2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, divided
1 box (18.25 ounces) white cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon orange zest
24 paper muffin liners
1 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar or decorating sugar
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
Coarsely chop 1 ½ cup cranberries. In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, water, oil and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in cranberries and the orange zest. Put liners in muffin tins. Fill cups two-thirds of the way. Bake cupcakes in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting. In a bowl, toss remaining fresh cranberries with orange juice. Then, add sugar and toss to coat. Decorate the top of each cupcake with a few sugar coated cranberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:
Use a mixer to beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add 3 to 4 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Use a knife or piping bag to frost cupcakes.