I think cupcakes are one of the most fun foods to make and to eat. That moment when you peel away the paper and take a bite...that's a perfect moment in life. Your own personal piece of heaven, complete with sugary sweet frosting. Yes, there is frosting in my version of heaven. There are also Orange Marmalade Cupcakes with Orange Butter & Cream Cheese Frosting.
Little angels hand them out on a plate.
Orange Marmalade Cupcakes : the cupcake recipe you have to try!
We wanted to create a sweet orange cupcake using elements of fresh oranges. Sure we could have dumped in some food coloring, but that isn't what we were going for.
Instead we used fresh orange zest, the orange juice, and the orange peel. The result? An amazing cupcake with perfect citrus flavor without being too strong. Plus it is a nice surprise when someone picks it up thinking they are getting classic vanilla and classic white frosting, and get a mouthful of bursting orange flavor.
You can easily create these cupcakes using a boxed cake mix, but we decided to go from scratch, using a classic vanilla cupcake recipe.
To the mix, we added the zest of one orange and a little freshly squeeze orange juice. We used our favorite zesting tool like this one to get a fine shred. No one wants a big piece of bitter zest, so the smaller the pieces the better.
To make sure we had plenty of orange flavor, we used pure orange extract along with the vanilla.
More cupcakes + muffins:
After beating the cake mix, be sure to scrape the batter from the beaters of your mixer. The zest likes to stick to the inside of the beaters, and you certainly want all of that fresh orange flavor in your Orange Marmalade Cupcakes.
Add a teaspoon of uncooked rice in to the bottom of each tin of your muffin pan. Then place your cupcake liners on top of the rice. (Why? Keep reading.)
To get a nice rise on our cupcake, we filled our cupcake liners ¾ full. This recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes. (Easily doubled for a crowd.)
Oh, and why did we put rice in the bottom of the muffin pan? You know when you have pretty cupcake liners, and then you cook your cupcakes and they all soak through and get greasy or buttery? Rice in the bottom of the muffin tin keeps this from happening!
See? Pretty cupcake bottoms!
With your finger or the end of a wooden spoon, press down in the center. Now is when we put the marmalade into these Orange Marmalade Cupcakes!
Use your your favorite orange marmalade. You only need about half a cup. You can either spoon about a teaspoon into each cupcake, or you can use a piping bag. (We used disposable decorating bags for easy filling and clean up.)
No worries it if peeks out the top, because you are about to cover your Orange Marmalade Cupcakes with a super rich, super creamy Orange Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.
Yes! We are using the same elements of the fresh orange flavor in the frosting, too!
(Get the frosting recipe at the end of this post.)
Totally an optional step, but we made homemade Candied Sugar Orange Peel for an edible decoration!
So pretty and full of fresh orange flavor.
Now all there is to do is peel back your little piece of Orange Marmalade Cupcakes heaven and take a big bite!
Orange Marmalade Cupcakes with Orange Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cupcakes
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ⅔ cups sugar
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- ⅛ cup fresh orange juice
- ⅛ cup milk
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- Zest of 1 orange
- ½ cup orange marmalade
For the Frosting
- ½ cup butter softened
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 TB fresh orange juice
- ¾ tsp orange extract
- ¾ tsp vanilla
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a mixer, combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating after each addition. Add orange extract, vanilla extract, and orange zest.
- Slowly add the flour mixture about ¼ of the bowl at a time, alternating with orange juice and milk. Continue adding flour mix, orange juice and milk. Do not over mix, stop when the batter is just combined.
- Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes clean.
- Cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- With your finger or the end of a wooden spoon, press down in the center of each cupcake. With a piping bag, evenly fill each hole with the orange marmalade.
For the Frosting
- Using a hand held mixture, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the orange and vanilla extracts.
- Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with the orange juice. Beat until smooth, continuing to add powdered sugar.
- Fill a pastry bag with the icing, and decorate the cupcakes as desired.