Brightly flavored, incredibly moist orange cupcakes topped with a floral tea infused cream cheese frosting. A great dessert for Easter…or…say…if your blog is turning one!
Orange Cupcakes with Lavender Hibiscus Cream Cheese Frosting
I made (and ATE) some orange cupcakes to celebrate Mid-Life Croissant’s first birthday.
One year ago today I published my first post about banana muffins and getting older. The pictures are cringe-worthy but I enjoyed looking back at it.
I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in a year. It is impressive, humbling and exciting all at once.
One of my original goals in starting this blog was to stay engaged, to keep learning and keep myself on my toes.
Plus I’ve met so many incredibly supportive bloggers and made some wonderful friends. Blogging has been a game changer for me. I’m excited to see where this next year takes me.
Ok, I’m gushing.
One more thing to gush over, though.
These are the most moist cupcakes I’ve ever had. I suspect it’s the cup of half and half in the recipe. Hey, we’re celebrating here!! Moderation in all things, right? Even cream and sugar.
Which reminds me of my favorite line from my favorite movie, Somewhere in Time, when Christopher Plummer arches his eyebrow expertly in Jane Seymour’s direction and says wryly, “Excess within control, McKenna?”
Her character is an actress given to extremes (remind you of anyone?) and one of his jobs as her manger is to reign her in. His implication is that she’s going overboard in her love for Christopher Reeve’s character. Which is, of course, the point of the entire movie!! So Victorian. So Hollywood. If you had cable in the 80s, you’ve seen this movie but if you haven’t, do yourself a favor. It’s incredibly romantic.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Orange cupcakes with pastel frosting as beautiful as Jane Seymour. #nothyperbole” quote=”Tweet these sweets!” theme=”style1″]
These cupcakes are lovely, dainty and light. I could almost see Jane Seymour noshing on one at a seaside picnic in her gorgeous white dress. They’re full of bright citrus flavor and floral aroma. The frosting is a very pale pastel purple, more lilac than it seems in these photos, making them a beautiful choice for your Easter dessert table.
Or if you’re celebrating a blogaversary.
Or if you’re having an incredibly romantic seaside picnic with Christopher Reeve. In which case, where’s my invitation at?!?
- 10 2/3 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 jumbo egg
- zest of one navel orange
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 cup half and half
- 6 to 8 dried hibiscus flowers
- 1 Tablespoon lavender
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 ounces full fat cream cheese
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- Grease and flour or line two cupcake tins and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg. Beat well until incorporated, then add second egg. Beat well.
- Add orange zest and vanilla and beat well.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add half the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and beat well.
- Add orange juice and remaining dry mixture.
- Mix until incorporated.
- Add the half and half and beat on low until batter is smooth.
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners (fill about 2/3 of the way.)
- Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 18 minutes.)
- Let cool on wire rack completely before frosting.
- In a small saucepan, combine hibiscus, lavender and water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain tea and set aside to cool. You can discard the dried flowers, we'll only need the liquid.
- In medium mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and the butter.
- Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar and beat until combined.
- Add cooled tea and mix.
- Add powdered sugar, little by little, until you reach desired consistency.
Be careful with the tea, it will stain if spilled.
I had to add a full cup of powdered sugar after the tea to get the frosting to a consistency where it would (sort of) hold a piping shape. Which I only did to make them more photogenic. It's completely legitimate to just spoon frosting on top of the cupcake almost like a thick glaze.
I had a lot of leftover frosting, so if you're serving a crowd and doubling the cupcake recipe you don't need to double the frosting.
This recipe is based on this one from High Altitude Bakes and this one from Hummingbird High.
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