- 250 g (8.8oz) Unsalted butter softened
- 250 g (8.8oz) Caster sugar
- 4 Free range eggs
- 250 g (8.8oz) Self raising flour
- 1 Grated zest and juice of one orange
- 5 tbsp Milk
- 100 g (3.5oz) Dried cranberries
- 100 g (3.5oz) Unsalted butter (softened) – For the Buttercream
- 450 g (15.9oz) Icing sugar (sifted) – For the Buttercream
- 100 g (3.5oz) White chocolate – For the Buttercream
- 1 tsp Vanilla essence- For the Buttercream
- 50 ml (1.8fl oz) Semi Skimmed milk – For the Buttercream
- Starting with the cake, cream the butter and sugar and orange zest – for really light cupcakes always use a balloon whisk or the whisk attachment on your mixer.
- Add the lightly beaten eggs roughly one egg at a time, whisking after each addition. Once the eggs are well combined sieve the flour into the mix and gently fold in with a large metal spoon (taking special care to fold gently to keep all the air in the mixture)
- Fold the orange zest in with the last bit of flour, then fold in the milk and the cranberries, then, spoon the mixture into prepared cupcake cases.
- Bake in a preheated oven (180°C) for approx 12 minutes or until golden and springy to touch.
- While the cupcakes are in the oven, make an orange soak. Squeeze the juice of one orange & sieve into a jug and add 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and whisk.
- Take the cupcakes out of the oven and leave in their tins. When they are still warm, use a cocktail stick to make a few holes in each cupcake. Put two teaspoons of the orange soak over each cupcake. Leave to cool in their tins.
- Now make the buttercream. Put the icing sugar in a bowl with all of the (very soft) butter, 50ml of milk and the vanilla essence. Beat well, ideally with an electric mixer or an electric hand mixer, if you are beating by hand then use a wooden spoon and beat until really fluffy.
- Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and fold into the buttercream mixture & beat again.
- Smooth or pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with a fresh cranberry.
- The cake base freezes really well so, you could make the cakes in advance and pop them in the freezer ready for unexpected guests at Christmas. Add the buttercream after they have defrosted.
This recipe and others can also be found on www.lovefood.com.