Orange Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Orange Frosting are an amazing take on white cupcakes. The orange flavor is subtle in the cupcake and a bit bolder in the frosting.
I love white cake. There is something pure, delicate and simple about it. Yet somehow, white cake means special occasions – birthdays, weddings, baby showers. These orange cupcakes are really just white cupcakes with a delicate orange twist.
The big orange flavor comes from the cream cheese orange frosting. They are perfect any time of year, but especially appropriate in the winter when citrus is at its best, or in the spring, when the fruity flavor just shouts that warmer weather is here to stay a while.
White cake is a little tricky to get moist and delicate and still keep it that glorious, pure white color. I experimented with a lot of combinations and recipes and the one I finally settled on is adapted from The First Year Blog.
The only change I made was to add orange extract to give my cupcakes a hint of subtle orange flavor. I then adjusted the other liquid (milk) to keep the total amount of liquids the same.
Her recipe says it will make 12 cupcakes. I actually got 14 from mine. When piping a good bit of frosting on top you don’t want a tall, domed cupcake so I only filled my cupcake liners 2/3 full. If you don’t plan to pipe your frosting on fairly high you can fill the liners 3/4 full and make only 12.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
What a fun and mouthwatering frosting! Around here we love, love, love anything with cream cheese in it. You can easily tell by the dishes we create using it. Our Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes are a fine example as is our Smoked Fish Dip (Beach Bar Style). But, frosting with cream cheese is really the crowning glory of cream cheese recipes – the icing on the cake!
I made this frosting the night before I put it on the cupcakes. It refrigerated overnight and then I had to let it come to room temperature or it wouldn’t have piped or spread easily.
The time those ingredients spent together just made for a fabulous frosting. The orange flavor really pops! If you don’t have time for that it’s still going to be a a wonderful frosting, but if you do, why not give it a whirl?
If you love unique frosting flavors you’ll also want to check out our Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Frosting. It goes great on fall treats like cupcakes, cookies and sheetcakes.
Several Ways to Frost Your Cupcakes
You can certainly frost your cupcakes the simple, old fashioned way and just spread the icing on with a knife or small spatula.
If you want that “piped” on look, but don’t have piping bags or tips you can always add the frosting to a baggie and cut off one corner. I’ve used that method plenty of times for filling deviled eggs (like our extra special Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs), frosting cupcakes or decorating anything with whipped cream.
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I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip for making these cupcakes. A 12 inch decorating bag was just right for holding this amount of frosting and you can order both, as well as any number of other decorating tips by clicking these links:
- A Selection of Decorating Tips can be ordered here
- decorating bags can be ordered here
- closure clips for decorating bags
For another look and an equally delicious cupcake be sure to check out our Blueberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Garnish Ideas for Orange Cupcakes
Now here’s where the fun comes in. The possibilities are of course, endless. I didn’t have orange sprinkles, but that would be really festive. What I did have was pearly non-pareils and they were so pretty.
I also used small orange curls and tiny little wedges of orange (you would only want to do that right before serving – no longer than an hour before). And, you can never go wrong with a little mint leaf. Oh, and sanding sugar. It gives your orange cupcakes a little sparkle. Here’s a whole list of ideas:
- orange curls
- orange sprinkles
- sanding sugar
- orange slices (little wedges)
- mint leaves
- mini edible orange butterflies (these are awesome!)
If you love mini cupcakes (and who doesn’t?) you’ll want to make These. Carrot Cake Cupcake Mini’s are perfect when you want to offer something sweet that’s just a couple of bites.
This recipe made our top 10 of annual favorites. Click over here to see them all.
Orange Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat sugar and butter together with electric mixer for 2 minutes..
- Add egg whites one at a time, beating on low speed for about 30 seconds after each.
- Add sour cream, milk, vanilla and extracts and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.
- In separate bowl combine dry ingredients.
- Add to wet ingredients gradually, and beat lightly after each addition.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake additional 8-10 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center.
- After 5 minutes remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- Blend butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
- Stir in extract, zest and and sugar and stir until smooth.
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