Sunday, January 15, 2012

Orange Cream Cupcakes - by Lisa

Happy Anniversary to us! We started this blog on Jan 13, 2010! Hard to believe it's been 2 years already, and now we only have a few months left to go!

I decided to start with this one since it sounded plenty yummy and gave me a good excuse to try out the chocolate frosting recipe also in this cookbook. :) (I totally would've tried for the creamsicle approach using the cream cheese frosting, but I'd already made that with the carrot cupcakes, and quite frankly, we're starting to run out of recipes!)

This recipe had a few extra steps compared to other regular cupcake recipes due to the zesting and juicing of the oranges (and of course making the frosting), so I settled in for an evening of baking. I also decided to bust out my new 8 cup monster sifter which I LOVE! I was inspired by the style of sifter Summer has and when I found this one at the store, I knew it would work brilliantly for also handling mounds of powered sugar. It has not disappointed me yet!
This recipe actually tripped me up a little bit. It calls for vanilla in two separate places - added to the zest (which combined, gets added to the butter/sugar creaming) and also added to the half 'n' half/OJ/marmalade mixture. Since I couldn't quite sort it out, I just left it all with the zest and didn't add any to the half 'n' half mixture. Everything seemed to turn out just fine. :)
The cupcakes baked up really nicely after 18 minutes and while they cooled I got started on the chocolate frosting. I was excited to try out this frosting to see how it compared to the frosting I usually make. It was pretty easy to put together and I didn't need to do any extra thinning or thickening. I took a few samples and found it to be pretty darn yummy! I got it prepped in my icing tube and let it sit while the cupcakes finished completely cooling.

I came back about 30 minutes later and was surprised to find the frosting had gotten pretty solid! Enough that I had to stick the tube in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up. It wasn't long before I had them frosted and ready to eat. Hubby and I each thoroughly enjoyed our treats. It reminded him of a chocolate orange spice cake, and it reminded me of the orange chocolate candy - just in cake form. These were a nice alternative to regular flavored cupcakes, and since I love creamsicles, I am curious how they would taste with the cream cheese frosting!

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