Fresh Orange Cupcakes

Like traditional Indian orange cakes and Italian olive oil cakes, these cupcakes are moist, fresh and very tasty. I’ve used fresh orange zest and fresh-squeezed orange juice to bring the citrus flavors out in these delicious little cupcakes. A sugar glaze and almond topping bring some sweetness and crunch, without overpowering the orange.

The texture of these olive oil cupcakes is perfection. They are soft and airy, yet moist and full of flavor. The history of olive oil cakes varies, with some originating in Italy and India, but also many Mediterranean countries, like France and Spain.

fresh orange cupcakesAt first, I worried about using olive oil in a cake. I’m not a huge fan of the olive oil flavor, and I was afraid the flavor would be noticeable. Instead, the flavor perfectly blends with the oranges and the oil only adds amazing moisture and texture to these mini cakes.

Olive oil cakes are traditionally flavored with citrus, mainly lemons or oranges. These cakes are perfect desserts for our beachy, Florida town, where all citrus is readily available. And what great tangy, refreshing cupcakes to take along to the beach! I also like these cupcakes for this time of year, with Easter and Mother’s Day around the corner. Fresh orange cupcakes will fit right in at any brunch.

Because of the oil content, the bottoms of the cupcake liners might look a little oily when you first remove them from the muffin pan. While mine were cooling on the rack, I lined the top of the rack with paper towels for the cupcakes to sit on. The paper towels absorbed the small amount of oil on the bottoms of the cupcake liners. The cupcakes are not oily or greasy at all when you eat them.

A thin glaze is just perfect for frosting these cupcakes – the cake flavor needs to come through and not be overpowered by too much sugary icing. Use the glaze that is here in this recipe, or try my richer sugar glaze that has a bit of melted vegan butter in it, posted here.

Once you have glazed the cupcakes, you can top them with candy sprinkles for a birthday or other celebration, or crushed/sliced nuts for breakfast or brunch. If you keep raw nuts on hand, be sure to roast or toast them before using them as the topping. This makes them lighter and adds a crunch to the cupcake tops.

If you need instructions for roasting nuts to use for toppings, have a look here.

You might enjoy trying:

Fresh Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glaze

Fresh Raspberry Hand Pies

Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes

 

Print Recipe
Fresh Orange Cupcakes
Deliciously tangy, sweet and moist cupcakes - perfect for spring brunch or taking to the beach.
fresh orange cupcakes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
For the glaze:
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
For the glaze:
fresh orange cupcakes
Instructions
To make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-muffin pan with cupcake liners or lightly grease and flour each muffin cup.
  2. Zest the two oranges and squeeze the juice from them. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix well. Add the sugar to the bowl and mix again.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, blend together the orange juice, orange zest, olive oil and water.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients a little at a time, blending as you go, removing any lumps.
  6. Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, to 1/4- to 1/2-inch from the top of the muffin liner or pan cup.
    fresh orange cupcakes
  7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. The cupcakes might begin to brown on the top slightly, depending on your oven.
  8. Once done, remove the muffin pan from the oven and place the entire pan of muffins on top of a cooling rack. Let the muffins cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Let the standalone muffins cool another 15 minutes or so on the cooling rack.
  9. If desired, drizzle the cupcakes with the glaze. Top with your favorite toppings for decoration, such as chopped or sliced nuts or candy sprinkles.
To make the glaze:
  1. In a small bowl or 2-cup measuring glass, add 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons of powdered (confectioners) sugar.
  2. Add 1-1/4 tablespoons of plant based milk. Stir until combined.
  3. Stir in the 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  4. Pour and spread by the spoonful onto the top of the cupcakes. The glaze will run and drip down the cupcake sides somewhat, so be sure to place paper towels or parchment paper under the rack to catch the glaze drips.
  5. Add any nuts or sprinkles to the cupcake tops at this point, before the glaze has cooled. Allow the glaze to set for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

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