Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Creamsicle Frosting

18 Oct

The amalgamation of chocolate and orange is a match made in heaven. I recognized this for the first time when I tasted a dark chocolate and orange ice cream at a local scoop shop in Pittsburgh over a decade ago. I was so captivated by that combination that ever since then I have never forgone an opportunity to savor a sweet treat that combines chocolate and orange.

Last week I shared my friend Sneha’s Pineapple Mojito Smoothie recipe. She’s a fellow addict of the heavenly combination of chocolate and orange. For her birthday, I decided to surprise her with these Chocolate Cupcakes with an Orange Creamsicle Frosting.

My recipe is adapted from My Baking Addiction’s – Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. Jamie, the author of the blog has adapted this cupcake recipe from Ina Garten’s recipe. These are the moistest cupcakes I have ever baked. The addition of the coffee brings out the intensity of the chocolate and enhances the moisture. So even if you decide to make another frosting, do use this chocolate cupcake recipe for it.

I made one minor modification to Jamie’s cupcake recipe by adding a little orange zest into the batter (which you can omit if you are pairing this cupcake with another frosting). I altered the original frosting recipe by increasing the butter, reducing the confectioner’s sugar and adding fresh orange juice. The result is a frosting that tastes exactly like an orange creamsicle. The chocolate cupcake with a slight hint of orange unites with the bold, creamy orange frosting to create a cupcake worthy of any celebration.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Creamsicle Frosting
Adapted from My Baking Addiction’s – Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 24 regular size cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder ( I used Nestle Toll House Cocoa)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest (See note)
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Orange Creamsicle Frosting Ingredients:
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (See note)
zest of one large orange
2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
4.5 cups of confectioner’s sugar, sifted (See note)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 drop orange food coloring (See note)

Notes:

  • Adding orange zest to the batter gives a slight hint or orange in each cupcake, which pairs well with the bold orange flavor of the frosting. If you want the actual cupcake to have a more concentrated orange flavor, you can increase the orange zest to 2 tablespoons.
  • The cream cheese and butter must be at room temperature to cream well together. Make sure you set them on the counter top an hour before making this frosting.
  • I used a lot lesser sugar in the frosting than the original recipe, as I added a few tablespoons of fresh orange juice. Please taste the frosting when it has combined in the mixer and add more sugar per your taste. Just make sure you use the mixer to blend in all the sugar.
  • I added only a drop of food coloring to achieve the color in the picture above. If you want a brighter orange color add another drop.
  • Store cupcakes in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Remove to room temperature 30-45 minutes before serving.

Directions:

Cupcakes:
1) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
2) Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low-speed until combined.
3) In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, orange zest and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
4) Now add the coffee (mixer should still be at a low-speed) and stir just to combine. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
5) Use an ice-cream scoop to distribute the batter evenly between 24 muffin wells. Each well should only be 2/3 full to allow the cupcakes to rise.
6) Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Orange Creamsicle Frosting:
1) In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese, orange zest, shortening, and butter until well combined.
2) With the mixer of low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla and orange juice and mix to combine.
3) Use a piping bag or a mini spatula to frost the cupcakes with this frosting.

8 Responses to “Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Creamsicle Frosting”

  1. Jawahir October 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    These will probably make my list of top 10 desserts I’ve ever had!

  2. trialsinfood October 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    mmm…dark chocolate and orange ice cream…this cupcake looks amazing! your friend must have loved it!

  3. petit4chocolatier October 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Triple yummy!!!

  4. Nat Yusop | imabakeslave October 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Oooooo.
    Chocolate and orange, FTW! I’ve made Jaffa cake and now I will have to try out your recipe. What kind of oranges yield the best zing-iest zest?

  5. Ainoor October 19, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    these were absolutely delicious. one of my favorite things you have ever made!

  6. vinicooksveg October 22, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    That looks so beautiful and yummy! Great colours! Loved it!

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