Bake Sale: Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

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Bake Sale: Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

By Stefani Pollack

The smell of morning from zesting oranges while you prepare orange creamsicle cupcakes only hints at what’s to come. The scent creeps throughout your home while the cupcakes bake, testing your willpower to wait. The orange creamsicle cupcakes are dense, like a pound cake, but their weight is countered with pillowy orange salted caramel frosting.  They take you back to the call of the ice cream truck but surprise you with their grown-up complexity.

Yield: 16 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients
2/3 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2/3 cup full-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup pure orange juice

Salted Caramel Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup pure orange juice
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Frosting Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
½ cup salted caramel (from above), room temperature

Cupcake Directions:
30 minutes before baking, mix sugar and orange zest in a small bowl to infuse the orange flavor into the sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
In a medium-sized bowl, cream butter and the sugar/orange zest mixture until light and fluffy.
Mix eggs, sour cream, and vanilla into butter/sugar mixture until fully combined.
Alternately mix the flour mixture and orange juice into the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Salted Caramel Directions:
Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat.
Add brown sugar and stir continuously until just boiling.
Add orange juice and salt and stir well.
Stir in heavy whipping cream until just combined.
Remove from heat.
Cool to room temperature.
Set aside ½ cup for the frosting.
Frosting Directions:
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer for three minutes until light and fluffy.
Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
Mix in salt and orange zest.
Mix in salted caramel.
Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.
Optionally, drizzle any extra salted caramel over the frosting.

Stefani Pollack is the author of the popular cupcake blog, Cupcake Project. While she loves simple chocolate cupcakes, Stefani prefers creative cupcakes inspired by her favorite flavor combinations. She encourages her readers to branch out and experiment in the kitchen. Why cupcakes? They bring out the kid in us! Visit Stefani at

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Reader Comments:


Hi Carol, Sorry for the delayed response and for any confusion. I'm just now seeing your comment. The salted caramel gets mixed into the frosting. It's the 4th step in the frosting directions.

By Stefani Pollack on October 04, 2012


I am confused on these Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes. Where does the Salted Carmel Ingredients go and when? I am just confused. I love the sound of these cupcakes and would love to make them. Please help me! The Best to you Paula and I love your show! Carol Butterfield

By Carol Butterfield on August 15, 2012


They look yummy

By Bonnie Munoz on August 10, 2012


I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate that you are so careful to not be wasteful with your food. I enjoy watching you and your sons and the interaction between you all. You can feel the love through the tv set! Also I wondered what is done with the food after you prepare it all, does it get eaten or thrown away. I think of that everytime I see any food shows. We live in a place where there are homeless and needy( it's hard to believe isn't that the good old USA has hungry people everywhere). Thank you for sharing yourself and all your wonderful recipes with us. Best wishes and best dishes to you too!!! Ruth Floyd

By Ruth Floyd on August 09, 2012


i love your no fail pound cake my friends and family love to.I would love your white chocolate banana pudding recipe saw it in a magazine at the doctors office can not find it. thank you.

By sharon on August 09, 2012

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