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I’m back! Well, physically I am, but I think I left part of myself back in New York. It’s always hard to come home from a great vacation, but then it’s always great to sleep in your own bed again.

I’ll tell more about our trip later, but I wanted to make sure to get my post up to submit to Tartelette and Sugar High Friday. When I saw that she was hosting and that the theme was “Citrus” I knew I was going to participate. I think that citrus would have to be my favorite these days. I hate to admit this, but these days, I would probably choose something citrus over something chocolate. I know – I must be losing my mind! But there is just something so bright and refreshing about citrus flavors that they make my mouth water every time.

These cupcakes come from a book called Small-Batch Baking by Debby Maugans Nakos. I am falling in love with this book. It’s made just for households like mine, where there are only 2 people. One batch of these cupcakes makes only 4 cupcakes – perfect!! I made the basic cupcake recipe and an orange cream cheese frosting. The only complaint I can come up with about this recipe is that the cupcakes were a little bit dense. I think it’s because there is so little batter that I didn’t want to use a mixer, and I probably just did not whip in enough air by hand. But they were still delicious, and this frosting is absolutely delicious. And although they are so good that you would be tempted to over-eat, you can’t – because there are only 4 of them!!

Just Plain Good Cupcakes
from Small-Batch Baking

Makes 4 cupcakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Yolk of 1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350F and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Line 4 muffin cups and set aside.

Combine the buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl and stir to mix. Gently whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla.

Place the flour, sugar and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl ad whisk to blend well. Add the butter and half of the buttermilk mixture. Beat with a hand-held mixer on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium and bet until the mixture is lightened and has slightly increased in volume, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour in the remaining buttermilk mixture and beat on medium speed until well blended, 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Spoon the batter evenly into the 4 prepared cups. Fill the empty cups halfway with water to prevent them from scorching. Bake the cupcakes until a tester comes out clean, about 20 to 23 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Small-Batch Baking

Makes 1 cup

4 ounces cold cream cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 tablespoon thawed frozen orange juice concentrate

Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until blended, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar, orange zest and extract, and beat to mix. Add the orange juice concentrate and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.

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40 Responses to Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Catherine Wilkinson says:

    Welcome back! Can’t wait to hear about your trip!
    I love the whole small batch idea, especially when experimenting…so if something goes awry, I haven’t wasted good ingredients…but this recipe certainly doesn’t go awry…it’s perfect and I agree about citrus!

  2. glamah16 says:

    I cant wait to hear the details! Thats a good idea for a book,small batch baking!

  3. Grace says:

    mmm…i’m gonna need about three times more frosting than that. :)

    welcome back!

  4. Patsyk says:

    I have that cookbook, but haven’t made anything from it yet. Gonna have to try this, I love cupcakes and I can’t resist them… so only 4 is a good thing in my house!

  5. Meeta says:

    oh I am glad you’re back! Hope you had a great time. These cupcakes look so refreshing and tangy. Perfect for the theme!

  6. kimberleyblue says:

    That sounds like a perfect cookbook for me too – and those cupcakes are gorgeous! I would always choose citrus desserts over chocolate.

  7. Steph says:

    Welcome back Deborah! Can’t wait to hear about your trip and most of all if you ended up going to Sweet Melissa’s bakery! The cupcakes look divine, I love orange cream cheese frosting! I could eat all 4 of them!

  8. Sylvie says:

    Those cupcakes look superb. Glad you enjoyed your trip. I love NYC!

  9. Ruth Elkin says:

    Glad you had a great trip…. Can’t wait to see photos and hear more!!!!

    These look awesome. I’m loving citrus flavours at the minute so I’m sure I would love these too!

  10. Elle says:

    Welcome back! I’m totally into citrus, lately, too! Those look fantastic, Deborah!

  11. Abby says:

    I’ve never heard of a four-cupcake batch. That is utterly GENIUS. I get tired of decorating after, like, 5. HA.

    Glad you had a good time! You’ll have to tell us all about it.

  12. Peabody says:

    Orange cream is one of my all time favorites. Have you tried the orange creme Hersey Kisses? Those are good.

