Saturday, 4 May 2013

Cranberry & Cinnamon Cupcakes With Chocolate Maple Buttercream

I was having a rummage around the kitchen the other day looking for ingredients to bake with. I had all the basic cake making ingredients to hand, but didn't just want something plain. I did consider going down to the shops to see what interesting ingredients I could find but I was feeling lazy. So instead I went on a raid of the kitchen and managed to use up a nearly empty packet of icing sugar and the final splash from a bottle of maple syrup. I also dug out some of the cranberries that I stashed in the freezer way back in December. I think I bought around 1.3kg in total (a lot more than the year before), I do go a bit mad for them as they are not around for long. Every shopping trip in December resulted in me coming back with at least 2 packets of fresh cranberries, my boyfriend thought I was being a bit silly. I still have one more packet to use up and I have been contemplating making some kind of cranberry flavoured booze with the last packet. Either that or one final batch of my favourite cranberry and cinnamon muffins or maybe the cranberry sauce flapjacks I made a little while ago, tough decision there.

 cranberry & cinnamom cupcakes with chocolate maple buttercream

 In my haste to have tasty cake ready for eating I forgot to take a photo of the undecorated cupcakes apart from this one that I took quickly on my phone, hence the rubbish quality. I recently got my first smartphone and have been quite excited by the fact that I can take photos and tweet them instantly rather than having to faff around with the camera cable and turning on the laptop. Yes I know I am several years behind everybody else here but I don't care. I don't use my phone much so have never been able to justify the cost of a smartphone contract before. However I was offered an upgrade and managed to keep my contract at the same price so I'm a happy bunny.

I used demerara sugar in these cakes for a change and found that it gives another dimension to the sponge, quite a subtle fudgy taste which combined with the tart cranberries worked rather well. Even though cranberries need sweetening up, I used the same proportion of sugar I would normally use for cupcakes as by the time the buttercream is added there is enough sweetness to counteract the sharp cranberries. If you don't happen to have any cranberries lurking in the freezer then you could try making this recipe with blueberries instead. This was also my first attempt at using a non dairy milk in baking and I'm happy to say it worked really well. I'm currently trying all the non dairy milks available as porridge season is now over (I make mine with water) and I fancied a change from natural yoghurt on my cereal. I don't have any problems with dairy, I just don't like the taste of cow's milk by itself.
Ingredients - makes 12 cupcakes

For the cakes:
150g butter
150g fine demerara sugar
2 eggs
200g self raising flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
125ml unsweetened almond milk - this was all I had in the fridge but cow's milk would also be fine
300g fresh or frozen cranberries, defrosted

For the buttercream:
150g butter
150g icing sugar
25g cocoa powder
3 tbsp maple syrup
Wafer butterflies to decorate - optional
  • Preheat the oven to 180C and line a bun tin with 12 cupcake cases
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time and beat in the milk with the second egg. Fold in the flour anf the cinnamon and finally stir through the cranberries. Divide between the cupcake cases and bake for 25-30 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes on a wire rack and make the buttercream by beating the butter until fluffy then gradually beating in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Finally add the maple syrup and beat again to combine. 
  • Ice the cold cakes using a palette knife or a piping bag if you prefer.
As a final flourish to celebrate the arrival of Spring, it's been gloriously sunny here in SE England all week, I added a few wafer butterflies from Dr Oetker.  I'm not normally a big fan of pink but I do think the pink butterfly looks the prettiest, it also goes quite well with my purple cupcake cases.

Thanks to Dr Oetker for sending me a sample packet of the wafer butterflies, all views are my own. 

I'm entering these into Credit Crunch munch run by Helen and Camilla and this month guest hosted by Janice, because instead of buying new ingredients I used up some bits and pieces I already had. I'm also sending this into Made With Love Mondays.



  1. Nice bake, Jen! I am also a cranberry hoarder, it's because you only see them for such a short time.

  2. Ooo I was wondering how these had come out for you, they look yummy, great cupboard raiding! :-)

  3. Another delicious way to use cranberries, Jen! I've never tried them with chocolate before (that I can think of) but I'd imagine it would be tasty... And congrats on the new smartphone upgrade! I was a bit a late upgrade myself, but I can't imagine life w/o it now...

  4. Another delicious bake from you x

  5. Wafer butterflies! These beautiful decoration is totally new to me :D

  6. Fab use of what you had to use up Jen and I like the sound of the maple syrup and chocolate icing:-) I don't have a smart phone and am constantly playing pass the memory card betwixt camera and netbook. I don't have a contract and only spend a few pounds a month on a pay as you go so the chances of me upgrading any time soon are quite remote LOL! Thanks for entering Credit Crunch Munch again:-)

  7. They sound really good Jen and those butterflies are so pretty - perfect on your cupcakes. Great coup for you with the smart phone, sounds like it was worth hanging on.


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