1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup dried cranberries (3 oz), finely chopped
5 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup dulce de leche
1/2 cup pecans (2 oz), finely chopped, toasted, and cooled
Special equipment: 12 paper muffin-cup liners; a muffin pan with 12 (1/3- to 1/2-cup) muffin cups
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in muffin cups.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing just until incorporated. Fold in cranberries.
- Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until pale golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn cupcakes out onto a rack and cool 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in a bowl with cleaned beaters until smooth, then add dulce de leche and a pinch of salt and beat until combined well. Stir in half of pecans.
- Spread frosting generously on cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with remaining pecans.