  13. Mary says:

    That is such a terrific cupcake recipe! I am ashamed that that’s the only recipe I’ve made of the book yet! Your cupcakes are beautiful too! Way to come back in style!

  14. Miss Linds says:

    These look incredible! I’m a huge fan of the small portions. Just know that I will be testing them out tomorrow night for dinner!

  15. Emiline says:

    Welcome back! These sound good – like a Creamsicle!

  16. Dhanggit says:

    i love the idea of orange cream cheese frosting… yummy!!

    btw welcome back!!

  17. April says:

    These look wonderful! Welcome back!

  18. Michelle says:

    i am coming out on tuesday! next week!

  19. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Ohhhh! Welcome back! Those are some super cutie cupcakes!

  20. PheMom says:

    Hey! Welcome back! Glad it sounds like your trip was fun. That sounds like a great cookbook too! I am always cutting recipes down and wondering if they still turn out right with the changes. Your cupcakes look great though!

  21. Cakespy says:

    Talk about perfect little cuppies! These have a perfect hue and I’ll bet, a perfect taste, too!

  22. Cookie baker Lynn says:

    How great to find a recipe that fits a small family. The cupcakes are lovely. Can’t wait to hear more of your trip!

  23. kellypea says:

    The small batch thing sounds very cool. It would keep me from eating more than I should or having to drive down to the middle school! These look really, really tasty. And I’m in the same place with the chocolate vs. citrus thing. Welcome back!

  24. michelle @ TNS says:

    i need that book, because i’m constantly trying to cut baking recipes down and then screwing things up with my terrible, genetic inability to perform simple math. seriously, i need help.

    also, why choose between chocolate and citrus when you can have chocolate AND citrus?

  25. chou says:

    That book sounds like one I need to find. My not-so-small batch baking is starting to make my pants feel, well, small. :)

  26. kat says:

    I love that cookbook too! I had the same issue with those cupcakes. I just made a batch & added some baking powder I’ll let you know if it helps.

  27. Bellini Valli says:

    This cookbook would be perfect for me as well!!! Glad you had such a memorable ttrip:D

  28. thedelish says:

    Yum, these look so good. I am definitely going to have to check out that cookbook, what a great idea!

  29. Kevin says:

    Welcome back! That orange cream cheese frosting sounds so good!

  30. Elle says:

    Glad you enjoyed NY…and it DOES feel so good to get back to your own bed.
    Small batch baking is such a good idea when there are only two or three at home. The freezer can only hold so much after all :)
    Love the orange cream cheese frosting!

  31. K-Nut says:

    I adore this cookbook! I’ll be glad to read about someone else’s experiences with it all. :D Lovely photos!

  32. Lisa says:

    Love this small batch recipe! I like orange matched with vanilla so this is up my alley. I will try them soon.

  33. Heather says:

    how beautiful! and what a good idea… only making 4! that way, you don’t have to eat all 12 in one night (wouldn’t want to waste any!)

  34. zlamushka says:

    Hi Deborah,
    You seem to enjoy world cuisine a lot. I am hosting Tried And Tasted Event, we re cooking Carribean this month – up for the challenge? It is about cooking from other blogs, a lot of fun :-)

  35. KJ says:

    Small batches – what a great idea. And they look delicious.

  36. kamailesfood says:

    These cupcakes look great! I’ll have to check out Small-Batch Baking. Maybe then I won’t end up eating a dozen cupcakes myself.

  37. Sophie says:

    I like the way you frosted these cupcakes. They look like they’re wearing little hats :).

    I’ll be visiting NYC for the first time in a few months and I CANNOT WAIT. Hope you had a fun time :D.

  38. Rosie says:

    Welcome back sorry I’m a little late always seem to be playing catch up eek..

    Those cupcakes are gorgeous must look this cookbook up too :)

    Rosie x

  39. Helen says:

    Thank you for your entry! Cupcakes are wonderful but topped with orange and cream cheese…Yum!
    Tartelette.

  40. Olivia says:

    These remind me of those old Hostess cupcakes that were orange flavored that I LOVED when I was a kid. Obviously these look so much better…I feel nostalgic and feel the need to make these.

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