Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

These orange creamsicle cupcakes are a grown-up version of a favorite dessert.
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Recipe

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon orange zest (from about 1 1/2 oranges)
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup half & half
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
4 1/2 – 5 cups powdered sugar
Orange food coloring

Directions:

Cupcakes:

  • Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake tin with paper liners (or grease and flour each individually).
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  • In a measuring cup, combine the half & half, orange juice, orange extract and vanilla.
  • In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until smooth and creamy.  Beat on medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy (2 – 3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next one.
  • Add 1 cup of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar, and mix until incorporated.  Then add half the milk mixture, and mix well.  Repeat, ending with the flour mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Once all the flour as been added, mix until smooth and well combined.
  • Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.  Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

  • In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and cream cheese.  Mix on medium speed until creamy.  Add the vanilla and orange extract and mix well.  Gradually increase the speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition until smooth.  Continue to add the powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Add a little milk or cream if necessary.  Gradually increase the mixer speed to high and continue beating until light and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add a few drops of orange food coloring to reach the desired color.
  • Using a pastry tube and tip, or spreading knife, frost the cupcakes.
Total time: 1:20 hr | Prep: 1 hr | Cook: 20 min

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