Sunday, 11 August 2013

Orange and almond cupcakes

Orange adds such a freshness to cakes, particularly buttercreams.  It’s been a while since I baked with orange so when I saw this recipe in one of the food magazines I moved it right to the top of my “to bake” list!

For only two tablespoons of orange juice these have a lovely sweet citrus taste and it works really well with the tangy cream cheese frosting.  I could’ve just eaten the frosting in a glass for dessert!

The almonds make the sponge soft and flavourful but not at all dense.  For a cake containing almond, and a cream cheese frosting, it’s amazing how light the resultant cupcake is – these were very well received by all my eaters.

When you take the lid off the storage tin the most wonderful aroma of orange and almond hits you – I love it when a cake smells of its flavour; it builds a happy expectation of the joy to come!

The other big plus these cupcakes have (aside from their deliciousness) is how quick and easy they are to make.  No fancy methods here – if you can weigh stuff out and beat stuff you will end up with a lovely cupcake.  They could be jazzed up with a bit of decoration but I’m rather a purist (or lazy, take your pick) where my cakes are concerned and like them left clean and unfussy.


For the sponges:
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
190g plain flour
75g ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
zest of 1 orange, plus 2 tablespoons orange juice (keep the remaining juice for the frosting)
1 teaspoon almond extract

For the frosting:
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
450g icing sugar
200g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
2 tablespoons orange juice
optional: orange food colour


Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C/340°F/gas mark 3.5

Line two cupcake pans with 18 paper cases.

Start by making the sponge: beat together the butter and sugar until light and pale.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Beat in the flour, almonds, baking powder, orange zest, juice and almond extract.

Spoon into the paper cases.

Bake for approximately 22 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool.

Now make the frosting: beat the butter until soft.

Add the icing sugar and cream cheese and stir together manually before going back to the stand mixer – this stops the icing sugar clouding up!

Beat until well combined.

Beat in the orange juice and – if using – orange colouring.

Spoon into a piping bag and, if the frosting is very soft, don’t be afraid to chill it for ten minutes before piping.

Pipe over the cupcakes.

Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Choclette said...

I can well believe how good these are. I've just made a lemons and almond cake and it's one of the best cakes I've made in a while. Your cupcakes look so pretty and the cream cheese icing sounds heavenly.

Gloria Baker said...

Love your cupcakes always look perfect!!!

Izzy said...

Maybe these will be on my 'to bake' list soon! They look sooo good and I totally agree about the cake aroma thing, you enjoy a cake so much more if it's tempted you with it's smell first! And orange is always a great flavour too.

Cher My Cakes said...

Citrus and almonds - you can't go wrong!

Stuart Vettese said...

Never thought of that flavour combo before CC - but it sounds lovely!

Katie said...

Your cream cheese frosting looks so silky smooth, but better than butter icings. I adore anything almond too

Cakelaw said...

Quick and easy sounds good immediately, and orange and almond with cream cheese frosting would be sublime.

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Such a classic (and deservedly so!) combination- it reminds me of some if the delicious almond and orange cakes in Spain

Kezia said...

Yum! Orange and almond is a great combination. LOVE the look of the cream cheese frosting too.

snowy said...

Great combination of flavours - they look delicious.

Baking Addict said...

Love simple recipes. I'm not surprised these jumped to the top of your to bake list - they look and sound amazing!

Maggie said...

Perfect cupcakes for a summers day - I would eat these outside on the patio.

Nickki said...

Your cupcakes look so perfect. I love the flavour of orange in baking :-)

Jo said...

Love how light and fresh these look. Completely agree about the cake aroma thing, it's one of the best things about homebaking!