December 13, 2011

leftover leftovers?

If, on the off chance, you still have some cranberry sauce hanging around from Thanksgiving, you're a)a slacker, and b)much like me.


I've mentioned before that I find expiration dates to be mere suggestions, and that goes for weeks-old cranberry sauce as well. In looking for an inventive way to use the stuff, my thoughts immediately turned to cupcakes, as that's obviously my obsession right now. My first question to myself was what flavor cupcake base to use, and having always enjoyed the cranberry-orange combination, I decided that was the way to go. Then, I fondly recalled my maple buttercream and chose to use that as the finishing touch.

These were what I would call outrageously good. I added pecans to the cupcake batter for a little contrast in textures and it was a nice component. The sauce was superbly tart against the oh-so-sweet frosting, and the orange in the cupcakes was subtle but appreciated.


If, like most normal people, you took care of your cranberry sauce leftovers long ago, I think it's worth it to make it all over again just for these cupcakes.

Leftover Cranberry-Orange Cupcakes
(based on these)
(makes 12)
4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, chopped
about 1 cup of leftover cranberry sauce
maple buttercream frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Cream butter, sugar, and orange zest until pale and fluffy. With mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl.
Combine cream, orange juice, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with cream mixture, ending with flour; beat until just combined.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until testers inserted in the centers come out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Undecorated cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 1 day (or frozen for up to 2 months).
To fill the cupcakes, carve out a cone-shaped hole (don't you dare let it go to waste!) and carefully spoon the sauce inside. Apply frosting generously to cupcakes and, after giving the components a few minutes to get to know each other, devour.

44 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful idea! That filling is dreamlike.

Cheers,

Rosa

Von said...

Expiration dates being suggestions is a great way to put it! I'm like that too ;) I've still yet to taste cranberry (so no, I don't have any cranberry sauce in the fridge...unfortunately!) but its inclusion in this delicious looking cupcake makes it seem even better than it did before!

Joanne said...

I have fresh cranberries, not cranberry sauce...but close enough. And yes, it's definitely because I'm lazy. And yes, I think these definitely need to be made to make up for the lazy factor. Hellagood.

bellini said...

I know there will be more cranberry sauce over the holidays!

Lynda said...

I love this idea, but we done ate all of the cranberry sauce. But I'm planning on making more today as I'm still madly craving it. I'll try to save some for these amazing looking cupcakes Grace. You come up with such delicious flavor combinations!

Melleah said...

Yum!

TKW said...

Those are gorgeous little morsels! Definitely better than cranberry sauce in its original form!

Elizabeth said...

The texture of the cake and the icing look perfect!

Pam said...

I will make some cranberry sauce again!!

foodhoe said...

that looks so good, I'm drooling!

Mini Baker said...

that second picture is a thing of BEAUTY!!! love it.

vianney said...

This is a great idea, we always have leftovers!!

Dana said...

I made cupcakes very similar to these. So good! I'll have to try your recipe!

http://www.thefunkykitchen.com/2011/07/10/cranberry-orange-fairy-cakes/

Hornsfan said...

Love it! I tend to be a little more leniant with my expiration dates too (I have to say this quietly or my little sis will show up and empty my fridge, she's an expiration date nazi).....yummy use of that sauce!

scrambledhenfruit said...

Thanksgiving cranberry sauce is gone, but Christmas is coming! I'll just have to make extra to be sure and have leftovers. These cupcakes look yummy! :)

Pam said...

Loving the combination of flavors. The frosting looks so delicious.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Leftovers have NEVER looked this good! :o

Barbara said...

I always put some cranberries in the freezer...making another batch of sauce would be well worth the effort just to make these cupcakes, Grace. Delish!

The Blonde Duck said...

This just gives me an excuse to make more!

Faith said...

I'm kicking myself for finishing off the last of the cranberry sauce...but you're right, these beauties absolutely warrant making more!

oneordinaryday said...

What a clever idea. The flavors go together perfectly.

Juliana said...

I do, I do, I do have a can of cranberry sauce...and this is perfect for it, much nicer than what I planned for it. So pretty and tasty with orange.
Hope you are having a wonderful week Grace, and thank you so much for this excellent recipe :-)

Lisa-Marie said...

I think it's safe to say someone will be getting these as a hostess present over the festive period!

Marjie said...

Everyone else tires of the cranberry sauce, but I have a little every day for lunch until it's gone. These cupcakes would be a good alternative, at least as far as everyone else is concerned!

Becki's Whole Life said...

Cranberries and pecans - what a great flavor combo for cupcakes. And then you add in the orange - even better....and the maple buttercream? Wow, these sound absolutely delicious. Perfect combination of flavors..I wonder if my daughter would like these for her birthday party this weekend? If not I will have her look at some of your other cupcakes - you have had some great ones lately!

Beth said...

Oh my -- what a wonderful combination! Forget leftovers; I'd buy cranberries especially for this recipe!

lisa is cooking said...

I will happily make more cranberry sauce to fill these cupcakes. These look amazing, and I love this combo of flavors.

Julie M. said...

What a gorgeous combination of flavors Grace! I love what you've done with the leftover leftovers.

Carolyn Jung said...

People do get pretty paranoid about expiration dates. But most of the times, it's just the date the store has to sell it by. The stuff is usually fine for weeks on after that. Hey, I'm still alive, after all. LOL

Erica said...

I don't like leftovers,but I would love those cupcakes!!!Happy holidays!

Velva said...

I do, I do have weeks old cranberry sauce in the refrigerator. These cupcakes look divine. I suddenly feel inspired.

Velva

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

I am already craving and drooling over these:) thank you for sharing this and have a great weekend.

Hotly Spiced said...

We never seem to have much in the way of leftovers (I blame the teenagers) but if I did I would hope to make something as pretty as this.

Leslie said...

Ohhh man...I just threw out my cranberry sauce yesterday. It was hiding in the back of the fridge.
These sound scrumptious!

Angie's Recipes said...

You are creative! The cupcakes with cranberry sauce leftover look amazing!

Hungry Dog said...

Good idea! I have no cranberry sauce left but agree that these cupcakes are a great excuse to make some more. Happy holidays, Grace!

vanillasugarblog said...

well we had no leftover cranberry sauce as we had sushi for thnaksgiving. lol
that one photo of the middle is food porn ms grace!

The Teacher Cooks said...

I do have some leftover and will be trying these wonderful looking cakes!!!

Lori said...

I have some frozen cranberries but let me tell you my cranberry sauce was gone the day of Thanksgiving. I am thinking about make more. And while I am at it I could totally make these. They look delicious!

shaz said...

This has to be the most brilliant use of leftovers I've seen in a while Grace. Well done! I have dried cranberries in the fridge, so tempted to turn them into sauce just so I can make these :)

Emily said...

That last picture is GORGEOUS! These cupcakes look amazing! I've never had a cranberry stuffed cupcake before.

Natasha Price said...

So yummy, a very creative use of a leftover cranberry sauce!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Oooh cranberries and orange are definitely a perfect match! I would maybe even dare add white chocolate? :)

Half Baked said...

What a great idea to use up leftover cranberry sauce! I too think exasperation dates are merely a suggestion;)