Monday, April 26, 2010

Orange-Creamsicle Cupcakes

I was so tempted to bake after my post yesterday that I immediately began on the orange-creamsicle cupcakes that I'd thought so much about.

Of course, as usual, things did not go exactly as planned. I started off with this recipe for white cupcakes from allrecipes. They were pretty bland on their own, which I'll admit was probably my fault because I left out the vanilla extract. You see, I don't have vanilla extract. And the reason I don't have it is that I don't like it. I never really understand the point -- it just makes stuff taste bad (like chocolate-chip cookie dough, which is very hard to ruin). And if I am going to use it, I like the imitation kind. But I think I have finally realized that it is necessary for some things, like white cupcakes. Next time I'll probably just use Pillsbury because they have mastered the art of artificial flavoring, and I simply cannot match it.

Anyway, the white cake was mediocre, but I figured the frosting and filling I had planned would redeem it. But then the filling did not work out as I'd imagined it. At all. I thought I'd use nice fresh, lightly-sweetened whipped cream inside. But my cream was unwilling to whip. It stayed kind of runny, and I knew it would just make the inside of the cupcake soggy overnight, so I abandoned the filling plan.

Alright, on to the frosting. I was actually reasonably successful with this (which is surprising because I just sort of combined things in random amounts until it tasted right).

Orange Cream Frosting

3 oz cream cheese
1/2 c. butter
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. orange juice (no pulp!)
Some yellow and red food dye

Miraculously, the frosting tasted like a creamsicle! It completely redeemed my failing cupcakes, such that I was able to feed them to people without the utter shame I expected from the initial results.

If I make these again, I'm going to use a different kind of cake. Maybe one with buttermilk in it. Or maybe I just need to suck it up and buy some vanilla extract. I also think the orange cream frosting might be really good on chocolate cupcakes instead.

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