Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes

For the cutest little sweet treat this Christmas you need to try these chocolate cranberry cupcakes. A beautiful mix of chocolate and cranberries in a light fluffy cupcake topped with chocolate orange buttercream and golden stars.

To make these chocolate orange cupcakes you of course need a Terry’s chocolate orange. If you can’t get hold of one you can use milk chocolate and the zest of 1 orange. I’ve made both versions and they’re brilliant.

Why you’ll love this Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes recipe

Chocolate orange is a staple Christmas flavour and I just had to make a Chocolate orange slice cupcake recipe. It’s delicious and full of festive flavour.

This chocolate cranberry cupcakes recipe is perfect to whip out for Christmas parties. The mini cakes are always a hit and the cranberry goes perfectly with the rich chocolate frosting.

You can decorate the chocolate orange cranberry cupcakes however you wish and you could even get the little ones involved in decorating.

top view of Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes with dried cranberries and gold stars

Top Questions

Do cranberries and orange go together?
What makes a cupcake Fluffy?
How do you make cupcakes moist?
What is the best temperature to bake cupcakes at?


For the full recipe and instructions scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe card.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange

The perfect Christmas chocolate, I love chocolate orange and they make the perfect chocolate orange slice to decorate these cranberry orange cupcakes.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cranberry Bar

A new limited edition Christmas treat, the chocolate orange cranberry chocolate bar was top of my list to bake with this Christ. The tart cranberries add a great flavour to the traditional chocolate orange. Chopped up or grated the chocolate bar is vital for making these cranberry orange cupcakes.

Dried Cranberries

Not as tart as their fresh counterparts, dried cranberries are perfect for baking with as you don’t have to balance them with heaps of sugar. Mixing them into the cake batter adds a little hit of sharpness to the rich chocolate orange cupcakes.

How to make Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes – step by step

caster and sugar brown sugar in a mixing bowl
sugar and butter in a mixing bowl

Add the caster sugar and light brown soft sugar to a bowl.

Add in the unsalted butter or stork baking butter.

creamed together butter and sugar
mix in the eggs

Mix together until light and fluffy. The mix should be smooth and the sugar should have dissolved.

Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well to combine the mixture.

flour being sieved in to the cake mix

Sieve in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Give it a good stir.

Chop up the Terry’s Chocolate orange bar. Or a milk chocolate bar if you can’t find the bar.

Mix in the chocolate bar. If you have milk chocolate you can add some orange zest at this point to add the extra orange flavour.

dried cranberries on a chopping board
Chocolate Cranberry Cake mix ready to be baked

Chop up extra dried cranberries and mix them in.

Give everything a great mix together.

chocolate piped Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes with gold stars

Add the mixture to the cupcake cases and bake until golden brown.

Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes Top Tips

Use a piping bag or nozzle to pipe your chocolate buttercream icing onto the cranberry chocolate cupcakes. Buttercream frosting is easy to make, simply mix 1:1.5 parts sugar to softened butter and add your flavouring.

Decorate your Orange cranberry cupcakes with a Terry’s chocolate orange and a dried cranberry. They add extra flavour and look fantastic.

When beating together your butter and sugar, keep beating until the sugar has discolved. the longer you mix for the fluffier your batter becomes which makes for a soft and airy sponge.

Serving Suggestions

Mini Chocolate cupcakes are perfect Christmas party food. They’re sweet, full of festive flavour and make great edible gifts!

Make sure your chocolate orange cranberry cupcakes are completely cooled before trying to ice them, otherwise, your icing may melt and lose that gorgeous chocolate rose.

Tiny golden star sprinkles make lovely decorations for your to serve your cupcakes with – I love how they look like the night sky.


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Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes decorated

I love how simple these Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes are to decorate. A swirl of chocolate buttercream, gold star sprinkles, chocolate orange segment and dried cranberry.

Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes – Substitutions and variations

Gluetn Free Cupcakes

Swap your flour for a gluten free alternative and follow the recipe as before, I’ve heard some say you need extra baking powder in a gluten free cupcake so you can adjust the quantities as you need.

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Don’t like cranberries? You can make these cupcakes with the zest of a whole orange mixed into the batter before baking. Don’t forget the cocoa powder too, this rich flavour pairs perfectly with the Christmas Cupcakes.

Large Cranberry Chocolate Cake

If you are serving a big group or fancy making a Christmas cake, why not make this a Christmas Tray bake or a chocolate orange Victoria sponge. Instead of spooning the mix into cupcake cakes, pour it into a line cake tin.

