Cupcake Hero Challenge: Maple Walnut Cranberry Cupcakes with Cranberry Sauce and Maple Frosting

When this month’s cupcake hero theme was announced to be cranberry, I was a little worried.

I don’t eat cranberries. Growing up, it was never in the Thanksgiving spread. In fact, until a week ago, I had never even touched the things.

I don’t drink cranberry juice. I had a kidney stone a few years back and had to go on an all-liquid diet for 5 days until it passed. I had to drink a gallon of cranberry juice every day. And, to make things worse, it was the week of Thanksgiving. Since then, I haven’t touched the stuff.

But I wanted to give the little guys a second chance. After all, it’s not their fault that my family never served cranberry sauce or that I got a kidney stone. And they’re really pretty during harvest time…
I started early in the month looking for a cupcake recipe with cranberries in it. Most recipes with cranberries are for muffins or scones; sometimes cookies have dried cranberries… I asked everyone who would listen what flavors go with cranberries – most people suggested orange or white chocolate.

I really wanted to stretch my baking wings and do some experimental baking. I’ve never “invented” a baking recipe, but I do it all the time when I cook. I found the base recipe for my cupcake in Crazy about Cupcakes. I thought that cranberries would go well with a maple-walnut cupcake. Then I thought about the frosting.

I wanted these guys to have a strong cranberry flavor and I was worried the berry would get lost in the cupcake. I thought about adding cranberries to the frosting and then it hit me. I could do a cranberry glaze and a maple syrup cream cheese frosting.

When the cupcakes came out of the oven, they smelled like warm pancakes – yuuuuummmmmmy! I was right about the berry flavor being lost in the cupcake, so now it was all up to the glaze.

The cranberry glaze turned out too sweet and I wanted the cranberry flavor to be more tart/tangy. The cream cheese frosting was also too runny and didn’t want to hold up for piping.

I decided to make a cranberry sauce with no sugar, to keep it tart, and a maple syrup buttercream so it could be piped. This flavor combination of the sweet maple syrup frosting, tangy cranberry sauce and nutty cupcake turned out amazing. After hours in the kitchen and years of avoiding cranberries at all costs, my mouth was excited when I took the first bite.

I sent these guys to work with Hubby and he said they got more compliments than any other baked good he has taken in!! I have to admit, they are quite pretty 🙂

Maple Walnut Cupcakes (from Crazy about Cupcakes ) makes 18 – (with my changes in purple)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour – I use King Arthurs White Whole Wheat Flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped cranberries

Preheat over to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

In a large bowl cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in the maple syrup. Add the vanilla and eggs. Beat until mixture is smooth.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, powder, and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Beat well. Stir in the walnuts and chopped cranberries.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce (by ME!)
1 bag of cranberries (less 1 cup for the cupcakes)
water

Place remaining cranberries in a saucepan. Add water to cover the berries.

Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cover for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and cover. Allow to simmer while cupcakes bake and cool.

When cranberry sauce is cooled, puree in food processor by using the pulse button.

Maple Syrup Frosting (by ME!)
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2+ Tbsp maple syrup

Cream butter and sugar until blended. Add maple syrup until desired consistency and flavor is reached

To assemble cupcakes:
Allow cupcakes to completely cool. Using a toothpick, poke multiple holes into the cupcake tops.
Spoon some cranberry sauce onto the top of the cupcakes, coming close to the edge. Allow to soak in for 20 minutes.

Mix frosting while cranberry sauce is settling. Using a large tip, pipe frosting on to of sauce, but not covering all of the sauce.

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31 Responses to “Raspberry Curd and an Interesting Twist on a Breakfast Sandwich”

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    Sunshine — April 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Thank God for the weird flavors and for not making em the only weirdo foodie out there. This sounds heavenly, and I can’t wait to try my hand at the curd this weekend.

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    yumventures — April 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I am practically addicted to lemon curd, and since raspberries are by far my favorite berry I would be scared to make this, have so much left over, and pour it over everything I could eat! The breakfast sandwich also looks good, never had sweet with the eggs, but its worth a shot! Would be great with french toast, and I love cream cheese with sweet jam 🙂

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    Katie — April 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Jen, that curd looks just wonderful! I LOVE raspberry!

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    hannah! — April 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    it’s okay to have a weird tastebud. it all matters if you like it (: i think flutternutters are weird in comparison 😛 no offense, people!

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    Pam — April 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Mmm, this sounds fantastic! I’m so used to curd being citrus – this would be a nice change of pace.

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    Sarah — April 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    You’re not the only one! Growing up, when we didn’t have tomato soup with our grilled cheese, there was usually jam spread on it after it was grilled. It’s a weird combo that one of my parents inroduced, but it’s surprisingly good.

