Springtime calls for lighter flavors and fresher treats. These orange cream cupcakes are sweet and tangy, just like the first spring breezes.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
5 eggs, separated
the zest of one medium organic orange
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the canola oil and begin to mix at medium speed. Add the egg yolks and orange juice and mix until the batter is thoroughly combined and smooth.  Stir in the orange zest.

In a second bowl (that fits your mixer, or using a hand mixer), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks begin to form.  While that is coming together (it takes about 5-7 minutes), prepare your cupcake tins with festive paper liners. When your egg whites are light and peaky, fold — do not mix — the them into the batter.

Fill the cupcake tins three quarters full (about 1/2 cup of batter each). Bake for 17 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean.  Let cool completely before decorating.

Makes 17 cupcakes (I don’t know why it doesn’t quite stretch to 18).

How They Turned Out:

The rose and rounded out beautifully — almost too pretty to frost!

Orange Cream Sans Frosting

 

I used an orange buttercream frosting to decorate these. They were a big hit at the springtime cakewalk today.

I think they were a bit dense, even with the lightening of the egg whites, so next time I’ll try cake flour instead of all purpose flour.

 

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I made these banana-riffic cupcakes for my nephew’s fifth birthday. They were almost as a big a hit as the remote control motorcycle.

Cupcake 1

Banana Cupcakes

I am a lazy blogger on a sunny Sunday afternoon, so I’ll just provide the links to the splendid banana cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart and the perfect buttercream recipe from Alice at Savory Sweet Life that made these sweetnesses possible. Thanks ladies!

How else to celebrate Fat Tuesday — aka Mardi Gras — than with decadent chocolate cupcakes topped with rich cream cheese frosting?

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cup Ghirardelli cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups whole milk

Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cupcake tin with festive paper wrappers.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa together in a large bowl, then set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, until thoroughly combined.  Scrape the sides of the bowl before adding the flour mixture.  Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the milk until the batter is smooth and thoroughly combined.

Fill the cupcake tins 3/4 full.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean but for a few crumbs.  Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together.  Add the powdered sugar in batches until you achieve the consistency you want.  Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and decorate as desired. Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

How They Turned Out:

These treats are sure to earn you the best beads at the parade.

MG Cupcakes 2

The fancification is from Fancy Flours (love! their goodies).