White chocolate and cranberry cupcakes

White chocolate and cranberry cupcakes

White chocolate and cranberry cupcakes. This is such a beautiful festive bake. Great for anyone that wants an easy, stunning little showstopper. They’re even better for anyone that don’t like mincemeat. 

White chocolate and cranberries are such a gorgeous combo. The tart brightness of the cranberries is just the best with the indulgently sweet white chocolate buttercream icing. These cupcakes use this combo in a beautiful way. The sweet vanilla sponges are filled with zingy cranberry sauce and topped with a generous swirl of white chocolate icing, before being adorned with bright red sugar cranberry jewels. 

Cupcakes to me just feel less stressful to me than making one big cake. It’s easier to control the cooking time so you have beautiful soft cakes. They’re also quicker to cool and then decorate. This leaves you lots more time for everything else you might have on at this time of year. 

Lately, I’ve also developed a big appreciation for filled cupcakes. It’s a fab way to get more flavour in, adding a little extra surprise, plus all the cake offcuts are cooks perk, so there is that too. 

Give them a go and let me know what you think. The cranberry season is such a short one, I just get so excited to find as many ways to use them as possible. 


113g self rising flour 

113g caster sugar

113g softened unsalted butter 

2 eggs

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

Approx 9 tsp cranberry sauce (I used my sloe gin cranberry sauce recipe but you can use store bought too if you’re short on time)

For the white chocolate buttercream icing:

350g sifted icing sugar

175g softened unsalted butter

1 ½  tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

100g white chocolate 

Sugared cranberries as decoration (optional)

Makes 9 cupcakes

Method for white chocolate and cranberry cupcakes 

Preheat the oven to 170°C, GM3. 

Line a muffin tin with 9 cases and leave aside while you make the mixture. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients.

In a separate bowl, sift the self rising flour, salt and baking powder.

Using a food mixer, or free standing whisk, combine the sugar and butter together until it forms a light, creamy consistency. This will only take a few minutes with a food mixer. Then gradually add one egg at a time, leaving plenty of time for the egg to incorporate into the mixture before adding the next and keep the mixer running at a fairly high speed while doing this; this will help the mixture from curdling. You can also add a tablespoon of flour after each egg at this stage to help prevent curdling too. 

Once the eggs have been added, add in the dry ingredients and on a slow speed mix until they have only just combined. Then add the vanilla extract, folding it into the cake mixture.

Using a medium ice cream scoop or two spoons, portion the mixture out amongst the cake cases. Take care not to overfill the cases as the mixture will rise more as it bakes. Just over half fill each case with batter. 

Let’s get baking

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven, turning the pan ¾ way through cooking time to help the cakes cook evenly. This should take about 15-18 minutes. 

To test if the cakes are cooked, use a cake skewer and insert into the middle of one of the cakes and if it comes away clean then they are cooked. The cakes should also spring back when touched and be very lightly golden.

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. Cupcakes cool down really quickly so this will take less than 30 minutes. 

While you wait, you can prepare the icing. 

To make the icing, add the butter to a food mixer and cream it for a few minutes to make sure everything is very smooth before gradually starting to add the icing sugar. Once the mixture is combined and everything is light and fluffy (the longer you mix, the fluffier the mixture will get) then add the vanilla extract, salt and melted white chocolate and mix for a final time. Add a few tbsp of milk to the icing if you think it needs to have a looser, more spreadable consistency.

Let’s get assembling

To bring the cakes together, cut out holes in the middle of each cupcake and fill with approx 1 tsp of cranberry sauce. You don’t want to overfill, as it makes it difficult to pipe the buttercream on top later. 

Then using a piping bag, swirl the white chocolate buttercream onto each cupcake (or if you don’t have a piping bag you can use a palette knife and smooth it over the cupcakes). 

Top with sugared cranberries to finish the cakes. Alternatively you could add orange zest or festive sprinkles or simply some icing sugar for a snowy effect.

The cakes should keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


For baking, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature, including the eggs, it will help all of the ingredients combine together well. 

An ice cream scoop is a great tool to help ensure that your cupcakes are the same size when they are baked. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients in advance; yes this means more bowls and more washing up, but the positive is that you have everything ready before you start, so you only have to think about the process of making the cake, instead of rushing to find the next ingredient and weigh it out while the mixer is running. 

The easiest way to fill a piping bag is to open the bag into a tall glass and bend the top over the sides of the glass, then fill with the icing.

Love cranberries? Why not try our Cranberry and apple curd – this is brilliant as a breakfast over porridge. Lovely as part of a festive cream tea too.

Looking for some festive baking inspiration? Try our Reindeer Christmas chocolates, Mince pie Christmas cupcakes, Gingerbread hot chocolate or our Gingerbread Nutella sandwich cookies

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