Vegan Orange Cupcakes with Orange Creamcheese frosting

Orange_cupcakes

Growing up, I used to love running home from the playground to freshly squeezed orange juice, lovingly served by my Mom. Even today, take me to Jamba Juice and my first instinct will be to reach out for that medium sized fresh orange juice glass!

I love the flavor of oranges. It’s instantly refreshing and yet exotic when paired with ingredients like coffee or chocolate. I’ve spent a fair amount of time making orange flavored coffee for friends and even orange chocolate cakes.

This past week though, I decided to make a batch of cupcakes that are through and through, orange flavored. No whiff of chocolate, no after effects from caffeine. What I pleasantly discovered, was that this was a batch of absolutely no-fuss cupcakes! Super easy to make, and citrus on the tongue.

Ingredients:

Makes 12 cupcakes

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vailla extract
1 tsp orange extract
2.5 tbsp grated orange rind
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil

For the frosting:

8 oz cream cheese
1 stick (8 tbsp butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sifted powdered sugar (more if you like your creamcheese sweet)
1 tbsp grated orange rind

Directions:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Line 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt.
3. Add in the extracts, oil, orange juice and mix until no lumps remain, no more than 1 minute. Do not whisk.
4. Pour into cup cake liners, 2/3rds of the way and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until a knife through the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Turn off the oven and let the cupcakes cool in there for 5 – 10 minutes.
6. Take the tray out and let the cupcakes cool in the tray for 10 minutes. Then transfer on to a cake rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting.

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The Frosting

1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.
2. Add sugar on low speed, beat until incorporated.
3. Add in the grated orange rind, increase the beater speed to high and mix until light and fluffy.
4. Pipe onto your cupcakes. Garnish with twisted orange rind or orange slices. 

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