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    Bridget — April 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Ooh, raspberry curd sounds fantastic.

    Your sandwich seems like the breakfast version of a monte cristo sandwich, and I really like monte cristos.

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    mrs. c — April 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    i have never had raspberry curd and it sounds yummy. I think it would taste great on french toast. i might just have to try this!

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    Joanne — April 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I actually love egg and jam sandwiches! I think it’s pretty weird…but oh so delicious. that curd looks fantastic! Gorgeous color.

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    Kelly — April 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Wow, this could totally solve my problem with breakfast sandwiches. I just REALLY like sweetness in my breakfast but I want to like breakfast sandwiches because egg is so filling and good for you…I am definitely going to try this!

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    Kerstin — April 22, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I bet the sweet/savory combo is yummy! I’ve never made curd for a cake before but hope to soon – it sounds so delicious and versatile.

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    Elina — April 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I’ve heard of this combo before and I have to say – it grosses me out and intrigues me at the same time. Maybe I’ll get the guts to try it some day. You do make it sound delicious 🙂

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    Sook — April 22, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Oh wow, the curd looks so beautiful! The consistency looks perfect!

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    Kimberly Alexandra — April 22, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Funny this should come up b/c I just had a ham & egg sandwich last night and I almost always have to add strawberry jam to that! Adding raspberry curd is sure to be just as good.

    🙂 Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

    PS – that curd is simply gorgeous!

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    smellslikehome — April 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    ooo i think i know which cake you’ll be posting soon…if it’s the one i’m thinking of, i have to say, this curd was the best filling i could imagine for that cake. this curd was just awesome (and i’m not a raspberry fan) and yours looks gorgeous!!

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    ABowlOfMush — April 22, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Wow that is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!

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    whisk-kid — April 23, 2010 at 4:12 am

    This certainly sounds like an interesting combination. I suppose it’s similar to a monte cristo, no? I’d love to give it a try!

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    A Cup Full of Cake — April 23, 2010 at 5:23 am

    I saw this recipe yesterday and immediately printed it. I made Vanilla raspberry cupcakes for a friend’s birthday and wanted to make them a little extra special. This curd is amazing. Its a little thinner than lemon curd but that was perfect for what I wanted. I didn’t want that thicker consistency. I will link to your blog when I post the cupcakes with pics and recipes to mine!
    Shanna
    http://acupfullofcake.blogspot.com/

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    ButterYum — April 23, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I believe you when you say it tastes great with eggs. I’m not a ketchup fan, but I do like it on scrambled eggs – completely changes the flavor of both!

    I’m surprised your curd didn’t thicken after being chilled.

    Btw, tell you hubby that it’s true cheese and jelly seem like a strange combo, but well prepared cheese platters always include fruit selections (pears, grapes, etc) – they compliment one another beautifully.

    🙂
    ButterYum

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    NikiTheo — April 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    (1) Raspberry curd rocks, but I’ve never had a recipe for it, so thank you!
    (2) Berries are gerat on savory dishes! Every had a berry sauce on grilled rare venison meat? YUM!!!!
    (3) When I make over easy eggs, I always use toast covered in butter and raspberry preserves to sop up the yolk. So good!!!
    So you are in good company my dear!

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    Jen — April 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only “weirdo” that likes the jam/egg/cheese combo.

    I’m also surprised it didn’t thicken up more. Even this morning, it was still the same consistency and it’s been in the fridge since I made it.

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    doreeen sia — April 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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    A Cup Full of Cake — April 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Your raspberry curd recipe is amazing!! I made it and used it for some cupcakes. I credited and linked to your blog in my blog! Thanks for an awesome recipe
    Shanna
    http://acupfullofcake.blogspot.com/2010/04/vanilla-bean-cupcakes-with-raspberry.html

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    Joudie's Mood Food — August 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    This certainly looks addictive, and the colour is just DIVINE! Will have to try it ….. Am curioius to see what it tastes like with egg..

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    Kelly — March 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I don’t know if I’m brave enough to try this one on an egg sandwich, but I did pin it 🙂

    • beantownbaker — March 18th, 2013 @ 8:18 am

      Thanks for the pin! I hope you try it some time.

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    Courtney — March 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Jen, are the amounts above written the way that you made it (doubled)? Can’t wait to try it!

    • beantownbaker — April 1st, 2013 @ 8:36 am

      I’ve never doubled this recipe before, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. Let me know how it works out for you.

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    Nicole — May 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I have been searching for a recipe just like this for a cake filling! Thank you so much 🙂

    • beantownbaker — May 12th, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

      Glad to help! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

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    Stacey — May 19, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Is it possible to make this without the added sugar? I’m trying to find recipes that are good for a cancer diet. Thanks

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