Orange And Cranberry Cupcakes

Weeks before Christmas are always a pressured time of the year. What with all the plans, gifts to buy, school activities to take part, holidays to organise... Making endless lists and leaving them at home (No? That must be me then). I am still undecided on the final menu for Christmas, as it depends on how many people we'll have over. Do I cook a turkey or go for the less conventional salmon? I have more or less set my mind that I am going to buy a big panettone for Christmas as we all love it. We'll have mince pies too and lots of chocolate. Not sure about the Christmas pudding, I am not the biggest fan, and it is quite heavy on the stomach, especially after a big meal.
Tea and cakes always help to alleviate a bit of stress. Yesterday I have tested a recipe for orange and cranberry cupcakes as sent to me by Rachel's Organic

Orange and cranberry cupcakes (recipe reproduced with kind permission from Rachel's Organic)Ingredients:225g margarine or butter, softened225g caster sugar225g self raising flour3 large eggs100g Rachel’s low fat vanilla yogurt70g dried cranberries, choppedOrange zest, juice of ½ orange
To Decorate:250g icing sugar30g Rachel’s low fat vanilla yogurt
Preparation time: 15 mins           Cooking time: 15 mins                   Makes: 12 cakes

1.       Heat the oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas Mark 5. Arrange paper cases in muffin or bun tins. Place the margarine, sugar, flour and eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat for about two minutes until smooth, light and fluffy. Fold in the yogurt, dried cranberries, orange zest and juice. Divide the mixture between the cases so that they are half filled and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
2.       To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with the yogurt and mix until smooth. Tip: the icing should be runny and flow.
3.       Decorate each cake with a blob of icing and spread with a palette knife. Alternatively, leave to run to the edges of the paper case. Leave the icing to set.
4.       Cakes will keep in an airtight container for up to four days.
I have slightly changed the recipe by reducing the amount of sugar to 180g and butter to 180g, and used Rachel's Oragnica Greek Style Lemon yogurt.For the icing I mixed the icing sugar with orange juice.My younger son decorated some cupcakes with festive edition Jelly beans.

And for a more grown up version I used glace cherries and some red sparkle dust that I have discovered in Waitrose.