Sunday, March 27, 2011

Orange Cream Cupcakes

These are a delicious, citrusy alternative to your standard cupcake flavors, they end up tasting like an orange creamsicle! I've been going crazy trying to find a really good vanilla cupcake recipe, so after trying 5 different recipes and changing a few measurements, I came up with this one. I purchased the Madagascar vanilla beans off of, 16 for only $9.00, and free shipping! I would highly recommend purchasing vanilla beans on the internet, the grocery stores charge way too much. If you don't have vanilla beans, just add a little extra vanilla extract.

Orange Cream Cupcakes

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 vanilla beans (seeds only)
1 Tbs. orange zest
1/4 c. fresh orange juice
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. cake flour, NOT self rising
1 1/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 and line 2 cupcake pans with liners.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, orange zest, and orange juice for 3 minutes, until very light.
Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
When measuring the flour, make sure to aerate it first (gently stir) and then spoon into measuring cup and then level. It's very important that you not put too much flour in the batter, otherwise the cupcakes will be dry. With the mixer on low speed, add half of flour mixture, add buttermilk, and then the remaining flour. Mix until just combined, do not overmix.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

Orange Cream Frosting

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 Tbs. butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, seeds only
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zest
1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
5-6 c. powdered sugar
enough milk to reach the correct consistency

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla bean seeds until smooth. Add vanilla extract, orange zest, orange juice, and 4 cups of powdered sugar. Add remaining powdered sugar, and enough milk to reach the correct consistency. I used a large star tip to pipe on the frosting. Makes 24 cupcakes.