Monday, February 6, 2012

Fresh Orange Cupcakes

I just love this time of year when the citrus trees are full of beautiful, fresh, sweet navel oranges. When we moved here 11 years ago, there were nine orange trees on the property. Now, there are three left that produce lovely fruit every year. Christmas morning, mimosas with fresh OJ are always on the menu.

But, what to do with all those oranges? Yes, I'm generous with them to everyone who visits, but I love cooking and baking, so I'm always looking to use them. Yesterday I had the urge to bake and decided on orange cupcakes with orange glaze on top. The fresh orange juice and grated orange peel makes it taste like a bite right out of an orange. If you don't have oranges you can get right in your back yard, I supposed you could use frozen or store-bought OJ, but I don't think it will be the same.

These were so good, I packed them into the basket on my bike this morning and rode over to a friend's house for tea and cupcakes. What a beautiful way to start the week. Hope your week is grand.

Fresh Orange Cupcakes
1 package Gluten Free Pantry yellow cake mix
2/3 cup fresh OJ
Grated rind from two oranges
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 stick butter, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbs fresh orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix until smooth.
3. Line cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
4. Pour into cupcake pan, filling each about 3/4 full (this made 12 full-size cupcakes and about 9 minis)
5. Bake minis for about 10-12 minutes, full-sized cupcakes take about 5 more minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let cool completely while making the glaze.
7. To make the glaze, just add a little juice at a time to the sugar and mix until you have a thick, smooth consistency.
8. When cupcakes are cool, just drizzle the glaze over the top and add a little of the orange peel for color and a lovely tart bite, then let them set for a few minutes.

I dare you not to eat them in one night. They are so light and refreshing. But save some for tea in the morning, they are perfect.


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