Cranberry Orange Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting and A Cranberry Orange Drizzle

by Amy

Are you tired of all the rich, chocolaty desserts that have been flooding your taste buds for the last month and a half? If so, this recipe is for you! A tangy, citrusy gem, these cupcakes are the perfect solution to an overabundance of cranberries and oranges left over from the holiday season!

As often happens with my holiday grocery shopping, I purchased way too many ingredients for goodies that would never see the inside of my oven.  I had great intentions to make and package my baked confections for friends and family, but there just weren’t enough hours in the day.  So, I’m left with a pantry full of dried cranberries, chocolates, and various nuts that will soon find themselves in different creations.

In my search to find a recipe to use up some of these ingredients, I found this recipe for Orange Cupcakes at My Baking Addiction.  I made a few changes to it and decided it needed a little tang on top, thus the cranberry orange drizzle. (It also used up more ingredients!) If you, too, are tired of all the rich desserts, give these cupcakes a try.  They turned out really well and are bursting with citrus flavor.  I’ll definitely be making them again!

Save Recipe Print

Cranberry Orange Drizzle

January 5th, 2012


Cranberry Orange Drizzle
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cups fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/2 cup sugar

Cranberry Orange Cupcakes (Adapted from My Baking Addiction)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 oz. Greek vanilla yogurt, full fat is best
1/3 cup cranberry puree
zest of 2 oranges (juice can be used for drizzle)
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup sugar
3 eggs

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter, unsalted
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
6-7 cups sifted powdered sugar


Cranberry Orange Drizzle
Combine cranberries and orange juice in a medium saucepan.  Simmer for about 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.  Remove pan from heat and stir in sugar.  Stir until all sugar is dissolved.  Allow to cool.  Once cranberry mixture has cooled, place in a food processor or use an immersion blender to puree.  I used the immersion blender to save on clean-up.
Once pureed, measure out 1/3 cup for cupcakes.  Then place remainder in a decorator bag or plastic bottle to use as drizzle.

Cranberry Orange Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt and cranberry puree.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand-up mixer, cream the sugar and butter together at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add in the orange zest.  Continue mixing on low speed and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Alternately add half the flour and mix until just combined.  Add yogurt and cranberry mixture and mix until incorporated, scraping sides of bowl.  Add the last portion of the flour and mix just until combined.

Using a medium cookie scoop, portion the batter into 12 lined muffin cups. Bake in 350° oven for 18 minutes.   Remove when toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  When completely cool, frost with orange cream cheese frosting.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar.  Continue to add powdered sugar and begin to add orange juice as necessary until frosting is desired consistency.  I like my cream cheese frosting to be a little stiffer for decorating.  Place frosting in decorator bag with desired tip and frost cupcakes.

You Might Also Like:

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia January 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Beautiful pictures! I absolutely LOVE the cranberry and orange combo, loooove it!


Amy January 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Thank you so much! It is one of my favorites also!!! 🙂


Simply Tia January 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

These cupcakes are too adorable and I bet the flavor pairing (cranberry and orange) is exquisite especially with that cream cheese frosting. Yum. Yum. Yummy!


Amy January 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Thanks Tia!


Kocinera January 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Wow! Those cupcakes look beautiful. The cranberry-orange sounds fantastic.


Loe January 9, 2012 at 1:48 am

Made these tonight, they were delish!! I had sauce/purée leftover so I used it as a filling for the center of the cupcakes and OMG. LOVE. Thanks for the recipe!


Amy January 9, 2012 at 5:13 am

Awesome! So glad you liked them and great use of the extra puree! I used some of mine on toast the next morning! 🙂


Amelia September 9, 2012 at 11:47 am

I tried several tips for the icing and my icing ended up to be a blob. what am i doing wrong? these are so pretty. thank you


Amy September 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

My first guess would be that the butter or cream cheese might have been a little too soft. I usually let my butter sit out for about 45 min. before using. My kitchen is usually around 72-74° F. The cream cheese doesn’t need quite that much time…twenty minutes should be sufficient for that. If that’s not the problem, try adding a bit more powdered sugar. Sometimes the humidity in the air can make a huge difference when making frosting. Just keep adding it little by little until you get the right consistency. You might also wait until you get close to the right texture, then add the orange juice, one tablespoon at a time. If it gets too soft again, just add small amounts of powdered sugar until it’s stiff enough to pipe.
Let me know if any of those things help!


Cynthia Martinez October 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

These look and sound awesome. I will def make


Veada October 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I followed the recipe but my cupcakes were dry. What do you think happened?


Amy October 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Hi Veada,
I’m so sorry your cupcakes were dry! 🙁 Something I tend to try before changing ingredients is the oven temperature or length of baking time. I bake a ton of cupcakes here and I have two ovens. One takes only 18 min. to fully bake my cupcakes, while the other seems to take a minute or two longer. If you can, try shortening the baking time or purchasing an inexpensive oven thermometer to make sure your oven isn’t baking too hot.
If those suggestions don’t work, perhaps try stirring or whisking your flour before measuring. (I always stir mine lightly to fluff it before measuring it into my measuring cups.) And if that doesn’t work, you could also try adding in a little more yogurt or orange juice, until the batter looks a little more to your liking.
I absolutely know how frustrating disappointments in the kitchen are and I hope one of those suggestions will work for you. Please let me know if you try the recipe again and if one of them worked!


