I had a whole bag of oranges sitting next to my bed, as one does, and it dawned upon me that they were obviously there to be baked with. I mean, why else? I love oranges and sometimes I find myself wishing I could eat my weight in oranges, that is how far my love goes… which is quite possibly a little too far, but until I actually attempt to eat that many oranges in one sitting, I think I will be okay.
For me, oranges embody the taste of summer and with winter now behind us, I thought it would be a perfect time to bake something more zesty and fun.
Chocolate and orange is a flavour combination that simply cannot go wrong, and with a little sprinkling of zest in the icing, what more could you ask for in a cupcake? (Note: 1 cup = 1 US cup)
zest of 1 large orange
⅔ cup / 150g / 5.3 oz caster sugar
½ cup / 113g / 4.0 oz butter, softened
3 large eggs
1½ tsp vanilla essence
juice from ½ a large orange
1½ cups / 190g / 6.7 oz plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup / 60mL milk
Makes 12 cupcakes
In a large bowl, combine and blend the orange zest and sugar until moist and fragrant.
Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla essence and orange juice.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk and ending with the flour.
Stir until well combined.
Divide evenly between a prepared muffin tray with paper liners.
Bake 180C / 350F for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.
1 cup / 226g / 8.0 oz butter
3½ cups / 438g / 15.4 oz icing sugar
½ cup / 40g / 1.2 oz cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp zest of an orange (optional)
Cream the butter for a few minutes until it is light.
Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat until entirely combined with the butter.
Add the vanilla essence, orange zest, and milk. Beat for three minutes.
If necessary, add more milk to gain a thinner consistency or more sugar to gain a thicker consistency.
Once frosting is combined, place into a piping bag and pipe away!