Happy Monday, friends! We actually got some rain here in SoCal this weekend, so Andrew and I spent some time relaxing at home, and we had brunch with his grandparents on Sunday. Like all weekends, it went by way too fast! So today I’m pretending that it’s hot and sunny, no matter where you live.
I’ve always been a big fan orange creamsicles. But I’m a bigger fan of orange Italian ice with vanilla soft serve from Frostbites – easily one of my three favorite flavors. Andrew and I have gotten into this great habit of walking to Frostbites (so close to our apartment!) 2-3 times a week to get their sorbet creams. At least it gets us to go for a walk, right?
Anyway, these dreamy orange creamsicle cupcakes were a request from my coworker for his birthday (you’re welcome Terell). Let me tell you something about these cupcakes – they were work. Although delicious and moist and creamy, this were one of the most high maintenance cupcake recipes I’ve tried because I messed with the ingredients so much that I was worried they wouldn’t bake right. Luckily, they came out a bit dense but still very moist and delicious. Dense cupcakes are not my first choice, so I look forward to revamping this recipe in the future, but they still tasted really dreamy, made with orange zest and a soft cream filling, topped with an orange cream cheese frosting to really give it that orange creamsicle taste. The cream filling was the best though! Definitely my favorite part of the cupcake.
Orange creamsicle cupcake ingredients (makes about 12 cupcakes):
- 3 tbs butter, soft
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbs orange zest
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (pulp free)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (can substitute whole milk)
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
First, make your orange zest and squeeze your orange juice. I like fresh the best! You can also use a non-concentrate orange juice though if you want to make it a little easier. To make the orange zest, use a cheese grater to shred the peels of an orange into a bowl. About one orange will yield the tablespoon of zest you need. It adds amazing flavor!
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in one bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, vegetable oil and orange zest until smooth. Beat in the sugar, followed by the egg, mixing well in between. Add in the orange juice and vanilla. The batter will still be very thin at this point. Mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by 1/3 of the heavy cream and repeat until the batter is smooth.
Divide the batter between lined cupcake cavities and bake on 350 degrees 22-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- 2 tbs heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
To make the cream filling, I used Crisco vegetable shortening, something I NEVER do. Personally, I prefer butter, but Crisco keeps the creamy center from hardening the way a butter-based frosting does, so it’s a necessity in this case. In most frosting recipes, they can be interchangeable with a little butter flavoring, but not with this one unless you want a hard cream filling, which I’m sure you don’t.
Cream together the shortening and powdered sugar until smooth. Shortening also doesn’t clump as much as butter can, which makes it easy to work with. Beat in the heavy creamy a little at a time with the vanilla. Once mixed, move to a piping bag or tool. There are multiple ways to fill a cupcake, but here’s my favorite: use a sharp knife to poke into the top middle of the cupcake and twist a little bit to create an opening. Use a long thin tip (I use one from my Wilton decorating tool) to poke into the cupcake and dispense cream into the middle until you see it coming up the top.
Orange cream frosting ingredients:
- 6oz of cream cheese, soft
- 1/2 cup butter, soft
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbs cup orange juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp orange flavoring
- Orange food coloring (optional)
Beat together the room temperature cream cheese and butter until smooth – I just used approximate measurements for the cream cheese. Mix in the powdered sugar until completely mixed before adding the orange juice, vanilla and orange flavoring. I also added about 1-2 drops of orange food coloring to give it a really light tint. The added orange juice wasn’t enough to affect the color.
Once done, mix the frosting to a piping bag and pipe into cooled cupcakes, covering the cream filled opening. Top with an orange slice for good measure and ta-da! These cupcakes are a little more difficult because they have three components to them (cupcake, filling, frosting), but they’re worth the effort in the end. The office seemed to really like them, and they remind me how close we are to summer and real creamsicles! Enjoy!