These were something else. Seriously. I found the recipe on the Cupcake Project Blog, as the result of a research jag – I’ve been looking for sweet and savoury stuff that’s really different, beyond the limits of what can be found in a traditional bakery recipe list. Admittedly, this was the more conventional of the two choices I tried from Stef’s extensive list of cupcake ideas – you’ll see the second one appearing soon!
They look absolutely gorgeous on a plate. The time and effort you need to put into getting these made and presented is all paid back. Soft, subtle notes of orange in the cake are met with the comforting, smooth notes of caramel and citrus in the icing. Everything combines together in a delicate fusion of fruit, sugar, freshness and creaminess and sheer glory.
I cannot recommend Stef’s Cupcake Project Blog more highly. Even if you’re just looking to waste an hour by accident – go do it, now. This woman is made of amazing, and I can only hope one day I’m able to reach the creative heights she’s at. So! Cake stuff…this makes and ices 16 little cakes.
Ingredient List – For the Cupcakes:
135g White Sugar
Zest from 2 Oranges, fine grated
260g Plain Flour
1 ½ Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
100g Soft Butter
2 large eggs
175g Full Fat Sour Cream
2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
175ml Orange Juice
For the Orange Caramel:
50g Golden Caster Sugar
75ml Orange Juice
¼ Tsp Salt
50ml Double Cream
For the Orange Caramel Frosting:
250g Butter, Soft
275g Icing Sugar
¼ Tsp Salt
Zest of 1 Orange, fine grated
3/4 Salted Caramel from Above Recipe
1. Line those cupcake trays and preheat that oven: 180 for non-fan, 160 for all-the-way-fan. Combine the orange zest with your sugar and set aside to allow the orange flavour to infuse for half an hour. In the meanwhile, combine your flour, baking powder and bicarb in a bowl.
2. Beat your butter in a bowl for about three minutes until soft and fluffy in texture. Add the orange sugar to this mix and combine. One by one, add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla, beating after each ingredient to combine evenly. Finally, add half the flour – combine. Add half the orange juice – combine. Repeat to add the final measures of flour and juice. Fill up your liners about 3/4 of the way and put them in the oven for 20 minutes – mine took precisely that amount of time.
3. Put your baked cakes on a wire rack to cool and get started on your caramel! Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. then add the sugar and stir continuously til the mix is smooth and just starting to bubble. At this point, turn the heat right down and keep stirring for a minute. Throw in the orange juice, and be warned – this may briefly make the mix go crazy, because mine certainly did! The mix may curdle and bubble insanely. Don’t worry. Take it off the heat for a bit if needs be, stir continuously, and when it’s calmed down put it back on the heat at low to medium and keep stirring. Dose it with the cream & salt when things have recombined, stir til just even and then take it off the heat and set aside to cool – about thirty minutes to an hour.
4. Cream your butter for the icing sugar for three minutes to really fluff it up, then dose it gradually with icing sugar, bit by bit. Throw in the orange zest and salt, beat to combine. Finally, mix in most of the salted caramel mix and beat to even consistency. Voila, you have your topping for your cooled cupcakes! I used piping tubes to ice mine – I started by scraping a teaspoon of frosting onto each cake to help ‘glue’ the piping icing. Then I swirled the rest on through the tube, starting at the outside and working in.
I was also incredibly unsophisticated and topped mine with sweets from a Lidl toffee selection – you might have something more sophisticated in mind! Whatever you do, these are just…gorgeous. Do Enjoy.