This recipe is for Leslie, a reader who asked for a recipe for cranberry white chocolate cupcakes to serve at Christmas. I jumped on the combo as I had been wanting to try converting the rich chocolate cupcake I do so often into a white chocolate version. I tweaked the recipe to adjust for the sweetness of the white chocolate, but otherwise stuck to the original. The recipe needs work in the looks department, but taste-wise its great! I’ve heard only positive feedback from the tasters and my husband, who is very picky when it comes to cupcakes, devoured a number of them before I even had time to make the frosting.
As far as looks go, the top of the cupcake has a funny texture (see photo below) and the cupcakes rose some and fell back slightly. This was less obvious the day of, but more prominent the second day. By day two they had shrunk quite a bit. As for the funny texture on top, I am not fazed as it gets covered with frosting anyway. The shrinking aspect might bother the perfectionist in some of us, but if they are served the same day, it will be less obvious. If I have time to work on the recipe before the holidays I will be sure to post an update.
In the taste department, the cupcakes were quite nice. I could taste the white chocolate, but it wasn’t too sweet, something that I expected. The tartness of the cranberries definitely helps. The frosting is yummy as usual, nothing to worry about there. When is frosting not good?
Speaking of frosting, I am still working on my frosting post. I have had to divide it into two posts as its getting way too long. The first will be about the recipes themselves and the second about tips for flavoring frosting as well as piping technique. I hope to get the first post out shortly.
regular cupcakes / 375 degree oven
7 ounces white chocolate
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1. Chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. Add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Note that when you add the sugar the mixture will separate and look pretty funky. This is ok.
4. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
5. Add the vanilla. Beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Mixture will thicken and you should no longer see butter floating on the top.
6. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 10 seconds between each.
7. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the mixture, return to the electric mixer, and mix until blended.
8. Roughly chip the cranberries. Stir into the batter.
9. Scoop into cupcake cups 2/3s full and transfer to a 375 F oven.
10. Set your timer for 5 minutes. When the 5 minutes is up turn the oven down to 350 F.
11. Set your timer for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes is up rotate the pans. (Move the bottom to the top rack and turn front to back.
12. Set your timer for 7 minutes more. When the 7 minutes is up test one of the top-center cupcakes with a toothpick and remove the cupcakes once it comes out clean.
Note: The batter is pretty liquidy and the cranberries very heavy, so they will fall to the bottom. I was pleased with the layering effect, but if you aren’t into that idea I recommend two options. Either dust the cranberries in flour before mixing into the batter or drop some into each individual filled cupcake before baking.
Cranberry, Clove, White Chocolate Buttercream
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 package (8 ounces) philly cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
[optional] 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1. In a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, gently melt the white chocolate. Allow to cool for 2 minutes or so.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy.
2. Beat in the melted white chocolate.
3. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla, and clove and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar to arrive at the consistency and sweetness you like. 2 cups worked for me.
1. Top cooled cupcakes with the frosting.
2. Top with a decoration, chopped cranberries, or chopped walnuts.