Baked Good / Dessert / Uncategorized

P.S. Orange Cranberry Buttercream


Ok, I didn’t tell the whole truth. Yesterday’s brownies made with pistachio flour and dried cranberries are delicious. They have the added benefit of being easy to pack for a picnic, but if you want to “guild the lily” (I can be dragged into the “more is more” camp) they are outstanding with Orange Cranberry Buttercream; that’s the bitter(sweet) truth.

Yesterday Peter and I went to the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival to see The Ladder by Pete Fitz. He flew in from L.A. for the weekend’s events; there needed to be icing on the “cake”, err the celebratory brownies we took to the screening. The taste-test-end-pieces confirmed that brownies are delicious iced.

Cranberry Orange Buttercream  – enough for an 8 x 8 inch pan of brownies


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons fresh orange zest

juice of 1 medium sized orange

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon… (urp) marshmallow fluff…


1.  Grate the orange zest and set aside.

2.  Heat the orange juice and cranberries in a small sauce pan – cook over a medium heat until the juice has been absorbed by the cranberries.  If they don’t seem soft enough to hand (chop/mash) or process easily, add 1-2 tablespoons of water and continue to cook for a little longer. Set aside.  When cool enough to handle, chop with a knife, or pulse in a small food processor.

3.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light.  Add the powdered sugar and continue beating until well blended.  Add the cranberry mixture and “fluff”, and beat on high speed until fluffy and light pink in color.

4.  Spread on the cooled (chilled is better) brownies. If adding chocolate glaze remember to smooth the buttercream with a spatula.

Glaze ingredients:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup (3 oz.) bittersweet chocolate chips


1.  Melt the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water.  Remove from heat.  While the glaze is warm, pour it over the buttercream, tipping the pan to allow it to run evenly over the surface.  If the glaze has become too firm to “pour and run” easily, set in hot water for a minute or two, stirring until the consistency is loose enough.  Chill the brownies until the glaze is firm.

Enjoy watching these disappear as everyone, GF or not indulges!


4 thoughts on “P.S. Orange Cranberry Buttercream

    • You got it! Adds stability, helping the buttercream maintain a light/airy “body”. Once one goes over to the “dark” (fluff) side it’s tough to omit it as an ingredient unless making a traditional whipped cream buttercream which I often find too airy and buttery and won’t withstand much heat and/or humidity without a little conventional flour to help.

      • I’ll try it. When it works, I’ll use any nontraditional ingredient. I have a series coming up on a cake I made with a really odd ingredient recommended by a pastry chef. I was in disbelief at first, but now I use it all the time. 🙂

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