Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Buttermilk Orange Zest Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Well... I'm back home (Spain-home) from my 2 week Spring Break! I had quite the adventurous time full of lessons learned about travelling. I missed a flight from Lisbon, Portugal to Madrid, Spain when I was trying to meet my sister so we could fly to Dublin due to stupidity (completely forgot about military time)...and when on my way back to San Sebasti√°n, had my wallet stolen on the Madrid metro. BUT other than those fiascos, I had pretty wonderful trips! Ireland was definitely my favorite of the two (versus Portugal). To hear about both trips, take a look at my travel blog tomorrow when I've posted about them!

Anyways. Back to the cupcakes! The entire two weeks I was gone I was ITCHING to bake. I fear it's become an obsession slash my favorite form of procrastination. Oh, Sophie you have two papers to write....buuut cupcakes!!

These little guys came out of my love for chocolate and orange. This month's Chocolate Blog party ingredient was buttermilk. To be honest, I don't have a lot of experience using buttermilk. Here and there I've experimented with using it in chocolate cakes etc. but nothing really beyond that. I've never even bought it before. I always have done the make it yourself trick (putting one tablespoon of lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup, and then filling the rest of the way with milk, waiting like 10 minutes, and voil√°!).

I had originally wanted to make buttermilk scones, but by the time I got back from my trip somebody else had already taken that route! So I decided to go with cupcakes. Instead of making the cupcake chocolate (which is usually my preferred cupcake),  I found a simple recipe for orange zested buttermilk cake, and made the frosting chocolate cream cheese! Pretty tasty combination! I had an interesting time zesting the orange (no zester in my Spanish apartment). Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures, but it was a pretty funny process. I peeled the zest with a vegetable peeler, and then minced it as fine as I could.

So here we go:

Cupcakes- (Slightly adapted recipe from The Daring Gourmet)

2 eggs, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk (I did the lemon juice/milk combo explained above)
1 tsp vanilla
Zest of an orange
1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined. Then add the buttermilk, vanilla and zest and mix until distributed. Whisk in the melted butter. Then add the baking powder and salt. Add the flour and mix just until it all comes together (do not overmix!).

Fill your pan with batter 3/4 of the way full, and bake for about 20 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Let cool out of the pan for at least half an hour before frosting.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting:

200 grams cream cheese
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together until combined. Be sure to sift the powdered sugar beforehand to avoid lumps!

Once the cupcakes have cooled, using whatever tip you want (or doing the easy knife spread) frost your cupcakes! :)

And that's that! I love these chocolate parties because I get to experiment with new ideas! :)

Here are the rules of the game:

There's a special ingredient each month to be paired with chocolate!
You can submit up to 3 recipes each month.
You include a link back to the monthly round-up or the Chocolate party page
You just have to be sure that the recipe is published for the current month!

Super fun and challenging way to get to know other bloggers and try new things!


  1. Mmmm... your frosting looks to die for and with the orange flavored cake I bet this is a winner.

  2. I love the touch of orange in these cupcakes. And the frosting, oh my, perfectly pipped!!!

  3. Sophia, I love everything about these cupcakes! Cream cheese frosting is always a winner and I adore the flavour combo of chocolate and orange. Yum!