1 cup flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • flavoring: 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • white chocolate chips: 15 ounces (or 2½ cups) white chocolate chips
  • seasoning: ¼ teaspoon salt
  • dairy: 1½ cups unsalted butter, ½ cup buttermilk
  • eggs: 2 large eggs
  • garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs

Substitutions

  • This recipe includes making sugared cranberries to use as a garnish on top of the cupcakes. If you don’t want to add this garnish, you won’t need the frozen cranberries or the fresh rosemary sprigs, and you can reduce the granulated sugar to ¾ cups.
  • You can use white chocolate squares instead of the chips. Chop them into small pieces before using them in the recipe.
  • Salted butter will work instead of unsalted.

How to make white chocolate cranberry cupcakes

Make sugared cranberries

white chocolate cranberry cupcake with sugared cranberries in a bowl in the background

The sugared cranberries are not absolutely necessary since they are just a garnish. But they definitely add to the festive look.

They need to sit for a few hours before you can use them, so you’ll need to make them ahead of time.

If you haven’t had them before, sugared cranberries are a tasty holiday treat all on their own. So you can put any leftovers in a bowl to use as an appetizer, or add them to a Christmas charcuterie board.

sugar syrup in a saucepan

To make them, pour 2 cups of water and 2 cups of the granulated sugar into a small pot.

Heat on medium stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Don’t turn the heat up too high or the sugar may burn.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

cranberries soaking in sugar syrup

Then add the frozen cranberries.

Submerge the cranberries in the sugar syrup and let it sit for at least 2 hours. Or cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Drain the syrup from the berries.

cranberries being rolled in sugar

Then pour 1 cup of granulated sugar on a small plate or bowl and roll the cranberries in the sugar.

Set them on a piece of parchment paper to dry for at least an hour.

Prep for the cupcakes

Take the butter out of the refrigerator a couple of hours ahead of time to let it soften.

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Line a 12-count cupcake tine with cupcake liners.

Chop the fresh cranberries.

Make the cupcakes

Now we’ll make the actual cupcakes

flour and other dry cupcake ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

Use a whisk or spoon to stir 1 cup flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¾ cup sugar together in a large mixing bowl.

cupcake wet ingredients with dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

Add ½ cup softened butter, 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, ½ cup buttermilk, and 2 large eggs.

Using a mixer, blend the ingredients together until combined. All of the dry ingredients should be incorporated with no lumps, but don’t mix it too much or the cupcakes may turn out tough.

cranberries and white chocolate chips with cupcake mixture in a bowl

With a large spoon, fold in ½ cup white chocolate chips and the chopped cranberries.

muffin tin being filled with white chocolate cranberry cupcake mixture

Fill each cupcake liner two-thirds of the way full.

I like to use an ice cream scoop to do this. It is just the right size and prevents a lot of spills.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

white chocolate cranberry cupcakes on a wire cooling rack

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

Melt the white chocolate chips

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream frosting.

The first step is to melt the white chocolate chips. To do this:

  • Put the white chocolate chips in a microwave-able bowl.
  • Cook in the microwave on medium-low power for 30 seconds.
  • Take the bowl out and stir the white chocolate chips.
  • Then repeat the heating and stirring process until the chips are melted.

Don’t be tempted to increase the temperature or cook them longer at a time because they burn easily.

Also, don’t rely on just looking at them to tell if they are melted. They often look solid on the top but are totally melted underneath.

Make the buttercream frosting

butter being whipped in a bowl

In a medium mixing bowl, beat 1 cup of softened butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

While the mixer is running, slowly pour the melted chocolate in. Continue beating until it is completely combined with the butter.

Change the speed on the mixer to medium-low.

Slowly add the powdered sugar.

white chocolate buttercream icing in a bowl

Once the sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until it lightens in color and looks fluffy in texture, another 2 to 3 minutes.

Frost the cupcakes

white chocolate buttercream frosting being piped onto a white chocolate cranberry cupcake

Add a large (size 2D) or jumbo (size 1M) piping tip to a piping bag. The 1M tip is my favorite for frosting cupcakes.

Transfer the buttercream to the piping bag and frost the cupcakes.

white chocolate cranberry cupcake with sugared cranberry garnish in front of other cupcakes

Top with three sugared cranberries, and a sprig of rosemary for a festive look.

The perfect holiday dessert!

Other Christmas desserts you might like

white chocolate cranberry cupcake

White Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes

Wanda Simone
These white chocolate cranberry cupcakes are the perfect Christmas dessert. They're delicious and look so pretty on a holiday buffet.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting time 3 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 697 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 small saucepan
  • parchment paper
  • 12 cup muffin tin
  • 12 cupcake liners
  • 1 large mixing bowl and mixer
  • 1 mixing spoon
  • 1 Cooling rack
  • 1 medium mixing bowl and mixer
  • 1 piping bag with a large tip
  • 1 piping bag coupler optional

Ingredients
  

Sugared Cranberries

  • 3 cups granulated sugar divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups frozen whole cranberries

Cranberry Cupcakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • cups fresh cranberries chopped
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

White Chocolate Buttercream Icing

  • 12 oz white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Garnish

  • sprigs of fresh rosemary

Instructions
 

Make the sugared cranberries

  • Pour the water and 2 cups of sugar into a small saucepan.
  • Let simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove the sugar syrup from the heat, and allow the mixture to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Submerge 2 cups frozen cranberries in the syrup and let it sit for at least 2 hours. Or cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Then drain the syrup from the berries.
  • Roll them in 1 cup sugar and set on a piece of parchment to dry for at least an hour.

Make the cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line a 12-count cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  • Add the softened butter, vanilla extract, buttermilk, and eggs.
  • Mix together until combined and smooth, using the mixer.
  • Fold in the white chocolate chips and chopped cranberries with a large spoon.
  • Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring the cupcakes to a cooling rack.

Make the white chocolate buttercream frosting

  • Melt the white chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave and set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth.
  • Slowly pour the melted chocolate in until combined with butter.
  • With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until completely combined. The buttercream should be smooth and fluffy.

Put the cupcakes together

  • Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag, and frost the cupcakes.
  • Top with three sugared cranberries, and a spring of rosemary for a festive look.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cupcakeCalories: 697 kcalCarbohydrates: 92 gProtein: 5 gFat: 36 gSaturated Fat: 22 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 10 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 101 mgSodium: 181 mgPotassium: 171 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 81 gVitamin A: 799 IUVitamin C: 4 mgCalcium: 139 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

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