Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes

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Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes

By Stefani Pollack

Don’t make your guests choose between cupcakes and cheesecake.  These cranberry syrup-filled chocolate sponge cake cupcakes are frosted with real cranberry cheesecake - cooked in a pot, chilled, and then spread on top of the cupcakes.  The cupcakes are decidedly decadent and just the thing to grace your holiday table.

Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Cranberry Syrup Ingredients
10 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup orange juice
1 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low.

Simmer for twenty minutes.

Use a sieve to strain out the berries. 

Reserve both the syrup and berries.

Cupcake Ingredients
6 eggs, separated
½ cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cake flour
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Cranberry syrup from above

Preheat oven to 325 F.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat egg yolks thoroughly.
Gradually mix in sugar and cocoa powder.
Mix in water and vanilla.
Slowly mix in flour until just combined.
In another medium-sized bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.
Add cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until soft peaks form.
Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
Evenly divide the batter between 12 cupcake liners, filling them almost to the top.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
Using a small paring knife, remove a cone shaped piece from the center of the cupcake.

Using a spoon or a turkey baster, fill the hole with cranberry syrup.

Replace the removed cupcake piece, cutting it to size if necessary.  It will be covered with frosting so it doesn’t have to look pretty.
Optionally, drizzle any leftover cranberry syrup on top of the cupcakes.

Frosting Ingredients
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ of the cranberries reserved from the cranberry syrup (If you want to use all of the cranberries, double the frosting recipe and have leftover cheesecake to snack on.)

In a medium-sized saucepan, mix cream cheese, sugar, and eggs.
Heat on medium-high until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring regularly to smooth the mixture out.
Allow to boil for one minute.
Remove from heat and stir in cranberries.
Cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate for at least three hours, allowing the cheesecake to set.

Spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Stefani Pollack is the author of the popular cupcake blog, Cupcake Project. While she loves simple chocolate cupcakes, Stefani prefers creative cupcakes inspired by her favorite flavor combinations. She encourages her readers to branch out and experiment in the kitchen. Why cupcakes? They bring out the kid in us! Visit Stefani at

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Reader Comments:


This recipe is the biggest disaster. The instructions say to beat yolks then add sugar and cocoa powder. It turns into a sticky lump that won't mix with the egg whites later. I just wasted ingredients and time on this! There's no oil listed in the ingredients, but I am sure that would have helped! Very dissatisfied !

By Angela on November 23, 2011


Hi Ms Paula, i love your recipes i wish you can own food network so i can watch you and your recipes (and your sons =D ) all day long... My mom likes every recipe of yours even that she does not speak english that doesn't stop her... I love the CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CUPCAKES recipe and i can't wait to start cookin'... I wish for you all the best and merry christmas to you and all your family... And please give a biiiiig big hug to your sons ... Merry christmas !!! Jessy...

By jessica gonzalez on December 14, 2010

these are great recipes and a super newsletter gets me ready start cooking for thanksgiving now

By gwen word on November 16, 2010

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