Orange Cranberry Cupcakes
Though cupcakes haven’t traditionally been a Thanksgiving dessert in this country, I like to think Sprinkles has had a hand in changing that. Every November, Sprinkles offers its extraordinarily popular EAT box which includes a variety of cupcakes–including these orange-cranberry delights. The sweet, fresh flavor of orange—thanks to a combination of fresh fruit and zest—is accented with a burst of tart cranberries (fresh and frozen work equally well), making for a vibrant cupcake as worthy of Thanksgiving as any pie.
Orange Cranberry Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (I stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg plus 2 egg whites
- 1 cup frozen cranberries (not thawed), or fresh if you can find
- 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 2 tbsp finely grated orange zest (from 2 large oranges)
For the Frosting:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp whole milk
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp lightly packed finely grated orange zest
- 1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
Make the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners; set aside. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Toss the cranberries with the 1 tablespoon of flour and set aside.
- Add the milk and orange zest to a small saucepan and heat over low heat until hot (but not boiling); let cool until lukewarm, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Reduce speed to low, add egg and egg whites, and beat until creamy, 1-2 minutes. Slowly add half of the flour mixture, then the milk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating after each addition until just blended and scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Turn off mixer and gently fold in the cranberries by hand.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake cup and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch (some may be slightly golden on the sides before this happens), 18-19 minutes. Cool completely before frosting with the Orange Frosting.
Make The Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the milk, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy, making sure not to incorporate too much air into the frosting.
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