Vibrant Orange Cupcakes with a dreamy, creamy orange frosting.
I’d been wanting to try out some orange cupcakes for a while and I’m so happy I did. These gorgeous little Orange Cupcakes are fresh and zesty but also have a luxurious, silky ermine frosting piled high on top. The cupcakes are moist and fluffy with that uplifting flavour only citrus can give. You can’t help but be in a good mood when you bite into one of these beauties.
I’ve added cornflour to this recipe and lowered the amount of plain flour. Why would I do this you ask? Well, stay patient while I get my baking geek on 🙂
So, flour contains protein. The amount of protein in the flour directly influences the amount of gluten produced in the baking process. In standard baking, gluten is the binding agent as it’s job is to hold everything together. Bread recipes (unless they’re for gluten free bread, of course) will often call for bread flour or strong flour or at the very least, plain flour. With cakes, we still want a binding affect but we really want the cake to be delicate and soft, not chewy or firm. For this reason, cake flour is used widely for cake baking. The lower protein content helps to keep the end result tender and soft. And, if you don’t have any, that’s ok. You can make your own using plain flour and corn flour.
How to make cake flour at home
To make your own cake flour, you just replace 2 tablespoons of plain flour with 2 tablespoons of cornflour for every cup of plain flour in a recipe. For these Orange Cupcakes, you can buy cake flour and if you prefer to use it, by all means, substitute the amount of both the plain flour and corn flour in this recipe for cake flour. My pantry is overflowing at the best of times so I like to save room by making my own.
Baking science lesson complete 🙂
These orange cupcakes are bright and vibrant, perfect good mood food. As you make them, you have the heavenly waft of orange throughout the kitchen.
Give me a Y.
Give me a U.
Give me an M.
What does it spell?
Oooh, love a good cliffhanger, don’t you? Haha 🙂
Go ahead and give them a try. Delish!!
For the cupcakes
- 128 g plain (all purp) flour
- 30 g corn flour (cornstarch)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 1/4 cup whole milk, room temp
For the frosting
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 ½ tablespoons plain (all-purp) flour - (notes)
- 230 g (1 cup / 2 sticks) butter, room temp
- 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tablespoons orange juice - (notes)
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Sift together the plain flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
- Using beaters or a stand up mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each. Add the vanilla and orange zest and beat well.
- With the mixer on very low or by hand, mix in half of the flour mixture, then add the milk, then finish with the flour.
- Divide the batter equally among the paper cases (this makes 12 large cupcakes). Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a couple of crumbs on it. Transfer to a cooling rack.
- For the frosting, whisk the milk and flour together in a small saucepan over a low heat. Keep whisking until it thickens. It needs to be quite thick like a thick custard. Cool this mix completely before using it in the frosting. You can cool it quickly by pouring it into a cool bowl and placing in the fridge or freezer.
- Once the flour / milk mix is cool, beat together the butter and sugar until really creamy. About 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl a few times through the process. Add the flour / milk mix to the butter & sugar and beat for another 5-7 minutes. If it looks like it separates near the start, don't worry, just keep on beating. It will all come together into a beautiful, almost whipped cream looking frosting. Finally add the vanilla, orange juice, zest and salt and give it one final whip to fully mixed.
- I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- I use corn starch a lot in my baking. Cake flour is a combination of all-purpose and corn starch but in Australia is not so readily available. I use this combo in my recipes a lot instead of using cake flour.
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
- I love these silicone muffin trays for the shape these give my cupcakes and because they're so flexible.
- A medium ice cream scoop is perfect for portioning the cupcake batter
- A handheld beater or stand mixer will make mixing easier.
- A silicone spatula makes sure nothing gets left behind
- A cupcake corer makes cutting the little holes in the centre so simple
LOOKING FOR MORE CUPCAKES? CLICK HERE
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