Orange cupcakes with fluffy vanilla buttercream taste like an orange creamsicle and they’re a fun treat for summer or any time of year!
Let’s start out today with a very, very important question: Have you seen the Jimmy Fallon/Backstreet Boys video that’s been floating around? If not, watch it NOW. Go ahead. My cupcakes and I will wait.
Isn’t it amazing? I can’t get enough. Give me the Delia’s catalog and some body glitter and it’s high school all over again 🙂 #obsessed
But anyway. . .I know you’re not here to listen to me reminisce. Or maybe you are? Because today’s recipe is nostalgia-inspired.
These orange cupcakes with fluffy vanilla frosting were inspired by my love for orange creamsicles. In fact, you could call these orange creamsicle cupcakes because that’s legit what they taste like.
Was there anything better in summer when you were a kid than sitting by the pool eating a creamsicle and reading Nancy Drew? Surely not.
If you love the bright pop of flavor citrus gives desserts, then you’ll go cah-razy for these babies. And OH MAN will they ever take you back to childhood.
As I am wont to do, I used a cake mix to make these cupcakes easy. I flavored them with orange gelatin, orange juice, and orange zest.
One tablespoon of orange zest gave these cupcakes exactly the amount of orange flavor I was going for. You can certainly add more or less, just remember you can add zest but you can’t take it away so go slowly if you’re adding more.
The frosting is a standard American buttercream because I adore how easy they are to make. Just butter, sugar, salt, and some flavorings make a dreamy frosting to top cupcakes or to eat with a spoon. (Not that I know anything about the latter.)
Make a batch of orange cupcakes sometime this summer and be transported to the days when all summer meant was frozen treats and running through sprinklers. Which, come to think of it, isn’t all that different than my summers now.
One last thing: if you make these cupcakes–or any IBK recipes–let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below. And post a pic on Insta too—tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see! For more recipes and fun, like us on Facebook and follow along on Pinterest!
Orange cupcakes with vanilla frosting are easy to make and they taste like an orange creamsicle!
- 1 15.25-ounce white or yellow cake mix*
- 3 large eggs
- 1 3-ounce box orange gelatin
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 to 6 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- orange wedges for garnish if desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 22 to 24 muffin cups with paper liners and set pans aside.
Combine all cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer set to medium for 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Divide batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups and bake 18 to 24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in pans for 20 minutes, then gently remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until very creamy. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons of the milk, the vanilla, and the salt, and beat on low until combined. Turn mixer to medium and beat until smooth. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin and more milk if it’s too thick. Frost cupcakes as desired and top with a wedge of orange (if desired). Serve.
*I used Duncan Hines classic white cake mix.