Sunday, October 31, 2010

Orange Scented Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Orange Buttercream Icing

These cupcakes turned out deliciously. The first time I made them, I simply smoothed the icing over the tops of the cooled cupcakes. This time though, I decided to try and make them a little prettier. :) I bought the Wilton Cupcake Decorating set, and used piping to make them at least a little prettier. It will definitely take some more pratice though. Anyway, these cupcakes have been tested twice and loved both times. Enjoy! :)

Orange-Scented Cupcakes
-Sing For Your Supper Blog
*Makes 24 cupcakes

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, or any orange liqueur you like (I just used OJ)
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk together the milk, orange juice, liqueur and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and butter in the bowl of a mixer and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Using a small spoon, fill each cupcake liner 1/2 full with the batter.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the tough – a toothpick inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to cooling racks and cool completely before frosting them.

Vanilla-Orange Buttercream

1 stick butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
splash Grand Marnier (again, I used OJ)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of the sugar and then the orange juice, Grand Marnier and vanilla. On medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading or piping consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. Refrigerate until needed.

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