Easy Cranberry Orange Cupcakes!

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I love me some cupcakes! I mean who doesn’t love them some cute sized cakes?  These are made half scratch. Half scratch in this case means that I started with  a mix, but then elaborated.  I started with a muffin mix, Martha White’s Cranberry Orange Muffin Mix, to be exact. I like to buy these muffin pouches in a variety when Kroger’s offers them  10/$10, or less.   We had the blueberry pouch yesterday and while I still was in the mood for muffins, I found myself more in the mood for extra sweetness. So here’s what happened:

Preheated oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

1 pouch of Cranberry Orange Muffin Mix from Martha White   (=1/4 cup mix)

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup butter (Smart Balance Light for a non-dairy alternative that works)

::Combined the above with a mixer (I prefer a stand alone)::   Added:

2tbs soymilk

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

::Mixed::

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking soda (or was it 2…seriously…I was playing in the kitchen..use your wiser than I kitchen knowledge)

1/2 cup flour  (this is at the end of the recipe, because I realized I needed more flour for the desired consistancy – you may want to add it with the first set of ingredients)

::Mixed::

1/2 tsp orange extract

::Mixed::

Lined a 12 count cupcake pan with muffin liners (super cool imitiation transformer ones)

Filled each muffin cup 3/4 full

Baked for 17min (Mine came out a little too brown, so I’d suggest cutting it back to 12-15min)

Neeext, let them cool…this is tricky.

Once cooled, I topped them with a chocolate frosting/glaze (not sure which is correct to call it by.. because it’s neither really) For our purposes, we’ll call it a frosted glaze.  If you want to make it and I recommend that you do, here’s how:

(Triple this, as I did not have enough to cover all 12 cupcakes) Melt 8 dove dark chocolate squares with 2tsp of butter (again Smart Balance light for the non dairy version)

Add a trickle of orange extract to the melted chocolate and butter

Frost your cupcakes and let the chocoalte frosted glaze sit for a little bit. This will allow the texture to form.

Now, EAT!

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After Thoughts:    This recipe isn’t mind blowing and it doesn’t yield the normal cupcakey texture, although the texture is much softer and lighter than a muffin. You could easily use any flavor of the pouches in place of the cranberry orange and just as easily adjustable is the flavoring added to the frosted glaze. A handful of fresh cranberries could really do wonders if added to the mix, maybe even some pineapple would be nice.

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