You may need to adjust the baking time slightly. This recipe makes for a wonderful Cranberry chocolate orange tray bake cake.

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

If you’re looking for another Christmas cupcake recipe, try making my amazing chocolate chip cupcakes. They’re delicious and so easy to make, they always go down a treat at my Christmas parties.

Storing / Making ahead of time options

Cupcakes are best eaten on the day they are baked, if left out overnight the cake can harden and go a little dry. If you do have leftover chocolate orange cranberry cupcakes pop them in an airtight container and they’ll keep for a couple of days.

Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes with chocolate orange slice


Do cranberries and orange go together?

Yes! Cranberries and orange go perfectly together, the strong citrus taste along with the tart cranberries is a match made in festive heaven. I loved using cranberries and orange in my Christmas Cupcake recipe.

What makes a cupcake Fluffy?

Cupcakes are made fluffy by creaming together your butter and sugar for a little longer than you expect, until the sugar has dissolved. Until they look smooth and fluffy. You also want to avoid over-mixing your batter once the wet and dry ingredients are combined, this can result in a chewy cake.

How do you make cupcakes moist?

You make cupcakes moist by not over-baking them in the oven. If you leave your cakes in the oven too long or at too high a temperature they can over-bake and go dry. Keep your cupcakes moist by cooking them at about 180degrees Celsius.

What is the best temperature to bake cupcakes at?

The best temperature to bake cupcakes is about 180ºC for regular oven or 160ºC if you have a fan oven.

If you cook your cupcakes too high they may burn on top before fully baking in the middle. But too low and they’ll take a long time and won’t puff up to form that classic cupcake shape.

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Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes

Sisley White
For the cutest little sweet treat this Christmas you need to try these chocolate cranberry cupcakes. A beautiful mix of chocolate and cranberries in a light fluffy cupcake topped with chocolate orange buttercream and golden stars.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Decorating Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Bakes, Cakes, Party Food, Sweet Treats
Cuisine American, British, International
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 298 kcal



  • 125 grams (4 ⅖ oz) unsalted butter or a baking butter like stork
  • 125 grams (4 ⅖ oz) light brown soft sugar
  • 2 (2) medium eggs
  • 125 grams (1 cups) self-raising flour
  • 0.5 teaspoon (½ teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons (1 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 80 g (2 ⅚ oz) Terry's Chocolate Bar
  • 50 g (1 ¾ oz) dried cranberries
  • zest of half an orange

Buttercream Ingredients

  • 60 g (2 ⅛ oz) unsalted butter
  • 80 g (2 ⅚ oz) icing sugar / confectioners sugar
  • 80 g (2 ⅚ oz) Cream Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons (3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • sprinkles
  • dried cranberries


  • Add cupcake cases to a cupcake tin and preheat the oven to 180ºC/ 160º fan/ 356ºF.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one a time and mix in.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder in to the mix and gently stir it in.
  • Chop up the chocolate and add to the mix.
  • Lightly chop the dried cranberries and add to the mixture along with the orange zest.
  • Add the mixture to the cupcake cases.
  • Pop into the oven and bake for 12-18 minutes until golden brown and until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • In a mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar together to make a smooth buttercream.
  • Drain off any excess water in the cream cheese and add it to the buttercream mix along with the vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
  • Beat again until smooth and pop it in the fridge to set slightly.
  • When the cupcakes are cool, add the buttercream to a pipping bag with a star nozzle. Pipe the buttercream on each cupcake. Add your decorations and serve,
  • Add your decorations and serve.



Calories: 298kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 3gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 73mgPotassium: 88mgFiber: 1gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 515IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg

Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

Keyword bake, cake, chocolate, Chocolate Cranberry Cake, Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes, chocolate orange cupcakes, Cranberries, Cranberry, cranberry cupcakes, cupcakes, Terry’s Chocolate Orange
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

19 thoughts on “Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes”

  1. 5 stars
    I made these cupcakes today for a family gathering. They were so moist and flavorful. The combination of chocolate and cranberry is perfect!

  2. 5 stars
    Th pics were so gorgeous – I had to give it a try! The cupcakes were delicious and my kids were delighted! Wish I had those cute star sprinkles – just used what I had in my pantry – still a winner!

  3. 5 stars
    These Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes are a fab way to spice up a chocolate cupcake recipe, and to add chocolate orange buttercream too is the perfect seasonal flavour combo. Reckon I can attempt these free from dairy and gluten too!


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