Cranberry Christmas Cupcakes

Cranberry Christmas Cupcakes

*Looking for more holiday recipes? Try these Coconut Macaroons and Prosecco Cupcakes for New Year’s Eve!

Instead of the usual straight-forward post, today I’m bringing you some important and exciting Kailley’s Kitchen updates… and, of course, a killer (and seasonally appropriate) Cranberry Christmas Cupcake recipe.

As many of my earlier followers might know, the Kailley’s Kitchen website underwent its first major transformation back in April of this year. While the current look is vibrant and fun, it’s time to shift to something streamlined, user-friendly, and high quality. You can expect the new website iteration to launch around Christmas-time, with new a Facebook page design and revamped customized email headers rolled out by the 1st of the year. Readers can look forward to improved page-loading times, an entirely new design, logo, and theme, better photos, a visual recipe index, and some new content features!

One of the new content features is going to be a new monthly series tentatively entitled “Current Infatuations,” which will detail products (kitchen/beauty/home/practical/et cetera), restaurants, movies, and more that I’m loving each month. I’m hoping that this series will allow me to connect to you all on a deeper level, and also offer you a glimpse into my life outside of recipe development.

As I alluded to in my last post (Caramelized Onion Dip), savory foods are finally making their way into the cupcake-dominated world of Kailley’s Kitchen!  Starting now, a different savory recipe will hit the blog once a month (or more, if I’m feeling really ambitious). Please be sure to leave a comment below with any recipe requests/suggestions! I want to make sure I’m creating things that appeal to you guys, and always love reader input.

In other news, have you checked out the new map feature on Pinterest yet? I just got in on it for my “Dining Out” board, which includes photos that link to my restaurant reviews and an interactive map that shows you where each restaurant is located. This board is a can’t-miss if you live in the Chicago area OR if you’re planning a trip to the Windy City. I’ve become very active on all my Pinterest boards, so please be sure to follow me if you aren’t already!

On that note, I’d like to leave you with these Cranberry Christmas Cupcakes. The cake base is infused with ginger and studded with plump, ready-to-burst fresh cranberries, and is topped with indulgent cream cheese frosting, sparkling cranberries, and fresh mint leaves. These cupcakes are the perfect blend of sweet and tangy, and add the ideal exclamation point to any holiday meal.

Happy holidays!

Cranberry Christmas Cupcakes

Cranberry Christmas Cupcakes

Cranberry Christmas Cupcakes

Cranberry Christmas Cupcakes

Cranberry Christmas Cupcakes


    For the cupcakes: 1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • For the buttercream:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 8oz (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • For the sparkling cranberries:
  • 1 12oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup maple syrup syrup
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Optional: fresh mint leaves, sugar pearls


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F
  2. Thoroughly grease or line a standard muffin pan
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the 11/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger, set aside
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar, beat until light and fluffy
  5. Add eggs and vanilla extract, beat until well-mixed
  6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet, mix until just combined
  7. Add milk and mix
  8. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined (don't over-mix!)
  9. In a small bowl, toss the cranberries with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of flour
  10. Gently fold the berries into the batter
  11. Spoon batter into muffin tin
  12. Bake for 19-21 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  13. Allow cupcakes to cool on a wire rack
  14. While cupcakes are cooling, pour maple syrup into a small sauce pan and warm over medium-low heat (1-2 minutes)
  15. Pour cranberries into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  16. Remove syrup from heat, stir, and gently pour syrup over berries (make sure syrup isn't too hot, as it could cause berries to burst)
  17. Thoroughly coat the berries, cover, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight
  18. Drain excess syrup with a colander
  19. Toss cranberries in 1 1/2 cups sugar, separate out on a cookie sheet, and let dry for 1 hour
  20. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of sugar over shiny areas of the berries, let dry 20 more minutes
  21. While berries are drying, add butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat until light and fluffy
  22. Add powder sugar one cup at a time, beating well after each
  23. Spoon buttercream into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes
  24. Top with sparkling cranberries, sugar pearls, and mint leaves in a holly arrangement

*Can’t stand cranberries? Substitute all the cranberries in this recipe with raspberries for something a little sweeter!


    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      Thank you so much!! I’ve been working really hard to improve my photography skills– I’m so glad all those hours are paying off!

    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      Thank you, Anna! I love cranberries too– I wish they were available fresh year-round! I’ve been popping some of the leftover sparkling cranberries from this recipe like candy 🙂

    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      Thanks so much, Laura, and welcome to my blog! I couldn’t agree more– I wish it was cranberry season all the time!

  1. says

    Absolutely beautiful! Your photography is A+ too. I saw your post on FB and just had to rush over and check out your blog. I’m a new follower.

    I agree re: cranberry season is just not long enough, I love them so many ways!


  2. says

    This looked like the perfect recipe for the cranberries I bought at the Farmers Market yesterday. I made a change here or there but check out I linked it back to you since it was adapted and inspired by your recipe! Thank you for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *