Saturday, July 31, 2010

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes - Summertime in a Cupcake

It has been very hot here in Utah this July but as we like to say..."It's a dry heat".  A total blessing.  My years in NYC taught me about the pains and pleasures of a humid climate.  Summer always reminds me of one of my favorite childhood treats - the Creamsicle Popsicle.

You know, delicious vanilla ice cream surrounded by orange popsicle.  So good!  What if you could have all that yumminess in a cupcake?  It would be amazing and delicious.  I had to try and create an Orange Creamsicle Cupcake.  What I came up with is Orange Cake filled with Vanilla Cream topped with a swirl of Vanilla Buttercream sprinkled with Orange Kreme Krunch and crowned with an Orange Slice.  I must say they were very tasty.

 Here are the recipes...

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes
Makes 18-24 Cupcakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup orange juice concentrate
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
3 oranges, zest only
1 tablespoon orange oil (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers
2.  Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer until it turns pale and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes
3.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
4.  In another bowl, mix together the orange juice concentrate, buttermilk, orange zest and optional orange oil and set aside.
5.  With the mixer running, drop the eggs one by one into the creamed butter.
6.  Add half the dry ingredients followed by half the wet ingredients, allowing each addition to get incorporated before adding the next.  Repeat with the rest of the dry and wet ingredients.
7.  Fill the cupcake papers 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until the middle springs back to the touch and the edges are light, golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
8.  Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a rack completely while you make the filling.

Using an orange zester to zest an orange.Image via Wikipedia

Vanilla Cream Cupcake Filling
This cream filling is almost as good as the filling for Hostess Cupcakes. Also works well in a chocolate jelly roll cake.

Makes enough for 24 cupcakes or 1 jelly roll cake.

1/2 cup margarine (or butter)
1/2 cup Crisco or soft shortening (not butter flavored)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Cream margarine and Crisco until light and fluffy.
2.  Add sugar, flour, then milk and vanilla.
3.  Whip until sugar is all dissolved and mixture is thick and fluffy.
4.  Put in pastry bag or icing tube.
5.  Insert into cooled cupcakes.
6.  Top with your favorite frosting.

Vanilla Decorator's Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup Crisco shortening (not butter flavored)
6-8 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup of milk
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Optional Decorations
Orange Kreme Krunch
Gumdrop Orange Slices

1.  Cream together butter and Crisco until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
2.  Gradually add 4 cups of powdered sugar.
3.  Add milk, salt and vanilla.
4.  Continue adding powdered sugar until frosting is of piping consistency.
5.  Fill piping bag with frosting and pipe frosting swirls onto cupcakes.
6.  Sprinkle with Orange Kreme Krunch and top with a gumdrop Orange Slice.

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These cupcakes are the perfect retro treat with an iconic marriage of creamy vanilla and tangy orange.  Once in the oven, these little cakes emit a powerful orange aroma.  And when filled with vanilla cream and topped with vanilla buttercream, family, friends and neighbors will polish them off in no time.