Mom and I love cranberries so much we could have just eaten this leftover relish on its own, but I had to use some of it as a cupcake filling. I call this a relish rather than a sauce because it was a chopped mix of cranberries, apples, and other fruits. I wish I could be more specific, but this was someone else's contribution to our potluck Thanksgiving dinner, so all I can be sure of is that it was delicious.
People loved the tartness of the lemon, I think it pairs nicely with the cranberry, and has a good balance of sweetness. This recipe would work with pretty much any cranberry sauce, though I think it's best with something with texture, chunks of actual cranberry rather than rings from where it was sitting in a can.
Cranberry Lemon Cupcakes
made a dozen regular-sized cupcakes and 45 minis
- 1 box lemon cake mix
- 1 can Sprite Zero
- a few drops lemon extract
- sprinkle of dried lemon zest
- leftover cranberry relish (or sauce)
- about 1 cup powdered sugar
- less than a tablespoon lemon juice
- dried cranberries for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix and can of soda together, adding additional extract and zest just to boost the lemon flavor. Note: you can of course use your own preferred lemon cake recipe.
- Fill lined mini-cupcake tins about half full of batter. Add about a teaspoon of cranberry relish, pushing it into the batter until it's mostly covered. For the full-sized cupcakes, scoop in batter about 2/3 full, add a little more relish, and then top with a little more batter rather than pushing in the relish.
- Place in the oven and bake, about 10 minutes for minis, 15 for the full-size. When fully baked, remove and allow to cool.
- In a mug or small bowl, mix powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until a glaze forms. The consistency should be relatively thick to avoid the glaze running down the cupcake liner.
- Using a spoon, apply a circle of glaze on each cupcake, and top with a dried cranberry.