Guy Labbé November 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm

This recipe looks awesome… do you allow me to make it, take pictures and review it on my website (linked to my comment)? Of course I would credit this page with a nice link.


Amy November 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Yes, that would be fine with me. As long as you take pictures of your cupcakes, I have no problem with that. Hope you like the recipe!


Gina at willowday November 17, 2012 at 5:01 am

So pretty! These are a part of our Fall this year, although I have used “lingon berries” — Sweden’s sister to cranberries, instead. Great recipe. I wanted to let you know that I’ve linked to you and your recipe this week at the following:


Amy November 17, 2012 at 7:49 am

Hi Gina! I’m so glad you were able to adapt the recipe to what’s available to you! Thanks for the link!


Tammy November 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Do you think I can substitute sour cream for the yogurt?


Amy November 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Most definitely…I have done that in other recipes and they turned out just fine. 🙂


AJ November 21, 2012 at 11:48 pm

These sound delish! On my way to make them, thanks for the recipe! But is it really 6-7 CUPS of powdered sugar? Please let me know. Thanks!


Amy November 22, 2012 at 6:00 am

Yes, per my batch it was 6-7 cups of powdered sugar, but I believe I had quite a bit left over. (I bake a lot of cupcakes, so I wasn’t worried about the extra…I knew I would use it up some where.) You could easily cut the recipe in half to make sure you don’t have too much frosting left over. Happy Thanksgiving and happy baking!!!


Kaylie @ Skinny Muffin November 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

This are DELICIOUS. I just made some for Thanksgiving. You are positively genius!


Becca from It's Yummilicious November 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm

This is my first visit to your blog and I’m smitten! Your photography and decorating skills are amazing!

I’m planning to make an orange gingerbread cake this weekend and your orange cream cheese frosting will be the perfect topping for it. By any chance do you remember how much icing this made? I’m wondering if it will be enough to put between two 8-inch cakes and to frost the outside as well.


Amy November 24, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Hi Becca! Thanks so much for the lovely compliments!
I’m sorry, I don’t remember the exact volume of icing that the recipe made, but typically, if you’re using 8 cups of powdered sugar in an icing/frosting recipe, that should be enough for an 8″ round layer cake. (Sometimes cream cheese frosting is a little more finicky, though.)
You might need to adjust the other ingredients slightly, to accommodate the extra 1-2 cups of powdered sugar, for both flavor and texture, but I definitely think the original would get you close. I just hate to tell you it’s enough and then you have to make more! I’ve had that happen and it’s never fun! Hope that helps!


Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden December 5, 2012 at 10:09 am

I’m delighted with these cupcakes,very interesting flavor combo! I’ve featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.


Eliza December 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I made these last night to share at work today; but I don’t want to share! They are so good! I also used some of the puree as a filling and it is such a pretty presentation when you cut into one. I used sour cream; I’ll try the vanilla yogurt next time. And the only other thing I am going to do different is to double the recipe because there are only 12 and I already ate 2. 🙂 Good thing I also made some chocolate with creme ones to share – they can have those. I want these for myself. Thanks!!


Amy December 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm

That’s so funny! I’ve had that happen before, too! 🙂 Always good to make extra when you find something you like. 😉 Glad you enjoyed them!


Deirdre Slocum January 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I don’t have a juicer. How about store bought juice?


Amy January 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Sure, that would work. I use store bought juice when I don’t have fresh on hand also. 🙂


Sophia May 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

Any idea which Gluten Free Flour Substitute would work best for these?


Amy June 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I have not tried baking this recipe with any gluten free flours, but I would try an all-purpose option, if you can find one. Sorry I’m not more help!


Sophie June 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Thanks Amy! Good news… I tried it with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour and it came out absolutely perfect! No one even knew it was gluten free! YaY!!!!

I made this twice – once as cupcakes to try it out and once as a bundt cake for the Birthday Cake… 1st time I followed recipe to the letter, it was awsome… but needed a little more flavor (maybe cause of the gluten free options)… but when I made the bundt cake, I used the zest of 3 whole large oranges, & 1/2 cup of the Puree’ it was heavenly! Even my Gluten free critic (my son) had no clue till he saw me trying to take a bit, and was going to tell me I couldn’t! This is an awesome recipe! Thank you so much!


Sophia June 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Thaks for replying Amy! Great news! I tried this with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour and it was heavenly! No one even suspected it was Gluten free!

I made this recipe twice, once as cupcakes to try it and followed it to the letter, they were awesome, but needed just a bit more flavor – maybe cause of the gluten free flour… anyway then i made it as a bundt cake for the Birthday Cake I was planning, I had to increase the portion a bit so I added 1/2 more everything, ended up using 2/3 cup of puree and the zest of 3 whole large oranges, and it was absolutly to die for! even my very own inhouse gluten critic (my son) couldn’t tell, till he saw me taking a bite out of it and was going to stop me… and i proudly announced… its gluten free! HA! He only knew I was making a birthday cake for a friend… didn’t know she had agreed to a gluten free one! YAY! Thank you for such an awsome recipe!


Amy June 16, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Oh, I’m so glad it worked out! I have several coworkers who are gluten free…I will definitely make this for them with your adjustments! Thanks for sharing them!


Leave a Comment

{ 9 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: