White Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting (Art You Eat)

I’ve decided to enter a photo into the Art You Eat. Since CB won last month, she had influence in this month’s theme: Seasonal Cupcakes. I was very focused on cookies this holiday season, but I did manage to throw some cupcakes together. These cupcakes took two tries to perfect, but the outcome was worth the effort. The white chocolate is subtle but warm. I made the same white chocolate cupcake recipe that I made last year for Cupcake Hero: Coffee except this time I used dried cranberries instead of coffee. For the frosting, I made the white chocolate cream cheese frosting that I made for Cupcake Hero: White Chocolate and threw in more dried cranberries as well as some chopped pistachios.

I have to admit, these cupcakes took two tries to be edible. For the first batch, I threw some chopped pistachios in the cupcake batter as well. I made a rookie mistake (or I’m getting over confident) and didn’t taste test until all of the cupcakes were frosted with pretty swirls. Then hubby got home from work and we split a cupcake. With weird looks on our face, we just looked at each other. Neither of us wanted to say it out loud. They tasted funny… almost meaty… in fact, almost bacon-ey. How is that possible?!? I know pistachios are “meaty” nuts, but come on – how could this happen… Pistachio, cranberry and white chocolate is a very common cookie combination, so I still don’t understand how they tasted so meaty. The next morning I tried another one, hoping that the taste had gone away. No such luck. The entire batch went into the trash. That’s only the second time that has happened (the first time was with some low-fat carrot cupcakes).

For my second try, I decided to leave out the pistachios. Since the nuts seemed to cause the meaty flavor. I did want to put the pistachios in the frosting again because that was really good. The second batch is delicious. I’m a big fan of cranberries so I really enjoyed these cupcakes.

White Chocolate cupcake (from Crazy about Cupcakes) – makes 24
2/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips – I melted the chocolate chips
1/3 cup water – I omitted the water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

Combine the milk and vinegar in a cup. Set aside for at least 5 minutes. Combine the vanilla extract with 1/2 Tbsp instant espresso and set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Combine 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips and the water in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until melted, stirring continuously. I used a double boiler to melt the white chocolate.

Add the vanilla and white chocolate mixture to the creamed mixture.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk-and-vinegar mixture, beating for 1 minutes after each addition.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

White chocolate cream cheese frosting – from Baking Bites
4-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1-oz white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp milk or cream
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
~1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
~1/2 cup chopped pistachios

In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and melted white chocolate.

Beat in vanilla and milk, then add in the confectioners’ sugar gradually until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. Stir in the cranberries and pistachios.

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10 Responses to “Strawberry Rhubarb Bars”

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    Ingrid — August 6, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I’ve been anxious to try rhubarb but after many trips to the grocery store missed the season. (it sold out-FAST!) Did you use fresh or frozen rhubarb? I just saw the frozen kind and have been thinking about giving it a try.
    ~ingrid

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    Jen — August 6, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Ingrid – I made this when I was home in the Midwest back in June. It seems easier to find out there than in the East Coast where I live. We use fresh and I’ve never used frozen although my dad does freeze his for the rhubarb rolls I made a few weeks ago too. I should have grabbed a ton and froze it myself…

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    bewa3u1 — August 6, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I made these for a 4th of July party. we ran out of fresh and had to use frozen rhubarb, which tasted fine, we couldnt tell the difference (but we also had the fresh mixed in). Although I would suggest cutting the frozen pieces up a bit more- they came out of the bag huge! ~Jen’s older-younger sister

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    Jen — August 6, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    thanks little sis! Were they store bought or did Dad freeze them from fresh?

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    Katie — August 7, 2009 at 2:42 am

    No kidding – those look like the best dessert ever!! I’m starring and making for sure!

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    Sara @ Our Best Bites — August 7, 2009 at 5:07 am

    Ya know what- I’ve never made anything with rhubarb! But those sure look yummy so I might have to try it 🙂

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    Colleen — August 7, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    These look delicious!

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    nutmegnanny — August 7, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I love rhubarb, what a great new way to use it;)

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    madebymel — August 9, 2009 at 12:44 am

    I really need to try rhubarb. I am afraid I won’t like it, but this looks like a great recipe!

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    Ingrid — August 9, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Thank for the info Jen! I just may go ahead and give frozen a try otherwise its wait a year.
    ~ingrid

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