Orange Cupcakes

It is freezing here in Ohio and I mean a bone chilling, teeth chattering, freezing…a whopping 12 degrees. The bad part is that it’s not even snowing, my theory is simple…if it’s going to be this cold, at least gimme a snow day, but unfortunately I have not gotten a single one this year! In the midst of this Ohio deep freeze, I was craving a little piece of summer and just happened to have some gorgeous oranges on my counter. I adapted a very simple recipe from the Joy of Baking, tweaking it just a bit to tantalize your taste buds with a lovely burst of orange. I then piped on some cream cheese frosting and enjoyed a little bit of summer! Bake these little beauties in bright cupcake liners, top them with sparkling sugar and I am betting that you will make the special people in your life very happy! Have a fabulous day and stay warm!

Cupcake Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking;
Cream Cheese Frosting adapted from The Repressed Pastry Chef
Cupcake liners from World Market
Icing Tip from Bake It Pretty

Orange Cupcakes

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of pure orange extract
Zest of 1 orange (optional)
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Place the sugar and orange zest into the bowl of your mixer and blend until moist and fragrant. Add in butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and orange extracts.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.
-Makes 12 cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting
(1) 8 ounce package of cream cheese; room temperature
2 tablespoon of butter; room temperature
1 tablespoon of shortening
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar; add more to reach desired consistency
1. Combine cream cheese, shortening and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until smooth, creamy and well blended.
2. Blend in the vanilla extract.
3. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until you reach the desired consistency.

74 Responses to “Orange Cupcakes”

  1. Crystal — August 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Yum! Pretty good, but they are slightly dry. I took them out at 16 minutes and they were done. (so maybe next time try 15 minutes). I used zest from a orange plus took a quarter of the orange and squeezed the juice into the batter. Also this made 10 cupcakes for me. (I used a 3 tablespoon ice cream scoop).


  2. Flower — August 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I finally made these tonight and I’m sorry but they were terrible. The stuck to the liners and became a gluey mess in the liner. I followed the directions to a T. I’m bummed and will have to find a new recipe. Sorry.


  3. Kaniz — August 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Hi there!! i wanna know what nozzle you use for decorating this cupcake…its pretty n i wanna do the same…:)


    • Jamie — August 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      I used a large French tip. I hope this helps.

  4. Alicia — September 5, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    watch out with the fresh orange zest when I tried to make it the butter curdled.


  5. Jennifer — November 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    What is the tip that you used?


    • MBA — December 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      A large French tip was used on these cupcakes. Good luck and have a great day!

  6. Erin Abbamondi — January 28, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Do you think this could be converted into a layer cake – or should I stick with the cupcakes?
    Thanks very much – the recipe sounds wonderful.


    • Jamie — February 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      I have not tried this recipe in cake form, so I am unable to advise you in that direction. If the recipe were more current, I think I would be of more help. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  7. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking — March 28, 2013 at 11:40 pm


    There’s a Facebook page currently reposting photos and full recipes, which hurts bloggers’ ability to make a living (in addition to being illegal.) They’ve reposted this one of yours ( Will you please take a moment to report this using this form on Facebook ( I’m hoping that if enough folks report it, she’ll realize she can’t just repost others’ content like that.

    Julie Ruble


    • MBA — April 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you for giving me the information and I will take care of it. Have a great day!

  8. Taylor Bishop — June 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Looks great! Going to try tomorrow.


  9. Kirsten — September 4, 2014 at 12:25 am

    This is a great recipe. Thank you. I’m a bit of an orange-a-holic though. I replaced half of the milk with orange juice and used two oranges’ zest. :) And added a bit of orange extract in the frosting.


    • Jamie — September 4, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Hi Kristen! The more orange the better, right? Thanks for visiting.


  10. joe — January 8, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    looks yummy
    can i replace milk with buttermilk?


    • Jamie — January 8, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Hi, Joe! I don’t see why not. A lot of people use buttermilk and actually prefer it to regular milk. Let me know how it turns out!

  11. Amanda — July 26, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I’m so disappointed with this recipe! The cupcakes were horribly dry and I did not overtake them. Maybe there’s too much flour? Not enough liquid? I don’t know but, it was such a disappointment. 


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