Spiced Orange Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Icing

When I was a kid, my mom was very crafty. She'd make homemade Christmas ornaments, embroidered pictures, and gingerbread houses. There were so many holiday traditions and special once-a-year foods and decorations. Clove-studded oranges were always out, making the house smell amazingly Christmasy. I always loved the little dried out oranges in their bowls (still don't know how she did that) looking all festive. Even though I'm not a fan of orange zest in my foods, I thought that a cupcake would be the perfect foil to a spiced orange reincarnation. I recently came across brown sugar icing on a blog I was reading, and I knew it would compliment the orange spice perfectly. Tonight, these are going with my slow cooker tequila lime turkey chili. They taste so festive and holiday-ish that it's kind of making me feel like I'm back next to those spiced orange bowls.

I'm leaving you with this as I go off to clean with the smell of tequila lime turkey chili in the kitchen, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! =)

Spiced Orange Cupcakes

1/2 cup (8 tbl) salted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup orange juice (from about 1 orange)
1 tbl orange zest (from about 1 orange)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.

In a seperate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves. In another bowl combine the milk and orange juice. On low speed, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients in three batches, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing until just combined. Add the orange zest and beat to combine. Scoop into the prepared cupcake pan, filing cups about 2/3 of the way full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached.

Source: Adapted from A Baked Creation.

Brown Sugar Icing

1/2 cup (8 tbl) salted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup half and half
2 cup powdered sugar

In a medium saucepan melt together the butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Add milk and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature. Add the powdered sugar and beat with a hand mixer until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!!

Source: Adapted from Cupcake Project.

10 Response to Spiced Orange Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Icing

December 9, 2011 at 11:55 AM

These look and sound great! I love anything that uses orange juice and/or zest. It's always just such a bright flavor and with spices, so Christmasy.

December 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM

This sounds amazing! I love the brown sugar icing, I bet it works really great with the spiced cupcake :)

December 9, 2011 at 1:26 PM

These sounds wonderful.... I love that they are spiced everything spiced makes me feel like I'm embracing the holidays. :) The brown sugar icing is very high on my happy list. Yum!

December 9, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Glorious! That brown sugar icing sound phenom and couple that with some oranges...I'm over the moon! YUM!

December 10, 2011 at 3:07 AM

Wow - I can smell these through the web - delicious looking.

December 10, 2011 at 5:02 AM

What a great, yummy, moist looking cupcake!! I'll take a dozen! :)I bet they smelled heavenly while baking. Have a great weekend! ~ Ramona

December 10, 2011 at 7:10 AM

These sound sooo good! I saved the recipe to try later, when my schedule is not so crazy.

December 11, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Your blog is the cutest little thing! These look so great! Thanks for sharing :)

December 12, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Mmmmh...these sound so yummy! Perfect for the holidays :)

December 15, 2011 at 8:21 AM

I sure am a sucker for frosting and that spiced orange frosting looks delicious.

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