Rich Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

chocolate orange cupcakes

Given I don’t seem to have a particular fondness for cupcakes I seem to be making and blogging  a lot about them at the moment. I’ve been busy teaching recently and cupcakes are the perfect medium to teach basic cake decorating techniques. They are small, quick and easy to make.

There’s something I love about orange and chocolate together’ it works so well. I use Sainsbury’s Valencian Orange Extract for cakes. It is simply rapeseed oil and orange oil and flavour it gives it incredibly intense. Their American peppermint extract is also very good.

These chocolate orange cupcakes are incredibly rich and due to the serious cocoa hit in the buttercream without being too sweet. Think of the most decadent chocolate mousse you’ve eaten and this buttercream is close to that.  These are very much adult cupcakes, I think most children would find the intense chocolate too much.

These cakes contain a small amount of ground almonds which helps keep the sponge moist. It also means the cake doesn’t rise as much as normal sponge which leaves you with a flatter top for icing.

I took this batch to a school I work at where, until I rocked up with these cakes, most of the staff claimed to be on some sort of diet. Not for long. Even some staff who were on playground duty hid a cakes for themselves and one even risked their nut allergy to eat one.

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
Makes 9-12

For the cakes

  • 100g Stork or well softened butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g self- raising flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 2 tsp milk

For the buttercream

  • 250g butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 4 tsbp milk (you may need more)
  • 2 tsp orange extract

1) Beat together the Stork and sugar until light and fluffy.

2) Stir in the eggs one at a time. If the mixture begins to look a bit curdled add some of the flour.

3) Mix in the orange extract, flour, cocoa and milk. The mixture should now be of dropping consistency.

4) Place cupcake liners in a tin and fill until liners are 2/3 full.

5) Bake at 160°c for 15 minutes or until cakes are risen and cooked through. Allow to cool on a wire rack while you make the buttercream.

6) Place the softened butter, icing sugar, orange extract, cocoa and milk in a bowl. Using an electric whisk beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Due to the cocoa the mixture can be very stiff. If this is the case add more milk 1 tbsp at a time.

7) Put the buttercream in to a piping bag with 1M tip and pipe on to the cooled cakes.