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 the goods

4oz / 125g butter

1/2 cup (4oz)/ 110ml  canola oil (any vegetable oil)

1 3/4 cups / 375g  sugar

3 eggs

1 heaped tblspn cocoa

1/2 cup unsweetened, unconcentrated cranberry juice

2  cups self raising flour

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, let sit few minutes)

1 tspn baking soda

1 cup dried cranberries


1 lb / 450g cream cheese 

zest 1 orange, 1 lemon

2 cups  icing  (confectioners) sugar

1-2 tspns lemon juice


time: 20minutes active, 

20 minutes each batch, makes about 30 cupcakes

you will need:

cupcake pan
electric beaters
mixing bowl


cranberry velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Kids want two things on Christmas; presents and desserts. Stuff the turkey.

So, much as I love my pudding, I decided to let my two guests have a little fun with dessert.

Knowing that Kate (5) and Emmy (3) would be itching to get into the presents under the tree, I made a tower of cupcakes for dessert and whilst the adults sat down and ate dinner, the girls used coloured icing pens to decorate the cupcakes.

preheat the oven to 400f / 200c

cream the butter, sugar and canola oil in a large mixing bowl

add eggs one at a time

add the cranberry juice and cocoa, beat to combine.

add the flour, buttermilk and baking soda. Beat until batter feels light and velvety (a couple of minutes), Add the cranberries and stir to incorporate.

bake in cupcake pans for about 15-20 minutes, they are done when they start browning on top and surface stays firm when tapped lightly.

These cakes are light and fragile. Quite delicious and the mix makes about 30...perfect as this gives you 2 dozen to fill a cupcake tower with a few spare for 'baker's privileges'


place cream cheese (room temp) and zest into a large mixing bowl

beat with electric beaters until cream cheese had increased in volume.

add half of the confectioners sugar and beat until incorporated, Add the rest. continue beating as you add the lemon juice. Beat 1-2 minutes further until velvety and light.