Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Orange Cupcakes (and bats in my buttercream)

I have bats in my buttercream! Chocolate bat recipe here.
Yes, I've been on a cupcake binge.


This time around, it wasn't about the cupcakes. Or the decorating. This time it was because I just got some really cute mini cake molds, and I needed to do something else with all the rest of the batter. I only had two of the little molds. and I didn't want to bake a whole lot of batches, so I used the rest of the batter for cupcakes. It was the logical thing to do.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

This time, I chose a recipe from Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart. It's a hefty book, stuffed with southern recipes.

Some of those recipes were familiar to me, but some were new. Which is great. I always love seeing new recipes, particularly if they're regional specialties.

But this time I was after a cake that I could turn into cupcakes. I settled on a recipe for orange cake that sounded pretty good. The cake ingredients weren't surprising, but the mixing instructions were a little different.

I cut the recipe in half to make a dozen cupcakes, plus my two Cake Creatures. Luckily, all the ingredients were easy to divide.

Here's how I did it:

Orange Cupcakes
Adapted from the recipe for Orange Cake in Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (I used 1 teaspoon, since I'm at high altitude)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line the cups of a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake papers. (Sheesh, how many times did I just say "cup"?)

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is fluffy. dd the sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until it's fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.

Add 1/3 of the flour along with 1/2 of the orange juice to the stand mixer. Beat to incorporate it. Add another 1/3 of the flour and half of the orange juice. Beat again. Add the remaining flour and beat until all the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter into the cupcake papers. At lower altitude, it should be fine to divide into 12 cupcakes. Up here, 14 cupcakes was a much better idea.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cupcakes are lightly browned, they bounce back when touched lightly in the center, and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them cool completely on a rack before frosting.

The recipe for the brown sugar buttercream (and how to make your own powdered brown sugar) is right here.