Adding Ethanol to Frosting: Cranberry-Vodka Frosting

Some months ago, after a long day at work, I was nibbling on some cranberries and thought about having a drink...

Then I started thinking about creating some new cupcake flavors and frostings to experiment with for a fundrasing event for a group of Pub Crawlers... Then it hit me:

Cranberries + Vodka+ Frosting = Cranberry-Vodka Frosting!!!


0. 25 cup Dried Cranberries or Canned Cranberry Sauce (Ocean Spray is good for either)
0. 25 cup Your Favorite Vodka (I used Stoli)
0. 25 cup Vegetable Spread or baking sticks
0. 25 cup Butter ( replace with butter substitute  for a vegan recipe)
2 cups Confectioners Sugar (more as needed)

Step 1: Soak cranberries in the vodka (the longer the better!!!) and blend, or you can use Cranberry Sauce in the can smashed and  mixed with Vodka. You should get a nice thick puree. If the vodka did not completely soak into the cranberries add more cranberries to make it less runny.

Step 2: Beat butter, shortening and blended cranberries until smooth and then add sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you obtain your desired sweetness and consistency. Adding more powered sugar will help if your initial puree was too runny.

Note: Leaving off the alcohol makes and awesome Cranberry Buttercream!

The awesome berry taste and natural pink color this frosting makes requires little garnishing... A vodka soaked cranberry to top a Cranberry-Vodka Cupcake!


  1. Sooo, how did your cranberry-vodka icing taste? I've only ever had one dessert with alcohol in it that I can recall - rum balls - and with those, you could definitely taste the rum.

  2. Hi Karl! It tasted great, this is actually one of my most popular cakes! You definitely won't get drunk off of this recipe but I accompany it with a cranberry-vodka Cupcake so between the two you definitely taste the vodka and the sweet berries. :)

  3. Will this work with .5 cup butter, no shortening? It's the only ingredient I don't already have on hand, and was hoping to make this without a trip to the store.

  4. Hi Nicole! Yes, you can replace the shortening with butter in this recipe! I'd love to see/hear how it comes out and what you think of it! Happy Baking!

  5. So, the frosting ended up a pretty runny mess. I think this has more to do with my cranberry puree being too runny, and I ended up adding more cranberries and around 2/3 cup more sugar to make it usable. Tastes great, though!

    I put it on the orange cupcakes from here:
    A nice combination.

  6. Wow! Cranberry Vodka Orange Cupcakes sounds like a deliciously awesome concoction!!! I'm glad you liked the frosting. Feel free to share a pic here (That is if you haven't eaten them all up already!) Next time soak the dried cranberries in the vodka at least 1 day before to prevent a runny puree! :)


Your contribution and comments to this experiment is a great catalyst. Thank you for your participation!

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