SPRINKLES CUPCAKES ORANGE CRANBERRY CUPCAKES
MAKES 12 CUPCAKES OR ONE 2-LAYER 9-INCH CAKE
Though cupcakes haven’t traditionally been a thanksgiving dessert in this country, I like to think Sprinkles has had a hand in changing that. Every November, Sprinkles offers its extraordinarily popular eat box, which includes a variety of cupcakes — including these orange cranberry delights. The sweet, fresh flavor of orange, studded with tart cranberries (fresh and frozen work equally well), makes for a vibrant dessert as worthy of Thanksgiving as any pie.
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons lightly packed finely grated orange zest (from 2 large oranges)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 cup fresh or unthawed frozen cranberries
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and orange zest over low heat until hot (but not boiling); cool to lukewarm, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the egg and egg whites one at a time, and beat until creamy, 1-2 minutes. Slowly add half the flour mixture, then the milk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition. In a small bowl, toss the cranberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold the cranberries into the batter.
Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch (some may be slightly golden on the sides before this happens) and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting with orange frosting.