Iron Cupcake #2: [Cranberry]

November 23, 2008 at 8:03 PM | Posted in cupcakes, Iron Cupcake | 21 Comments
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I’ve been a bad Iron Cupcake-er. ::hangs head::

I missed the last 2 Iron Cupcake challenges. The time just got away from me. I know. I know. Lame excuse. For some reason I have it in my head that all challenges end at 12midnight but IC just has to be different and end at 12noon. How’s a foodie event addict like me suppose to keep all the deadlines straight? I need a personal assistant. Anyone out there interested in the job? I can pay in cupcakes. HAHA. But I was determined not to miss this one esp after getting a “warning” from the head Iron Cupcake-er herself about my lack of participation. Eep. I feel like a naughty child that caught picking her nose. I am so sorry Miss Sandy. Don’t delete me from the blogroll. I promise I’ll be better.

This month’s IC ingredient is cranberry. Pretty fitting for the upcoming holiday. I still can’t believe that Thanksgiving is 4 days away. Wasn’t it just summer? It probably feels like summer to me b/c apparently CA didn’t get the climate memo this year. Its almost December and its still in the high 80s! What the heck?? Even though I don’t mind wearing my flip flops everyday I’d really like to bust out the hoodies soon, please?! Thanks.

I admit I am not much of a traditional Thanksgiving-ist. Turkey isn’t my favorite protein and I’ve never wanted to try cranberry sauce. I am a mashed potatoes, honey ham, any carb and dessert kind of Thanksgiving girl. So when I was thinking about what I wanted to bake for IC, I really didn’t have a clue what would work with cranberry. I did a quick Google search (I heart google) for cranberry recipes, got some ideas and came up with…

Thanks to IC’s sponsors this month————–>
* HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

Don’t forget to vote!

Voting starts November 30th on Sandy’s cupcake blog. Be there or be square!

Almond Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Crazy about Cupcakes & Simply Recipes | photos from me)

Makes about 18 cupcakes


For almond-cranberry cupcakes
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup almonds, toasted* and ground**
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh cranberries, cut in half

* I toasted my almonds in a saucepan over medium-high heat until golden brown. You can also do it in the oven too. Toasting the almonds makes it less likely to sink in the batter.
** I put the toasted almonds in my food processor until I got crumbs.

For white chocolate buttercream
1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temp
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For cranberry sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries


To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar and almonds.

In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup of sour cream, butter and oil. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, 1/3 at a time. Mix thoroughly after each addition. In another bowl mix the eggs, the remainin 1/2 cup of sour cream, almond and vanilla extracts. Add the egg mixture to the batter in thirds, beating for 1 minute on medium speed after each addition. Fold in cranberries.

Fill the cupcakes liners 1/2-2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes before frosting.

To make frosting—
Heat the white chocolate chips, butter and milk in a saucepan over medium heat until all are melted. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla. Move to a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater. Add the powdered sugar slowly, stirring constantly, until combined. Add more milk or sugar to achieve desired consistency.

[NOTES: I added an extra 1 tbsp of milk to get the consistency I wanted.]

To make cranberry sauce—
Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst. Remove from heat and strain. Discard cranberry chunks. Cool liquid completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

To assemble cupcakes—
Pipe frosting with 7ST star tip. Drizzle cranberry sauce over frosting. Top with slivered almonds.


Husband rating: A
He’s not a white chocolate fan (gasp!) so the frosting wasn’t his favorite but he loved the almond-cranberry cupcake alot!

Wifey rating: A
I LOVE white chocolate and the frosting was good… TOO good. The almond-cranberry cupcake was delicious. Overall a great cupcake that I am sure I’ll make again. Maybe for Thanksgiving?


  1. awesome! These look great!!! What a great flavor combination of almond and cranberry. Perfect.

  2. Those look so pretty! I’ve never made a cupcake with oil before, how was the texture? I wish I could find some fresh or frozen cranberries, I would love to bake with them instead of craisins.

  3. Just came from another cupcake site.
    Looks like everybody is doing the cranberry.
    This looks beautiful and delicious.

  4. Great use of the cranberries! I love the drizzle over the top of the cupcakes–the red really makes them look festive. =)

  5. As usual beautiful cupcake! I’m just glad I’m not making Thanksgiving Dinner this year. I’m bringing a salad.

    And the job that pays in cupcakes is temmmmmpting… :)

  6. FOODLIBRARIAN, Whew! Thank you. I wasn’t sure what to expect but they came out pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself!

    STEPH, Never? I like butter but it always seems like to be that butter+oil or just oil makes the cupcake more moist. I hate dry cupcakes! Your grocery store doesn’t have fresh? I found mine at my grocery store produce section but you could also use frozen too.

    HAPPYCOOK, oohhh what cupcake site? I always love knowing who my referrals are!

    DI, Thanks! Thats exactly what I was going for. Festive :)

    MARY, Trust me. I love that T’s family gets into Thanksgiving and all I have to do is bring dessert! Easiest gig ever! PS. You interested in applying? HAHA

  7. I can’t comment without IC bashing so I’m going to keep my mouth shut and just say your cuppies look great!

  8. MMMMM, your cupcake looks and sounds yummy! Good luck!

  9. Mmmmm! These look delightful.

  10. NIKKI, I am so proud of you… censoring the bashing. HAHA

    INGRID, Thanks! I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the flavor combos!

    JAMIE, I know you’re gonna vote for me right? RIGHT!?! LOL

  11. I left you an award on my blogsite…. come on over and pick it up when you can!

  12. MARTHE, aawwww bloggy for me? You’re so sweet!

  13. Sounds like a great combo! I did make cupcakes for the challenge this month but they didn’t turn out that well so I didn’t post them :(
    I love the almond and white chocolate idea – it isn’t easy pairing things with cranberries.

  14. NATASHYA, I have to admit it was pretty darn tasty! I really like how the almond and cranberry tasted together. Ah bummer your entry didn’t turn out the way you wanted. :( Don’t give up, k? There’s always next month!

  15. Great idea! They sound delish, and look awesome (as usual)- I didn’t submit this month, but I’m voting for you…I thought I’d do an endorsement post on my blog too..what do you think?

  16. SUZY, Endorsement? You’re so cute! I wouldn’t shake my head at any endorsement you wanna send my way ;) Thanks for the “vote” of confidence!

  17. Oh, I love your cupcake!

    I’m a big fan of your site. I hope you don’t mind, but I tagged you! Come on over if you want to play!

    <a href=”” Food Tag

  18. Argh…I totally screwed the code. I wish I could figure out the code…but I want to get to baking and not sitting in front of this computer, lol!

  19. omg. i’m surprised i haven’t gotten an e-mail from a head honcho at daring bakers…. it’s been A WHILE! i barely squeezed iron cupcake in this month!

  20. AMY, aaawww thanks for your nice compliments. I’ll get right on that tag, but I’ll probably put it on my food blog, k?

    HTEAC, LOL @ Daring Baker Head Honcho. I barely squeezed my IC entry in this month too! Where does the time go??

  21. I love your writing style! MARRY ME!

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