To Taste: Mini Cranberry-Swirled Lemon Cupcakes w. Lemon Glaze

I’m offically making a public decree that I’m not longer allowed to complain about baking. My cooking style doesn’t involve alot of precise measuring so baking has always been a chore for me. At this point, the reward is getting too good for me to deny my baking skills. Sweet, swirled, glazed skills…

These baby cakes were created totally out of necessity. Over Thanksgiving, my girl Sunshine, of a Blog Full of Jelly, came for a visit from her new home in Florida with some beautiful citrus in tow. First was a Buddha’s hand, a creepy claw-y shaped fruit with a bright citrus flavor and lots of rind. It’s STILL soaking in some vodka for some serious cocktail making. The other citrus wonder was a Ponderosa lemon – pretty much the BIGGEST lemon you have ever seen – and provided me with over a cup of juice. I also still had a bag of beautiful crimson cranberries from my last farm share pickup and I wanted to make something other than my Cranberry-Pear Shortbread Tart. Combine them with the need to whip up a homemade treat for our friends’, Doc & Erica’s, pre-Holiday house warming and I was ready to bake!

Check out my Mini Cranberry-Swirled Lemon Cupcakes w. Lemon Glaze recipe after the jump!

Mini Cranberry-Swirled Lemon Cupcakes w. Lemon Glaze

48 mini cupcakes
adapted from the Cupcake Blog’s Meyer Lemon Cranberry Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup fresh (ponderosa or regular) lemon juice
  • 1T lemon zest

Cranberry Coulis

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Lemon Glaze

  • 2-3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar


  • medium saucepan
  • small metal sieve
  • blender, food processor, or hand blender
  • stand mixer
  • mini cupcake pan(s)
  • 3 mixing bowls
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. For Cranberry Coulis – Combine cranberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup of sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Boil about 5 min, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and break down.
  3. Remove from heat. In a blender or food processor or with a hand blender, puree the cranberries until smooth.
  4. Push cranberry puree through a metal sieve, discarding solids. Set cranberry puree aside.
  5. For Lemon Cupcakes – Beat butter on high in a stand mixer until soft, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
  8. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  9. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
  10. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest, beat to combine.
  11. Scoop into mini cupcakes pans about 3/4 full. Drop approx. 1tsp of the cranberry coulis on top of batter and swirl with a toothpick.
  12. Place cupcakes in the oven and turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Bake for 15-18 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand for 10min. Then remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.
  13. For Lemon Glaze – Combine confectioners’ sugar and 1.5T lemon juice in a small bowl and stir to moisten. Dribble additional lemon juice until icing slides off tip of spoon. Drizzle over cupcakes and serve.

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