Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm ready for spring!

I'm ready for some less chilly weather, the last few days have been really nice, sunny with the most beautiful blue sky. It's still a bit cold but it gives me a glimpse of spring.

SO...I wanted to make a spring cupcake. I've made chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry cupcakes. I wanted to do something fruity, fresh and of course yummy! I decided to make some orange cupcakes since I found some pure orange extract in the pantry and I had just bought some nice oranges. I also wanted to try a new recipe for cream cheese frosting. I have to say that I think I found THE BEST recipe for it. I've made it a few times before but even though it came out ok I wasn't convinced, but this time I really found (to me at least) the best one.

Orange Cupcakes via My Baking Addiction

1/2 cup unsalted butter, (room temperature)
2/3 cup granulated white sugar or Baker's Sugar
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of pure orange extract
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. Place the sugar and orange zest into the bowl of your mixer and blend until moist and fragrant. Add in butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and orange extracts.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

*Makes 12 cupcakes

-I think this recipe could easily be adapted for other citrus fruits, grapefruit, lime, lemon...I think I'm going to try a lemon lime one with lemon buttercream...yummy!
-I used Baker's sugar which is also called castor sugar, it's finer than granulated sugar but not as fine as powdered. It really is a great sugar to work with if you are going to cream your butter and sugar for any cake batter. I've noticed the difference.

THE BEST Cream Cheese Frosting via Cupcake Bakeshop

12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar (more to reach desired consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment
3. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy
4. Add half of the sugar and the vanilla. Beat until combined
5. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like

NOTE: I put more sugar than what the recipe says, I like my frosting a little more sweet and the consistency a little more firm. I didn't really measure but it was more than 4 cups for sure, I just kept putting half cups in until it reached the right consistency for me.

I'm really enjoying all this baking I've been doing lately, Have gotten requests to do a few parties...Not sure where this will lead me but I'm really enjoying all of it :) I haven't forgotten about my sewing, right now I've been working on a quilt for my bed. I hardly make projects and keep them so I'm excited to be working on something for myself!

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