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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23 Responses to “Banana Split Cupcake”

  1. #
    1
    stephchows — September 15, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Great cupcake hero entry!!! yum!

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    2
    oneordinaryday — September 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    You’re right – it’s a freaking cute cupcake! I especially love that frosting and how you got it to look like a scoop of ice cream. Nicely done!
    This is my first CH and I can’t wait till the voting begins! : )

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    3
    Amanda — September 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Wow, what a yummy looking cupcake! Great idea!

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    oneparticularkitchen — September 15, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    This is ADORABLE!! I love it!

  5. #
    5
    Xiaolu — September 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Gorgeous cupcake, Jen! I love how the cherry stands out. How do you get that black background if you don’t mind me asking? I’m pretty new to this food photography thing 8)

  6. #
    6
    Amy Kingman — September 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Yummmm!!!!!

  7. #
    7
    Jen — September 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Xiaolu – It’s actually just my black table. I’ve also had luck using a plain black piece of construction paper (most of my backgrounds are the 12×12 scrap-booking papers) or a black towel to get the background all black.

    Here is an example using paper, and one using a towel.

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    8
    Xiaolu — September 15, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks! That’s really helpful.

  9. #
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    Joanna — September 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Yum! Great idea 🙂

  10. #
    10
    Stephanie Wagner — September 15, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Awesome idea!

  11. #
    11
    bcallegra — September 16, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Very creative and it looks great!

  12. #
    12
    The Novice Chef — September 16, 2009 at 3:15 am

    What a cute idea! I love it!! And I know my nieces would be in love!

  13. #
    13
    nutmegnanny — September 16, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Great idea…they look delicious!

  14. #
    14
    jesstyler — September 16, 2009 at 4:08 am

    holy deliciousness! I NEED one of those! 🙂

  15. #
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    Kerstin — September 16, 2009 at 4:48 am

    How creative, I love them! So cute and tasty with that cherry on top!

  16. #
    16
    Ingrid — September 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Very cute looking! I like your idea.
    ~ingrid

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    lifeoftheparty — September 16, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    These cupcakes are pure genius… you’ve definitely got my vote!

  18. #
    18
    Jigginjessica — September 17, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Cute idea! What a great entry!

  19. #
    19
    thegreatpantryraid — September 17, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Wow – super cute! A lot of work, I’m sure, but such a big payoff! Great job!

  20. #
    20
    Kami — September 17, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    So stinkin’ cute!

  21. #
    21
    Caroline — September 19, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Very cute, indeed and loving the pineapple in the frosting. I can just imagine how delicious this would taste. What a great idea.

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    22
    Keiara Wells — September 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    MMM, it looks fantastic! I’ll have to try this one 🙂 xox

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    Sweet and Savory — October 15, 2009 at 5:55 am

    These cupcakes are precious besides, I am sure, being delicious. What a great idea.

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