Perfect vanilla cupcakes with a white chocolate ganache filling, tart cranberry frosting, and sparkling cranberries!
Hear me out on this little "story"...when I was a kid, I had only experienced cranberries through the jellied cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. I just assumed that I didn't like cranberries. As an adult, I have tried new foods and foods that I previously thought I didn't like to see if I changed my mind. So now that I know I like cranberries, I'm trying to make all the cranberry things. These cupcakes are so great because they have the candied cranberries AND a white chocolate ganache filling. Honestly, what more could you ask for for a festive holiday treat?!
What you need:
For the sparkling cranberries:
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 3 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- PREP THE SPARKLING CRANBERRIES THE DAY BEFORE
- For the sparkling cranberries: stir together 1/2 cup sugar and water in a small saucepan.
- Simmer until sugar dissolves then pour into a bowl and cool for 10 minutes.
- Add cranberries and stir to coat. Refrigerate overnight, stirring a couple times to coat with syrup.
- For the cupcakes: Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add vanilla and sour cream. Mix until well combined.
- Add 1 egg white and mix until combined. Add remaining 2 egg whites and mix until combined. Scrape sides as needed.
- Add half the flour, half the baking powder, and half the milk. Mix until combined.
- Repeat with the remaining flour, baking powder, and milk.
- Pour into 12 cupcake liners in a muffin/cupcake pan.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
- Remove the cranberries from the fridge and the syrup. Roll in 1/4 cup sugar. Do a little sugar in the bowl/plate at a time to prevent the sugar from all clumping up. Set aside to dry for about an hour.
- For the frosting: combine cranberries, water, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high for about 5 to 7 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop open. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Place cranberries in a food processor or blender and puree. Strain in a fine mesh sieve.
- In a stand mixer bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and salt until smooth.
- Slowly add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add 1/4 cup cranberry puree and mix until combined.
- Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
- For the ganache: put white chocolate chips and heavy cream into a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and stir. Heat for another 20 to 30 seconds and stir. Let sit for a few minutes and stir again. Let cool and thicken.
- Core the cupcakes and spoon ganache into the centers.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and top each cupcake with sugared cranberries.