Festive Holiday Cranberry Orange Cupcakes Recipe

18 servings
32 min
The next time you are looking for a fun and festive recipe to add to your holiday baking lineup, try these cranberry orange cupcakes! They are a great way to spice up your holiday baking. They’ll quickly become a family favorite on your holiday table.

Cranberry orange cupcakes have just the right amount of sweetness from the sugar and frosting, while also having flavor from the tart cranberries and the orange zest. I’m not sure if it’s because they remind me of Thanksgiving or Christmas time or both but these are my favorite throughout the holiday season!


Cranberry orange cupcakes are a great way to spice up your holiday baking. We love cranberry orange muffins so much, I thought I’d make them into delicious cupcakes.

Made with juicy cranberries and a hint of orange, they’re moist and delicious, with a sweet citrus frosting on top.


This recipe is sure to become an annual favorite for the whole family!


Cranberries can be hard to find after Thanksgiving in grocery stores, so pick up a few bags and freeze them. I am pretty sure cranberries are an underrated fall flavor this time of year!

How to Make Cranberry Orange Cupcakes
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 large Orange (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

Frosting:

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

Sugared Cranberries:

  • 18 Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • *Note: you can use half vanilla extract and half orange extract or a few drops of orange oil, if you have it.

Make the Cupcakes

Preheat to an oven temperature of 350F.


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


In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: 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 the remaining wet ingredients: eggs, vanilla extract and milk.

Add the remaining flour mixture in gradually until well-combined and no lumps remain with a silicone spatula.


Add bright orange zest and cranberries and stir to distribute.

Spoon 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.


Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.


While the cupcakes cool, frost cupcakes.

Make the Frosting

With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together the butter, powdered sugar and orange juice for 2 minutes until light and forming stiff peaks.

Adjust orange flavor with additional fresh 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 pastry bag or piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, starting in the center, working your way out to the edges and then back towards the center and up.

Make the Sugar Cranberries

Dip each cranberry in the water then roll in the white sugar. Garnish each cupcake with a cranberry.

Store your cupcakes in an airtight container.

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Festive Holiday Cranberry Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Recipe details

  • 18  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 22 Minutes Total time: 32 min
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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
  • Frosting:
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 5-6 cups Powdered Icing Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Orange Juice, as desired
  • Orange Zest, as desired
  • Sugared Cranberries:
  • 18 Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar

Instructions


Preheat oven to 350F.
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.
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, working your way out to the edges and then back towards the center and up.
Dip each cranberry in the water then roll in the white sugar. Garnish each cupcake with a cranberry.

Tips

  • *Note: you can use half vanilla extract and half orange extract or a few drops of orange oil, if you have it. Store your cupcakes in an airtight container.

Reesa @ Mommalew.com
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Comments

  • Just purchased 5 - 2 pound bags of Ocean Spray fresh cranberries. I might even get more . . . This looks really good. Looking for some make ahead treats - work with animals so we work every day including holidays - want some surprise treats for everyone throughout the holiday season. This looks like fun and is festive. Thank you so much for sharing!

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