Cupcakes! Oh cupcakes! A delight, but also a bit of a challenge for me. Wally loves them. Many people love them. Me? I like them. They are cute, quick to make and I really enjoy eating them from time to time. But I have to admit that, although I find it hard to completely fail a cupcake, I find it even harder to find a cupcake recipe that wows me.
In my quest for wow cupcake recipes I finally found one. Well, of course still my quest is not over. Not being a bit chocolate fan I would rather find a wow vanilla cupcake recipe...I'll let you know when that happens. In the meantime, I'm quite happy with this one. It was given to me by a friend but I twisted it quite a bit because while I was making it the batter did not seem quite right with the ingredients as listed. And, of course, I had to pair chocolate with orange :) yes, one of my obsession. So I came out with this orange-Grand Marnier frosting that really satisfied me. I actually thought they were good with or without the frosting. Either way, I hope you will like it!
yields 12 cupcakes
170 gr (6 oz or 1 1/3 cup) all purpose flour
2 gr (1/2 tsp) baking soda
1 gr (1/4 tsp) salt
60 gr (2 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
150 gr (5.3 oz or 3/4 cup) sugar
60 ml (2 fl oz or 1/4 cup) buttermilk or whipping cream or a combination of the two*
60 ml (2 fl oz or 1/4 cup) vegetable oil
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
15 ml (1 tbsp) Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
*I used a combination of the two
30 gr (2 tbsp) butter, at room temperature
260 gr (9 oz or 2 cups) confectioner's sugar
50 ml (3 tbsp) freshly squeezed orange juice
7 ml (2 tbsp) Grand Mariner or other orange liqueur
pinch of salt
15 gr (1 tbsp) grated orange zest
For the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare the muffin pan with nonstick spray or paper cups.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, the baking soda, and the salt. Add the cocoa and the sugar and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Add the buttermilk, the whipping cream (or whichever of the two you chooses), the egg, the oil, the Grand Marnier, and the vanilla and beat until smooth.
Spoon the batter into the pans, filling at least halfway. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and turn out the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting and decoration
While the cupcakes are cooling down, place the butter, the orange juice and the Grand Marnier into the bowl of your mixer.
Cream for about 1 minute and then add in the sugar 1/2 cup at a time and continue to add until you reach the desired consistency (up to 2 cups). Add in the salt and zest and beat at medium-high speed for 1 minute, until creamy.
Pipe frosting over the cooled cupcakes using a star noozle.
Have a sweet day!