Serves: Makes ~9 Cupcakes
Approx cost: €4
Approx calories (per cupcake): ~270
Approx preparation and cooking time: 45 mins
H ave I ever expounded on my addiction to cupcakes? Little paper-clad parcels of joy, guaranteed to brighten your day and tighten your waistband. Well – I love them. A good cupcake is the perfect size to satisfy a sweet craving you might have and a perfect accompaniment to a cup of mid-morning coffee but you know, there are a great many sites out there which like to make you think that the creation of a cupcake is something really difficult. Well – it’s really not. The frosting is hard; decorating one of these little mouth-parties to the standards of some that I’ve seen around the web has the potential of being very difficult, but the basic cake recipe at the bottom? Child’s play!
I recently bought a bottle of orange extract and just couldn’t wait to put it to use (why oh why did I not buy rose water at the same time? ) and I figured that this would be as good a time as any to put it into service. Hopefully, you’ll agree that they look a damn sight better than my last cupcake recipe (lol) and the creamy, tangy frosting comes highly recommended! Hope you can give them a try
For the cupcakes
- 120g Butter
- 120g Caster Sugar
- 120g Plain Flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsps Baking Powder (Or skip the baking powder if you are using Self-Raising flour instead of Plain)
- Zest from one Orange
For the frosting
- 200g Cream Cheese
- 1 tbsp Icing Sugar
- 0.5 – 1 tsp Orange Extract (adjust to taste)
- 1 or 2 squares of Plain Chocolate to decorate
- Start off by pre-heating your oven to around 160 degrees Celsius and then place the butter and sugar into a large bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon and beat until creamy and pale in colour. Once this is done, crack the eggs and add to the mixture, an egg at a time, beating well after each addition to prevent curdling.
- Sift in the flour and fold in to the mixture until completely blended and then add in the orange zest, again, folding in well to the mixture.
- Divide the mixture between 9 – 12 paper cases. I like to use muffin cases. The cake ends up a little larger, but is a much more satisfying treat. Place the cases with the mixture inside into the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until you can stick in a fork and have it come out clean.
- While the cakes are baking, place the cream cheese, orange extract and icing sugar into a small bowl and mix well with a fork or small whisk. Orange extract can be quite strong so you may want to adjust the amount to your personal taste. Personally I like a nice tangy touch in the frosting.
- Cover the bowl of frosting and place in the refrigerator. Allow to chill for an hour or so, and meanwhile remove the cakes from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Once the cakes have cooled completely transfer the chilled frosting into a piping bag or, if you don’t have one, I used a food safe bag, such as a freezer or sandwich bag. Place the frosting into one corner and carefully cut off a small corner of the bag. Squeeze the frosting gently down towards the hole and then pipe onto the cakes in whichever pattern you feel like. Once done, shave chocolate from the squares using a sharp knife and sprinkle on top of the cakes. If you’re not planning on eating them immediately, it’s better to leave them un-frosted. This way you can store them in a tin, instead of the refrigerator, and only need frost them when desired. Enjoy!