Long ago when I wore high top sneakers and motored about on a two-wheeler with training wheels, one of my favorite treats during those hot summer months was a Creamsicle. That it still exists in some form today makes me happy. That it doesn’t taste as good as it did when I was a kid makes me not so happy.
But there is something special about vanilla and orange mingling together. It seemed like a good idea to create a cupcake that reminded me of that beloved Orange Creamsicle on a stick. Only this is a little cake. In a cup. With icing that isn’t frozen. The same, only different. And perhaps better. At least in the middle of winter.
You probably want to invest in a little orange oil. A little goes a very long way and you won’t be sorry. I keep both orange and lemon oil around because they make every pastry or cake that should scream orange or lemon seem quite grand. The stuff will last forever, even in the smallest size because you only need a drop to make a difference. Even the best pure citrus flavoring can’t compete with the oil. I use this one here.
Remember when we candied some orange peel (easy!) and used it to decorate the chocolate orange cupcakes? You can use those to decorate these cupcakes or buy some great GF orange jelly candy and cut out a tiny shape to pop on the top of the cupcake.
When summer seems far away, bring a little bit of sunshine into the kitchen with a little citrus treat. However, that really did sound better when it was actually winter in February and not 75 degrees, right? Just pretend it is winter.
|Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes, Gluten Free||
- 6 oz. GF flour (4 oz. superfine brown rice flour, 1 oz. superfine white rice flour, 1 oz. tapioca flour/starch) (about 1⅓ cups)
- 6 oz. white sugar (about ¾ cups)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 oz. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (6 tablespoons)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon orange oil or 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 4 oz. orange juice, room temperature (1/2 cup)
- 4 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature (8 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons spectrum vegetable shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon orange oil or 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 16 oz. powdered sugar, sifted
- optional: 1 teaspoon orange simple syrup (from candied orange liquid, saved)
- Candied orange peel or Orange Jelly Candy cut into shapes
- Preheat oven to 350. Place cupcake liners in tin (about 12-14). Set aside.
- Weigh flour, sugar together in a bowl and add baking soda and salt. Melt butter and cool slightly. Add the eggs, vanilla, orange oil and juice to the butter, mixing well. Add liquid to the dry and incorporate thoroughly. Beat with a spoon (or a mixer) for about a minute until the batter is light and fluffy and looks like cake batter. Scoop into prepared liners about ⅔ full. Bake at 350 for five minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325 and bake about 12-15 minutes more or just until a toothpick comes out without crumbs. Don’t over bake! Set on a rack to cool as soon as you can remove the cupcakes. Cool thoroughly before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whip attachment mix the butter and shortening until combined. Add the flavorings and mix again. Sift in the powdered sugar (yes, again) and mix on low until incorporated. Whip on medium high to high for about 3-4 minutes to get that nice fluffy volume. Add the simple syrup if you have it on hand. Great flavor, but totally optional. Pipe or spread on cupcakes and decorate with candied orange peel or orange candies cut into shapes.