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Orange Cream Cupcakes

from Food Network Magazine, May 2014

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 12 tablespoons 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice about 2 oranges
  • 1 8- ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • orange gel food coloring

Instructions

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed and slowly beat in the melted butter. Beat in orange zest and vanilla.
  4. Beat in the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting:

  1. Bring the orange juice to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the butter, a little at a time, until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low; sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla, the cooled orange syrup, and orange zest. Beat until combined. Add food coloring until desired color is reached. Refrigerate until spreadable, about 15 minutes. Spread onto cool cupcakes.