Cranberry and orange cupcakes

  • makes approx. 24 small cakes, or 12 in a larger muffin sized tray
  • 250g softened butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs - beaten
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

for the cranberry and orange filling:

  • 200g fresh cranberries
  • grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 100g muscovado sugar (or to taste, depending on how tart you like it)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

for the topping:

  • 100ml orange juice
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 50g softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g fresh cranberries
  • granulated / caster sugar for rolling
  1. First make the cranberry filling; put all the ingredients into a pan and cook over a low heat, stirring gently until the berries begin to break up a little.
  2. Line the cake trays with paper cases. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then gradually add the eggs, beating as you go - I tend to add the last egg with the flour to stop any curdling. Slowly mix in the rest of the ingredients, divide into cake cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins (gas 4/150c).
  3. Meanwhile make the icing; beat together the softened butter, orange juice, vanilla and icing sugar until you have a thick but spreadable icing. Leave to one side.
  4. Once the cakes have cooled, take a teaspoon and remove the centre of each little cake.
  5. Place a heaped teaspoon of cranberry filling in the hole, then put back the little plug of cake and cover with icing.
  6. Rinse the whole cranberries, roll in sugar and arrange on top of the cakes.
  7. Tip: double the quantity of cranberry filling to use with the turkey or even as a relish with ham or cheese

Jo runs practical gardening courses from her idyllic home in Woodchurch. To find out more visit


  • Words and recipes Jo Arnell
  • Pictures David Merewether