Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Well, my snow day has turned into a snow week. The snow here in southeastern Virginia has shut down everything and has given me, at this point, too many days off – everyone is my house has a serious case of cabin fever! With that being said, I decided to try another cupcake recipe to battle against the boredom and to give everyone a bit of a sugar high. Today I baked a variation of the basic cupcake recipe and made orange cupcakes. I then decided to top them with a buttercream frosting variation and make chocolate buttercream. Mmmmmm! Orange & chocolate, one of my favorite flavor combinations! I also got to use the cute cupcake Ferris Wheel that I bought from my son’s PTA fundraiser. It was a completely silly purchase and probably takes up way too much room when in storage, but I couldn’t resist!

As I assumed, the cupcakes were delicious! At first I was a little worried because they didn’t rise quite as well as the chocolate cupcakes from the other day, but that didn’t seem to affect the taste or texture (I assume that the orange zest had something to do with it). Nothing too fancy for decorations today either. I did find some leftover orange and white polka dot cupcake papers that fit perfectly though and also finished the frosting off with some orange sugar. Overall, I am very pleased. I’m not sure that I will ever walk away having to say that I was not pleased, but you never know. Enjoy!

…don’t mind the pictures. They were taken in my dark (and not the cleanest) kitchen. 🙂

Orange Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • generous 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • finely grated rind of 1 small orange
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • scant 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 tbsp milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ÂşF/180ÂşC. Put 12 paper liners in a shallow muffin pan.
  2. Put the butter, sugar, and orange zest into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat together until the batter is pale, light, and fluffy.
  3. Gradually beat in the eggs. Add about 1 tablespoonful at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract. Using a large metal strainer or a sifter, sift the flour into the bowl.
  5. Using a metal spoon, gently fold the flour into the batter until thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Add the milk and fold gently into the batter.
  7. The cupcake batter should have a smooth consistency and drop easily from the spoon if tapped on the side of the bowl.
  8. Carefully spoon the batter into the paper liners, being careful not to overfill them.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are risen, golden, and just firm to the touch.
  10. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • scant 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Directions:

  1. Place the butter and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until very soft and pale.
  2. Add a small amount of hot water to the cocoa powder to create a paste and beat into butter and vanilla until incorporated.
  3. Gradually sift in the confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition. The more you beat at this stage, the lighter and fluffier the frosting will be. Beat in the milk to produce a softer consistency for piping.