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Sugared Cranberry-Topped Vanilla Cupcakes

These vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and delicious. They're topped with a white chocolate buttercream frosting and then studded with sugared cranberries. Sprinkle on some coconut shavings to look like snow and make them even more holiday-appropriate!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 16 mins
Total Time 1 hr 16 mins
Servings 24 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/4 + 2/3 cup sugar (1/4 cup for the sugared cranberries, 1 cup for the cupcake batter & 1 1/3 cup for the frosting)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt
  • 3/4 + 1 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 cup for the cupcake batter & 1 1/3 cups for the frosting)
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 oz white chocolate
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract (1 1/2 tsp. for the cupcake batter + 3/4 tsp. for the frosting)
  • 170 g cranberries 1/2 standard size bag
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions
 

  • To make the sugared cranberries: Wash cranberries and strain. Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 water to a small pot on medium-low heat. Heat while stirring to dissolve the sugar, but do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add cranberries. Coat evenly in syrup and then place on a wire rack to dry for 1 hour. Then roll in sugar.
  • To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add all-purpose flour, cake flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add 3/4 cups of butter and mix on medium-low speed. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix. Add buttermilk and 1 1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract. Bring speed up to medium-high and continue to mix until combined well. Line cupcake tins with liners. Fill each liner 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the white chocolate buttercream frosting: Melt white chocolate in the microwave. Whisk the egg whites and 1 1/3 cups of sugar over a bain marie. When the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from the heat and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes. Whip in 1 1/3 cups of butter, a bit at a time. Stir in 3/4 tsp. of pure vanilla extract and melted chocolate. If the frosting is too runny, place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Otherwise, transfer a piping bag and then pipe over cupcakes.
  • When the sugared cranberries are ready, add 3 to the top of each cupcake. Serve and enjoy!