Um, yes. That’s right. Amazing.
I’ve had this sort of longstanding craving for orange and chocolate for some time now, probably brought on by a friend sending me pictures of orange-flavored Lindt chocolates, that you can’t find here. But rather than let my cruel friend win, I decided to channel my cravings into what is essentially the best thing in the world, a cupcake.
I mean, think about it. Cupcakes can literally carry any flavor (and I’m going to start thinking through savory flavors soon! Not to mention the Heineken cupcakes I’m posting on the blog later this week…), they’re small so you don’t feel like you’re overdoing, and they’re pretty. Flavorful, small and pretty = perfection.
Also, you might have seen on another post or two or three that chocolate is not my thing. I think I decided after these cupcakes that I should never be so hasty as to just put opinions out there, because then something like this comes along and BAM – my entire world is shaken. So maybe chocolate is not my favorite thing ever, but there are days where you just NEED it, right? And this cupcake is perfect for those days, particularly if you’re still a loudmouthed supporter of fruit in baked goods. 🙂
Initially I wanted to do an orange buttercream, but after taste testing this with four of my colleagues at 11pm at night, we decided it needed a chocolate buttercream, which was a brilliant decision, trust me.
One quick point about my adaption of the recipe below – for the cupcakes, the original recipe calls for sour cream, which usually makes cakes and cupcakes AMAZING. However, given that there is one grocery store in Liberia that sells sour cream, and that’s it usually gone off and destroys the taste in the cupcake, I decided to use plain yogurt instead. You can do either, or use a mix of the two…it’s up to you! Greek yogurt also gives them a great flavor, so play around with what works for you.
I hope you take a turn making these cupcakes, and enjoy them!!
Orange Chocolate Cupcakes
Cupcake recipe adapted from the ultimate chocolate cupcake by Cupcake Project
Makes approximately 18 cupcakes
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 ounces of dark chocolate
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp orange extract
1/3 cup plain full fat yogurt (you can also use the same amount of full-fat sour cream or a mix of the two to equal 1/3 cup)
zest of 1 orange
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tesp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup room temperature brewed coffee
Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit / 180 celsius. Fill cupcake pans with 18 liners.
Using a microwave or a metal bowl placed over a pot of boiling water, melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate is fully melted and there are no lumps remaining, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
While the chocolate is cooling, in a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fully combined. Once the chocolate is cool to touch, mix in with the butter and sugar until just combined. Next, mix in the eggs and egg yolks, one after another, mixing between each one until just combined.
Next add the oil, vanilla and orange extracts, and yogurt, and mix to combine. Finally, mix in the zest of the orange.
In a separate bowl, sift and then whisk together the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three separate additions, mixing until the flour mixture is just combined.
Once all of the dry ingredients have been mixed with the wet ingredients, add the coffee and mix the entire batter together once more.
Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full with batter, and place in the oven.
Cupcakes should bake between 18-22 minutes. At 18 minutes check the cupcakes and stick a toothpick or skewer in the top to check for doneness – the cupcakes are finished once the toothpick comes out clean.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven once done, and careful with burning your hands, remove each cupcake from the pan and place on wire racks to cool. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost with the chocolate frosting.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from Baked Perfection
1 cup butter (226 g), softened
5-6 cups confectioner’s sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
generous pinch of salt
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until it’s turned lighter than it’s standard deep yellow. Add the salt and vanilla, and mix. Add the cocoa powder, and mix again.
Sift in each cup of powdered sugar one at a time, mixing between each cup. After about four cups of powdered sugar add in the milk. Add in the remaining two cups of powdered sugar, one at a time. Depending on the consistency, you may want to add more milk or less powdered sugar, whatever works for you. I find that in the intense humidity of Liberia my frosting always looks a bit melted, so I overdo it a bit on the powdered sugar.
Once the frosting is done, pipe or spoon onto the cupcakes, and enjoy! And remember, there is no shame in eating as many as you want, you will find no judgment here. 🙂