I've been making these cupcakes for years now and whenever I take them to neighborhood parties, church functions, baby showers, etc, people can't get enough of them. It's not uncommon to see all of them disappear off the serving platter within minutes of setting them down. People always ask me for the recipe, and frankly, I'm a little embarrassed to give it out because of how easy they are.
In a nutshell, I use a white cake mix but replace the water called for with orange juice and throw a little fresh orange zest in to bump up the flavor. The creamy, tangy frosting pairs perfectly with the cake. People are always surprised when I tell them how I make them because they really do taste fancier than they are.
- 1 box white cake mix
- Orange juice
- Zest and juice from 1 orange
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 block cream cheese
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Make the cupcakes according to the directions on your cake mix except replace the water with orange juice (my mix used 1 1/4 cups orange juice, 1/3 cup oil, and 3 egg whites). Zest the orange and add half into the batter, reserving the other half for the frosting. I usually add a little red and yellow food coloring too to make the batter a light orange color. I think it looks pretty that way!
- For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and fluffy. Alternate adding the powdered sugar and the juice from the orange. You may not need to add the juice from the entire orange. Just add it until you reach the consistency you want. Add the remaining orange zest and beat again to incorporate.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost away! Decorate however your little heart desires. I like to add tiny orange pieces to the top of each cupcake so it's easy to tell what flavor it is.
I had just frosted these cupcakes beautifully with a piping bag and a decorative tip. I had them all arranged on a beautiful blue pedestal and they looked gorgeous. I walked out of the room for 5.47 seconds to grab my camera and when I came back in to take some pictures of them, my 3 year old exclaimed, "Mommy! Look what I did!" And I saw this:
In an effort to help himself to one of my delicious cupcakes, he had tipped the serving plate over and they all slid off! My first instinct was to think, "Oh no! They're ruined! Now they're going to look so ugly and none of the Doe A Deery readers will be impressed!" But then I remembered that we're all friends here and this blog is all about being real. So instead, I laughed, snapped some pictures, and helped my son unwrap his cupcake. I salvaged what I could of the frosting and rearranged it with a butter knife. No harm done.
I know they're not the prettiest cupcakes you've ever seen, but I like to think of them as "rustic." Plus, it doesn't matter what they look like, anyway! All that matters is what they taste like. And I promise if you make these, you won't be disappointed. The cake is light and fluffy, the frosting is tangy and creamy, and because you're using a boxed cake mix, they couldn't be easier! Happy baking, everyone!