Cranberry Orange Cupcakes are one of my favorite fall desserts to make. Cranberries are naturally tart so they take well to adding sugar for dessert without being cloyingly sweet.
I love getting together with my family and sharing all the traditional dishes each year. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, yeast rolls, and of course, cranberry sauce.
Cranberry Orange Cupcakes
These cupcakes are made with fresh cranberries and orange zest, and a touch of low-calorie orange soda. To keep dessert on the healthier side, I use a lowfat cream cheese frosting and sugared cranberries. Isn't the mint leaf the cutest touch as well? I even made these gluten-free!
These beautiful cupcakes will be welcomed by those that aren't pie people. How about you - do you lean towards cake or pie for your favorite dessert? These will shine on a white platter between your Thankful Pumpkin Pie and the Best Ever Apple Pie.
Do I need a Mixer to Make Cupcakes?
One of the things I love about this recipe is that you can mix it up by hand. You don't need a mixer.
First, you cream the butter and sugars together. I used equal amounts of stevia and organic cane sugar. Stir in four eggs and the zest from one large orange. Then you add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in ½ cup of less sugar orange soda until the batter is smooth. Fold in 1 cup of fresh cranberries.
Pour into a greased muffin pan. Bake at 375°F. for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Meanwhile, sugar the cranberries. See below for complete instructions.
Whip up the cream cheese frosting which is just lowfat cream cheese and a little bit of sugar. I did use an electric mixer for the frosting but you could also stir it together by hand if you wanted to.
The Best way to frost cupcakes
Scoop your frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a ½" round tip. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. If you don't have cake decorating supplies, you could also spread with a butter knife.Either way, I like to swirl it up to give visual interest!
Garnish with sugared cranberries and mint leaves, if desired.
What You Need for This Recipe
- While a mixer is helpful for the frosting, it can be done without. You definitely don't need one for the batter!
- Fresh cranberries and beautiful oranges. Make sure your produce is unblemished for the best flavor!
- A pastry bag and tip are nice to have to make the perfect frosting swirls.
Cranberry Orange muffins are tasty and so festive! They will look beautiful on your holiday dessert table and your guests will be so happy. They would even be great for breakfast!
What's on your Thanksgiving dessert table?
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Cranberry Orange Cupcakes
FOR THE GLUTEN FREE FLOUR BLEND*
- 2 cups brown rice flour 244g
- ½ cup arrowroot 60g
- ⅓ cup tapioca starch 38g
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
FOR THE FROSTING
- 12 ounces lowfat cream cheese
- ¼ cup +2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
For the muffins
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add all of the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and stevia by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and orange zest. Stir until combined. It will be a bit lumpy. Add the dry ingredients & orange soda. Stir just until smooth. Fold in 1 cup cranberries.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool.
- Meanwhile make the sugared cranberries.
- In a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a simmer stirring until dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the cranberries tossing with a wooden spoon to coat. Allow the cranberries to sit in the simple syrup for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
- Allow the cranberries to dry for 20-30 minutes. Pour some sugar in a shallow dish and roll the cranberries in the sugar to coat completely. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment and allow to dry completely, approximately 1 hour.
For the frosting
- With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until completely smooth. Place in a pastry bag with a ½" round tip and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
- Garnish with sugared cranberries and mint leaves, if desired.
- Whisk together gluten free flour blend and use 2 ¼ cup of the mixture for this recipe