Pear and Cranberry Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lovely to behold and scrumptious to the last bite. A blend of tangy cranberries, sweet ripe pears and a hint of warm spices make a perfect cupcake for Christmas, or anytime you want to impress. The frosting is a creamy and luscious Flour Buttercream that can be spread on with a simple swirl of an offset spatula, or use a pastry bag and decorating tip for something a little fancier. To make holiday bright, these cupcakes are topped with a glittering holly-shaped leaf made with rolled fondant, sugared cranberries, and gold dragees.
Recipe type: Dessert | Cupcakes | Butter Cakes
Ingredients
Batter:
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped into small pieces
Flour Buttercream:
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Decorations:
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two standard 12-cup muffin pans; line with paper cupcake liners.
Batter:
  1. Peel, core, and dice the pears into ¼ inch pieces. Place in a medium bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir gently to mix, set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir the milk and vanilla together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the pears and cranberries into the batter.
  8. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill about ⅔ full, using about ¼ cup of batter per cup. Tip: Avoid over-filling the liners which may cause the batter to run-over the sides when baking. It is better to bake any remaining batter separately after the first pan of cupcakes has finished baking.
  9. Bake: Bake, rotating pan halfway through, 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and a toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in cupcake pan on a wire cooling rack, and turn out of pan when cool enough to handle. Repeat process with any remaining batter. Cool cupcakes completely on the wire cooling rack before frosting.
Flour Buttercream:
  1. In a medium heavy saucepan, add the flour, and using a wire whisk, slowly whisk in the milk, whisking until the sauce is smooth and free of lumps. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Boil and whisk for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature, or a tepid temperature. While cooling, whisk frequently to keep the sauce smooth. Tip: If the sauce is too warm when added to the creamed butter mixture it will melt the butter. If the sauce is too cold it will not blend smoothly.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the butter and sugar when the sauce is almost cooled to the right temperature. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the cooled sauce, adding 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating about 20 seconds between each addition. Add the vanilla and continue to beat for another 1 to 2 minutes to thoroughly blend and the frosting in somewhat fluffy. The frosting should be used immediately, or refrigerate until needed.
  4. Use a small offset spatula to frost the top of each cupcake.
Decorations:
  1. Plan on making the leaves at least a day in advance so they will be ready when time to use. Use Rolled Fondant and tint the fondant with forest green food coloring. If adding edible glitter to the leaves, brush one side of the leaves very lightly with water and then dust with glitter. Set aside to dry.
  2. Place a leaf in the top of the frosting, add 3 sugared cranberries, and then sprinkle the frosting with gold dragees.
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Standard 12-Cup Muffin Pans Pan Prep: Paper Liners Oven Temp: 350° Yield: 2½ dozen Cupcakes Storage: Covered, Room Temperature or Refrigerate

Help: Cake Hints and Tips, Rolled Fondant Tips, Sugared Cranberries

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Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cupcakes/pear-and-cranberry-cupcakes/