When I decided to make these I thought, "My goodness this might be perfection in a cupcake!" Then I actually started making them.....The final product is acceptable, but I do not think I will look back on week five with bright and shiny memories.
I did not love the batter for this cake. It was unpredictable. If I baked the cupcakes for 20 minutes exactly, the tooth pick came out clean, and they looked beautiful. After I took them out of the oven, the center of the cake fell. The middle falling only slightly bothered me, because a sunken middle means more room for frosting! When I put the second round of cupcakes in I left them in for two extra minutes in hopes that the center would not fall. Success! They did not fall. Fail! They were much to dry. This recipe seems to be extremely sensitive. Jerome (my hubby and resident cupcake taster) believes the sunken middle cupcakes were much much better. I tend to agree. So if you bake these, watch them closely and take the cupcakes out as soon as they are done. In my oven that means 20 min bake time. No more, no less.
This recipe was adapted from Dulcedo.
Makes a little over 24 cupcakes
1/2 cup pureed oranges ( I used 3 oranges)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon orange extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Peel oranges (removing any seeds and as much of the white pith as possible) and puree in a blender or food processor. Measure out 1/2 cup of the liquidy pulp. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine orange pulp, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, orange extract, sugar, and vegetable oil.
With the mixer on low, gradually add in the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.
Fill your cupcake containers a scant 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.(These cupcakes rise, rise rise, so make sure to pay attention to the scant 2/3rd filling)
A Dulcedo original
1 cup butter, room temperature
6-8 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 cup orange juice (preferably fresh)
To make the orange frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy. Add half of the sifted sugar, the vanilla, the orange extract, and the orange juice. Beat until combined. Gradually add the remaining sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
When I made this I followed the directions, until the first half of the sugar was added. Then I added more oj, orange extract and powdered sugar until it tasted like a dreamsicle. I did not however pay attention to how much I added. :( Sorry.
Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
5 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
To make the marshmallow fluff:
Heat 1 1/2 cups sugar, the corn syrup, and 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 235 degrees.
Meanwhile, put egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add the hot syrup in a slow, steady stream down sides of bowl. Raise speed to medium-high; beat until stiff peaks begin to form. With the mixer still running, gradually add the vanilla and continue beating until the fluff is smooth and cool, about 7 minutes.
A Rachel Side Note: I did not originally plan on using the Martha Stewart Fluff recipe. It gets rave reviews, but it has corn syrup in it, a n ingredient I usually run away from. Then I started to wonder, "How much better can it really be?" So I made it. Personally I will not make it again. Martha, I love you, but not so much your fluff. It is good, but not good enough to entice me to replace it with my slightly "healthier" version.
Decorating the Cupcakes
In attempt to make use of the cupcakes that were a little dry and the ones that were really moist I decided to decorate them differently.
The moist cupcakes with sunken tops, were piped with the marshmallow fluff and the orange frosting at the same time? How does one achieve such a look? Simple! Fill one side of your piping bag with type A frosting and then fill the other half with type B. I piped it on generously.
The cupcakes that were a little dry, I filled with the marshmallow fluff. Then I piped the orange frosting on top. I was tired of piping the usual cupcake swoosh on top, so I piped the orange frosting to look like a rose.
For this particular cupcake I prefer the double frosting "swoosh". It looks a little more whimsical and resembles the top of and ice cream cone. When presented with both options, the kid inside me will almost always choose the "swoosh." Which do you like the look of?