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The Best Orange Cupcake Recipe

Author Angie Holden

What You Will Need


  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of butter - softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon's of finely grated orange zest
  • 2 large eggs1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon's of orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla


  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 8- ounce package of cream cheese - softened
  • 1 stick of butter - softened
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon of orange zest - finely grated
  • Orange colored gel food coloring I used Wilton - it comes in a small jar - or you can buy grocery store brands in small tubes, or Betty Crocker in small tubesOrange sprinkles for topping - or your favorite sprinkles
  • 2 large Oranges for Orange slices to top cupcakes - you'll need 24 slices and you can get about 12 slices from one large orange



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Stir on low just to blend ingredients.
  • With the mixer turned off, add the butter, orange zest, eggs, cream, orange juice, orange extract, and vanilla. Then mix on low until all ingredients are mixed together.
  • Then mix for one minute on medium high. Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl from the stand.
  • Scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula and then mix in any ingredients that were not mixed with the mixer.
  • Place 24 cupcake liners in either one 24 count cupcake pan or (2) 12 count cupcake pans. Fill about 2/3 of the way full.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When cupcakes are baked, remove to a wire cooling rack and then cool completely before frosting.


  • Wash outside of oranges with cold running water and then dry with a paper towel.
  • Set the orange on a sturdy cutting board and cut the orange in half, and in half again, so you have 4 pieces. Cut the pieces in three equal slices, and you should have 12 slices when finished. Repeat on 2nd orange, and place 24 slices in the refrigerator, covered, until time to serve the cupcakes. Then you will place one slice on each cupcake before serving.


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the orange juice, cream, vanilla, and orange zest.
  • Then blend on low to medium until well blended.
  • Add the Orange Gel food coloring, starting with about a teaspoon, and adding a bit more at a time until you get the desired shade of orange. (You can make the icing really bright, or lighter if you choose; powdered sugar will make the icing a little lighter; you can add a little more Gel food coloring after all the powdered sugar has been blended if you want a darker color).
  • Turn off the mixer and add about a third of the powdered sugar. Mix on low until blended and then repeat until all powdered sugar has been added. If the frosting needs to be a little thicker, add a little more powdered sugar. If it's a little too thick, add cream, a teaspoon at a time until you have desired consistency.
  • Remove the mixing bowl, scrape down sides, and blend with a spatula. Cover the mixing bowl with foil, and place in the refrigerator until cupcakes are completely cooled and ready to frost.
  • When ready to frost the cupcakes, place icing in a pastry bag with the large star tip, and swirl icing on top of cupcakes forming to a peak. Sprinkle with orange sprinkles, or your favorite sprinkles, and top with an orange slice.
  • Serve immediately, or place cupcakes in a cupcake container in a single layer, and place in the refrigerator until time to serve. Cupcakes should be kept in the refrigerator and will keep for up to 6 days. Enjoy!