Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

As Summer draws to a close I'm holding on desperately to these last sweltering days, wishing that Winter would decide to take some time off for a change. But alas, I will have to satiate myself with some of my favorite treats and sadly say goodbye to my collection of tank tops and flip flops. August used to hold a daunting power over me, another semester was gearing up to challenge me and my life took on the never-ending pace I had become accustomed to. But now that I have graduated college and my semi-professional life has begun I find myself pining for those days. Now, this month hosts a parade of birthdays and Labor Day celebrations, and the most significant event of August is my oldest niece's birthday. She may not be a baking maven as of yet, but she inspires me with great ideas, and I have yet to find a better "Frosting Tester",  she loves everything! I strayed away from my usual cupcake cocktails, cause the parents at the party might not have appreciated liquor-tainted frosting in addition to all of that sugar. Instead I decide to tackle the ultimate Summer treat, Creamsicles! Who could say no to that...

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract, depends on the flavoring
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, and then add the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla, and slowly add the extract and orange juice until it reaches the appropriate "batter" consistency. Bake them for 18 - 22 minutes or until edges are brown. The middle of the cupcakes may dip a bit, but don't worry imperfection only adds character! After they have cooled you have the option, and I highly recommend it for optimum sweetness, to add a dollop of marshmallow cream to the middle of the cupcakes. I was able to put to use my amazing new Cupcake Corer for this task, but a small parring knife will also do the trick. Allow these to sit and set up for at least 2 hours before you add the frosting.

Orange and Vanilla Frosting

  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 7 - 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • Food coloring

Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl, slowly adding the vanilla and milk until relatively smooth. One cup at a time add the powdered sugar until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. Divide the frosting evenly between two bowls and add the orange juice to one of them. Beat it well and at your own risk add the food coloring. I'm not a terrible fan of children running around a crowded party room with color stains on their faces from cakes and cookies, so I toned it down a bit. The juice adds a tinge of color but, the rest is up to you, you may choose a light pastel shade of orange or go bold and try for neon. I used a large and small star tip for these designs, I wanted the frosting to resemble the ice cream pop, so it has the tangy orange on the outside and a pinch of creamy vanilla in the middle!

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