These might possibly be the *most* vibrant cupcakes I’ve ever made. The orange in the frosting just pops and let me tell you, the look of child-like glee on the faces of friends and family when they get an eyeful of orange-y goodness is definitely worth it! Not to mention the delightful whiff of creamy orange that wafts out of the container when its first opened… salivation city 🙂
This week, in between deep cleaning the hot tub, growing some super badass cherry tomatoes, planting my sugar pumpkins, and hanging out with my amazing niece, I decided to try something bright and summery for cupcakes. (I made Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes also – recipe coming soon ;-).) Some little lady didn’t want me to dig up her favorite sleeping spot….
But barely a week later…check out the sprouts from these pumpkins!
Can you imagine how many pumpkin flavored goodies I’m going to have this fall? Heaven! But seriously, back to orange…I used freshly squeezed orange juice, and a little bit of orange extract to really intensify the orange flavor. The combination of vanilla and heavy cream in the frosting has a balancing effect on that intensity. The technique used to achieve the “swirl” of colors is pretty basic, and wonderfully simple – just add a drop or two of orange food coloring into an empty piping bag and “crinkle” (or crumple) the bag until all sides of your piping bag are coated with orange coloring. Add your frosting and when you begin to pipe the food coloring will work its magic. The result is super creamy, extra dreamy, amazingly vibrant Orange Dreamsicle cupcakes – enjoy!
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange food coloring *optional for orange color
- 1 cup high ratio shortening *high ratio tastes the best, but Crisco or store brand can be used
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract *optional but recommended, adds intense orange flavor
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add liquid ingredients and whisk lightly until combined, then slowly whisk in surrounding dry ingredients until fully combined. Do not overmix.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 12-14 minutes. At the 12 minute mark keep a close eye on the cupcakes so they do not over bake. The tops should spring back when touched but should not be browned.
- Allow to cool before frosting.
- In a stand mixer with your whisk attachment, whip shortening, vanilla, and orange extract for 2-3 minutes on medium-high until combined and shortening has achieved a fluffier consistency.
- Turn mixer off and add powdered sugar, heavy cream and begin with 2 tablespoons of orange juice.
- Start your mixer on low just until about 2/3 of the powdered sugar has been incorporated (or you will have a sugar storm on your hands).
- Turn your mixer on medium high and whip frosting for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add more orange juice for a thinner consistency.
- To achieve beautiful orange stripes in your frosting, put 1-2 drops of orange food coloring in an empty piping bag and "crinkle" the bag until all sides are covered with some of the coloring. Add frosting and begin piping onto cupcakes!