I love Summer. Even when it’s 105 degrees and I have to muster up the will to go to the bank and grocery store, I love summer. And since I’m attempting to do just that currently, here is my list of why Summer rocks.
The sound of waves at the beach and sand through your toes
The smell of sunscreen
Running around barefoot in the backyard with the kids
Early morning breakfasts on the porch, listening to birds chirp
Ice cold lemonade
Fresh cut flowers on the table
Picking berries until your mouth and fingers are permanently stained
Fishing at the local pond
Popsicles for breakfast
Oh I’m sorry, am I the only that does that?
Hey, it was 90 degrees when I woke up, at least my popsicle of choice was a creamsicle…you know oranges…kinda counts like a glass of orange juice, right? right?! I’m usually not a big fan of orange flavored sweets but something about the orange with the vanilla is just so tasty and refreshing. Unfortunately the box of creamsicles that I bought only had 6, we’re a family of 5, they go rather quickly. So what do you do when the ice cream runs out? Make cupcakes! These are a super simple creamsicle cupcake that rely on zest alone for the orange flavor. I combine that with a cream cheese filling and buttercream and you get a scrumptious flavorful cupcake (especially if you let the flavors develop over a few hours)!
Yields 12 cupcakes
For pictures of the cupcake making process please see here.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1 orange
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons self-rising flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
zest of half an orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon orange gel food coloring, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a cupcake pan with liners.
2. For the cupcakes: In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed at least 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl in between each addition. Beat in orange zest and vanilla. Add flour in two parts alternating with the milk.
3. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or cupcake scoop) fill the cupcake liners about 1/2 full. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese. Gradually add 2 cups of the sugar a 1/2 cup at a time, periodically stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. When the first two cups have been added, divide 1/3 of the icing into a smaller bowl and set aside. Add the remaining cup of sugar to the larger bowl and beat in vanilla. To the smaller bowl add the orange zest and orange food coloring (if desired).
5. To serve: Use a 1-inch round cookie cutter or pastry tip to cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes (I have found that a large pastry tip works great-push it in most of the way, give it a little twist and the cupcake pulls right out). You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom about 2/3 of the way. Put the orange flavored icing into a piping bag with a wide tip or a freezer bag with the corner cut off and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. Frost the cupcakes with the plain cream cheese icing. You can serve immediately but I found that the orange flavor developed even more after a few hours.