Buttercream & Frosting, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Desserts

Cranberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

November 16, 2011
Whenever I go to Costco I always go way overboard.  I have a small list of items that I want but then I get sucked in getting different snacks, vegetables, fruits, and more.  
I don’t even know why I think anymore that I can just go in and get those few items that I intended to get, and nothing more.  By the time I get to check out my cart is full and I am spending way more money that I should. 
When I’m walking out of the store I always justify that I am purchasing this food for us to eat, it’s ok to go overboard.  And if I get the occasional magazine, cutting board, or other random item that they sell at Costco, it’s ok… I deserve it :).
On my last trip I went crazy on all the amazing fall fruits and vegetables in stock.  I loaded up on butternut squash, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, pears, apples, and cranberries.  I have already enjoyed my fair share of sweet potatoes, apples, and pears, and now I am onto to enjoying the beautiful cranberries.  
Cranberries are one of those fruits that taste best when they are at the peak of their season.  It’s hard to get them at other times of the year, but even if they were easily available I would still wait until fall to purchase them.  In the fall they are perfectly tart and compliments many types of foods, both savory and sweet.
While brainstorming desserts to create for the holidays, cranberries were one of those fall flavors that popped up in my mind immediately.  I ended up with a cranberry cream cheese cupcake, filled with a white chocolate mousse, topped with a maple cream cheese frosting.  
This may seem like a lot of flavors in one small cupcake, but they all meld together perfect to create the perfect fall (and Thanksgiving!) treat.
This cranberry cream cheese cupcake is a dense, moist cake, made rich by the mixture of butter, cream cheese, and milk.  I use almond milk in this recipe because I like the richness and flavor that it adds; however you can use normal milk as well.  
The white chocolate mousse brings lightness to the cake, balancing the dense texture of the cake.  Then the maple cream cheese frosting adds a slightly sweet, and perfectly silky-smooth topping. 
When you are in the store and you spot these beautifully red cranberries, pick them up and make these delicious cupcakes.  They will add vibrancy and flavor to your life :), and hopefully your Thanksgiving dessert table as well!


Cranberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes
with White Chocolate Mousse Filling & Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
Makes: 24 cupcakes
Cranberry Cream Cheese Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at Room Temperature
8 ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
2 cups Sugar
3 Eggs
¼ teaspoon Almond Extract
1 ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 ½ cups Cake Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ cup Almond Milk (Normal milk should work just fine too)
2 cups Fresh Cranberries, tossed in ½ tablespoon of Flour
White Chocolate Mousse Filling*
1/2 packet Gelatin (4 ounces)
1/8 cup of Water, to dissolve gelatin in
6 ounces of White Chocolate, Chopped
1 ¼ cups Heavy Cream, Divided
*This makes ½ a recipe than what I normally make.  If you want, you can make a full recipe by doubling the above recipe and saving the other half for later use :).
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
½ cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, at Room Temperature
2 cups Confectioners Sugar
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
Fresh Cranberries, for Topping
Begin by making the white chocolate mousse.  Pour the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top.  Let it sit for 5 minutes until the gelatin has completely dissolved into the water. 
Place the chopped white chocolate in a food processor or a blender and pulse until finely chopped.  Then in a small saucepan, heat 1/4 of the heavy cream over medium-high heat.  When the mixture reaches a boil reduce the heat to medium and add the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin completely melts. 
Pour the heated heavy cream and gelatin mixture over the chopped white chocolate in the food processor.  Immediately begin pulsing until the mixture is completely smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set in the refrigerator to chill for 5 minutes, no longer.  Keep your eye on the mixture and don’t forget about it in the refrigerator.  You don’t want it to harden.
While the mixture is in the refrigerator, quickly whip up the remaining 1cup of heavy cream.  To whip the heavy cream, pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with he whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. 
Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and carefully fold in the whipped cream.  Transfer the mousse to a sealed container and place in the refrigerator to set and chill completely, about 1 hour.
While the white chocolate mousse is setting up in the refrigerator, make the cranberry cream cheese cupcakes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cupcake pans with 24 baking liners.  Set aside until needed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the sugar and continue to beat until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Scrape down the bowl and mix in the almond and vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, salt, and baking powder.  With the mixer running on low, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk (starting and ending with the flour).  

