Sweet Orange Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sweet Orange Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting

Sweet Orange Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting are a sweet little orange treat! Soft and moist cake is accented with orange flavor and then more orange flavor is added with the Orange buttercream for a treat everyone loves!

Renee's Kitchen Adventures:  Sweet Orange Cupcakes with Orange Butter Cream Frosting.  A light and moist cupcake bursting with orange flavor!  #cupcakes

One word.  Amazing...

After reading about this delicious orange cake recipe one of my Facebook friends posted on her wall the other day...I was being haunted.  Haunted by thoughts of fluffy orange-y cake with sweet orange-y frosting. She gave it rave reviews.

I really had no real occasion to make this cake.  I mean, you ARE supposed to have an occasion to make cake, right?

I guess my occasion was....um....I wanted to make cake!

I have always been and probably will always be a baker at heart.  What can I say?  Baking is my therapy.  It is also my downfall, because what gets baked must get eaten!  Luckily, I planned this baking event to coincide with my work day.  So they guys were very happy when I showed up with a tray full of cupcakes!

Renee's Kitchen Adventures:  Sweet Orange Cupcakes with Orange Butter Cream Frosting.  A light and moist cupcake bursting with orange flavor!  #cupcakes

At any rate, I'm not totally sorry I made this cake recipe.  It is out of this world delicious...and easy too!!  The cake is tender and moist with a hint of orange flavor enhanced by Grand Marnier topped with a butter cream frosting that echos all those same flavors.

I wasn't really going for the low calorie/healthy target with these.  I was going more for taste and portion control.  Making this cake recipe into cupcakes allows a built in portion control...if you can stop at one, that is.  I was actually pretty surprised that each cupcake calculated up to around 200 calories each...WITH frosting.  Not bad for delicious cake and frosting recipe like this one. 

Some of the changes I made to the recipe are as follows:
  • I replaced the milk ingredient with low-fat buttermilk and increased the amount to 3/4 cup
  • I decreased the oil (I used canola) to 1/3 cup
  • I added a TBS of Grand Marnier to the batter and to the frosting
  • I used 2 fresh oranges, which I zested and squeezed for the juice
  • Instead of using all butter in the frosting, I went with 5 TBS unsalted butter and 2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
  • I used regular  granulated sugar (not superfine) and then used an electric mixer to beat the batter for about 2 minutes on med/high to help dissolve the sugar
I can definitely see this cake recipe going on my list of special occasion cakes along side Pioneer Woman's Italian Cream Cake. (Which is a HUGE calorie bomb, but oh so delicious!)

Sweet Orange Cupcakes

 with Orange Butter Cream Frosting

Servings - approx. 22 cupcakes   Serving Size - 1 cupcake w/frosting   Points Plus per Serving - 6 Points+ 
Calories - 214.7,   Total Fat - 7.2g,   Carb. - 35g,   Protein - 2.7g,   Fiber - 0.3g


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup FRESH squeezed orange juice
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 TBS Grand Marnier (optional)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
zest from one large orange
For the frosting:
5 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz. of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
pinch of kosher salt
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 TBS orange juice
1 TBS Grand Marnier (optional)
1 tsp. orange zest

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two standard sized muffins tins with paper liners.  (you will get approx. 22 cupcakes from the batter) 
  2. Sift into a large mixing bowl, the flour, salt, and baking powder.  With wooden spoon, mix in the granulated sugar.  
  3. In small bowl or 4 cup glass measure, combine the buttermilk, oil, 1/2 cup orange juice, eggs, Grand Marnier(if using), and vanilla extract.  Pour the mixture into the middle of the dry ingredient bowl.  
  4. With electric mixer, mix batter on low speed until just combined.  Turn mixer up to med/high and beat for 2 minutes.  
  5. Add in the orange zest from one orange and stir into batter with wooden spoon.  
  6. Fill each liner approx. 3/4 of the way full.  
  7. Bake for 18 -20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and the cupcakes are done.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  
  8. While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by whipping the butter, cream cheese, and salt up until it is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).   Add in confectioners sugar one cup at a time, beating after each cup.  Add in the Grand Marnier(if using) and the 1 TBS orange juice. (if you are not using Grand Marnier, you can use another TBS of orange juice in it's place)  Whip until fluffy and smooth.  Add in the zest and mix just until combined.  
  9. Frost each cooled cupcake with frosting.  
Adapted from Allrecipes
These super yummy cupcakes got gobbled up in no time.  Youngest son wants me to make another batch right away...lol

I really was surprised that they only came in at 6pp, even fully frosted.  I am thinking that THIS is the cake recipe I am going to make for my mom's birthday next week.  I really think she will enjoy it! 

Do you have a catalog of "special occasion" recipes that you make on a regular basis?  I have just added this one to mine. 

If you liked this yummy recipe, you might like these winners too!
Skinny Tres Leches Poke Cake
Triple Chocolate Snack Cake
Raspberry Zinger Cake

Of course you can always find a listing of every recipe on this site by browsing the RECIPE INDEX!


  1. YUM! That sound great. Very cool that they're in the lower point range as well!!

    1. I know, I was surprised they came up the way they did, I double checked the stats to be sure! lol

  2. OOOh I'll take 1 please...eh make that 2 haha These look marvelous, Renee!

    1. thanks Marion! It was hard to stop at one...thank goodness the lot went off to work. The sacrifices those guys have to make! lol

  3. Yep, my carrot cake only makes an appearance once or twice a year - the batter has 1 cup of oil and the frosting has a whole stick of butter!

    Looks delicious Renee!

  4. hubs always buys me the orange hostess cupcakes when he runs across them- not very often do we find them- thank you for this wonderful recipe- now i can have them whenever i wish:-)-judy-nanny129-

  5. They do sound and look delicious, and you made them so pretty too!

  6. We loved these with chocolate frosting. Thank you!

    1. that sounds delicious! Thank you for the review!

  7. It really looks good! Im definitely gonna try this recipe at home. Thanks for sharing :")

  8. I love the flavor of orange, my goodness these look WONDERFUL!!

  9. These cupcakes look absolutely delicious! I love orange flavored cake, and I'm curious what adding grand marnier does to the taste.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Stephanie! I'd say it enhances the orange flavor in a good way! ;)

  10. I made these for my baby's first birthday. He loves oranges! (he didn't actually eat a cupcake- he had fruit!)
    These were AMAZING! Everyone loved them. Perfect light texture and great flavor. I didn't have Grand Marnier so I used orange extract.

    1. Happy Birthday to your baby!! and thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a review. I am so happy you loved these!

  11. Help!! I made these and the batter what very thin. When they were cooked, they were dense and almost rubbery. What could I have done wrong????

    1. I'm sorry they didn't turn out for you. It could be a number of things. Baking is so fussy and really depends on so many factors that I can't really say what went wrong.

  12. I made these just now. I completely forgot the milk. They're still good!! So tasty!


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