How pretty are these cupcakes from Hidden Ponies?  White cupcakes topped with cranberries just look festive.  The best part though, is the surprise filling made with orange zest and white chocolate.  I do love a surprise in the middle of a cupcake!

Cranberry Bliss Cupcakes

Makes about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

CUPCAKES:

  • 1 box French Vanilla cake mix + ingredients called for on box (usually eggs, oil, and water)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1-2 tsp grated orange zest
  • ¾ cup miniature white chocolate chips

FILLING:

  • ⅛ cup (2 Tbsp) butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup miniature white chocolate chips

FROSTING:

  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar/icing sugar
  • 1 tsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp milk or cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • Tiny pinch of salt

GARNISH:

  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup white chocolate chips melted with ½ Tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding sour cream and orange zest once blended. Stir in white chocolate chips. Bake as directed, adding a couple minutes to cooking time if needed. The cupcakes should bake up nice and flat, or with a slight dip in the middle – this makes it easy to frost them than a domed top.
  2. For filling, blend butter, brown sugar and orange zest with an electric mixer. Add flour, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla and blend until smooth (it will be quite thick). Stir in cranberries and chocolate chips.
  3. To fill cupcakes, poke your thumb down the center of each to compact it into a hole (you can also scoop out holes, but the thumb method is much faster!) Fill each hole with about a teaspoon of filling, or as much as you can fit.
  4. For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add half the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add remaining icing icing sugar, orange juice, milk, vanilla and salt and mix until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
  5. Frost cupcakes as desired and top immediately with chopped cranberries.
  6. Melt white chocolate and butter gently in the microwave and drizzle over cupcakes. To do this, I put it in a Ziploc bag and snip off a small corner to squeeze out the chocolate evenly.
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