In a small bowl, toss the 1 tablespoon of flour with the cranberries.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and carefully fold in the cranberries with a spatula. 

Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter among each baking liner.  Bake in the oven until the tops of the cake begin to turn a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a few cupcakes come out clean, about 25-35 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. 
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the cream cheese frosting.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Add the confectioners sugar in 2 additions, slowly mixing in-between each addition.  Mix in the vanilla and maple syrup, and whisk until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
To fill the cupcakes, cut/poke a hole in the middle of each cupcake.  I use an apple corer; I think it’s the easiest way that creates the best results.  If you do not own a apple corer, you can use a small knife to cut a hole in the middle of the cupcake. 
Stir the white chocolate mousse and then place the filling in a piping bag.  Pipe small amounts of the filling into the center of each hole.
To frost the cupcakes, place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip (I used a large open star tip).  Pipe the frosting in a circular motion onto each cupcake.  Top each cupcake with 2 fresh cranberries.  You can add more or less if you wish.
Serve and enjoy!
These cupcakes can last about 1 week in a sealed container.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Cake adapted from Confessions of a Foodie Bride.  White Chocolate Mousse from Graces Sweet LifeFrosting recipe from Annie Eats who adapted in from Confections of a Foodie Bride.

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  • Jenni November 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Wow, these cupcakes sound awesome!!

  • Melissa November 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I want one!

  • Sarah Catherine November 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Krissy, these sound amazing! They make me want to put a big spoonful of stuffing on top for some reason… Anyways, I really love Costco as well and I totally know what you mean. I’m always getting sucked in to buying pajamas or some other rando item with my giant salmon filet/giant bag of cucumbers.

  • Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny November 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    These are gorgeous and so delicious! Great recipe! 🙂

  • Kiri W. November 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Oh wow, I love that these are filled! 🙂 I’m not too big on large amounts of frosting, but a good filling makes me swoon any day 🙂 Great recipe!

  • Krissy's Creations November 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks Jenni!

  • Krissy's Creations November 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    @Sarah Catherine
    Glad to know I’m not the only one 🙂 Haha. Now you have me wanting stuffing!

  • Krissy's Creations November 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    @Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny
    Thanks Kelly! I was definitely happy with the outcome of these 🙂

  • Krissy's Creations November 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    @Kiri W.
    The filling was one of my favorite parts! It added so much flavor and richness 🙂

  • Sandra November 17, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Yummy to infinity and beyond! Love that white chocolate mousse.

  • Mary November 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    These look heavenly. I’m visiting from Chef Dennis’ blog and everything here looks delicious!

  • Buttercream Blondie November 19, 2011 at 12:38 am

    These look so pretty! I love white chocolate mousse!! I know what you mean about going overboard while shopping all to well 🙂

  • Lizzy November 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Beautiful! Your icing is just impeccable!!!

  • vanillalemonade.com November 21, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Love cranberries mixed into sweets!Yum!

  • Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen November 21, 2011 at 9:16 am

    i’d always choose cream cheese over any other cream toppings 🙂

  • new york caterers May 22, 2012 at 8:20 am

    It just so happens that there’s a party this weekend, I’ll definitely bake some of these. Thanks.

  • kaizo clark January 3, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    A very sumptuous dessert perfect for any event. Long island catering halls should have included this on their menu. I’m sure kids will really love this along with their favorite juice.

  • connie December 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Made the cupcakes! they were great! But, do I understand correctly – just use a 1/2 packet of gelatin? Then you say 4 oz. Is it just a 1/2 packet? Thanks! Connie