Cranberry Bliss Cupcakes

Merry Christmas Eve! Such a wonderful day and I hope you enjoy the day doing something special with loved ones. We're kicking off the day with breakfast followed by holiday movies in our festive pajamas. Then in the late afternoon, we're headed to spend Christmas Eve with the Baron's extended family over their traditional Christmas Eve dinner. It'll be a fun time, especially for the kids and there's always the funny grab bag part of the night. This year, we've got a really good one in hopes the person we had in mind ends up with the gift! In keeping with the traditions, one tradition I have is enjoying a Cranberry Bliss Bar from Starbucks when they become available. It's a seasonal pastry item that isn't gluten free, but one I'll indulge in if I remember to take a supplement. Nonetheless, I've grown fond of these Cranberry Bliss Bars that it was the inspiration of another cupcake I made for my office holiday bake off. These Cranberry Bliss Cupcakes captures all the things I love about the original pastry bars including the bits of candied ginger, white chocolate and dried cranberries baked into a vanilla cupcake...

I remember when I first had a Cranberry Bliss Bar. It took me by surprise because the candied ginger wasn't something I expected when I bit into it. It was wonderful! Soon after having a cranberry bliss bar, I tried to replicate it as a means to save myself from spending more money at Starbucks lol. I made a few versions well before I started blogging but it's been awhile. I need to try making them gluten free, perhaps by next year! This was a fun cupcake to make and I really enjoyed it since it was an ode to one of my favorite holiday treats...

Cranberry Bliss Cupcakes
cake recipe from Vanilla Garlic

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups of sugar or vanilla sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of cream
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean 1/4 cup finely diced candied ginger

1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 white chocolate bar, cut up in small bite sized pieces
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line two 12-cup cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on high until soft for 30 seconds then add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy. Continue to add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Measure out milk, cream and vanilla extract in 2 cup measuring cup. Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds and add them to the milk mixture.

Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer bowl, then the milk mixture; alternating between the two and ending with the flour. Mix throughly.

Stir in the ginger, white chocolate chips and dried cranberries until evenly dispersed throughout the batter.
Using a scoop, divide the batter between 12 liners in your cupcake pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Meanwhile, as the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the softened butter and beat on medium speed. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and increase to high speed, beating for 2-3 minutes. 
- If the frosting is too thin for your preference, add more powdered sugar.
- If the frosting is too thick for your preference, add more heavy cream.
- If the frosting is too sweet for your preference, add a pinch of salt.
To decorate the cupcakes, frost the cupcakes with the frosting. Sprinkle with dried cranberries and garnish with a piece of white chocolate bar in the center.


  1. Your Christmas Eve sounds lovely! So do these cupcakes. Happy Christmas!

  2. These cupcakes will definitely be a crowd pleaser, I'll make this on New Years eve! Happy Holidays and God Bless! :)