Category Archives: orange

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

Glaze
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.

Enjoy!

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Filed under breakfast, cake, cupcake, dessert, gluten free, orange, vegetarian

Fresh oranges and cake…the perfect combo!

Glazed orange cake

One of the great things about living in Arizona (and there are many great things) is the lovely winter navel oranges on the trees in our yard. We get to have fresh juice every morning, mimosas on Christmas morning and orange cake using fresh oranges. Oh yeah!

Last night I went to Changing Hands Bookstore, a lovely independent bookstore in Tempe, AZ, and listened to Anne Byrn, who was there to promote her newest book, The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free. I was inspired by her mad-scientist approach and couldn’t wait to start baking.

I’ve never been a very confident baker, and never really had the time to make things from scratch. That’s what I love about Anne’s books…she doctors cake mixes. I’ve been doing that for some time now and it works great. Add an egg here, extra vanilla, etc. And when Betty Crocker came out with cake, brownie and cookie mixes, I was so thrilled. Check out the Betty Crocker Brownies we made by tweaking the box recipe and making them so much better.

But, tonight I decided to utilize the awesome oranges we still have on the trees outside. Anne has a recipe for orange cake in her book, and I used it just about exactly, using just a touch more fresh juice and a bit more zest to make it really pop. Wow, that worked like a charm. My husband went back for seconds and my daughter couldn’t stop eating it. The orange glaze on top is amazing… make sure you use fresh orange juice if you can. You won’t believe this is gluten free, really, and neither will your friends. This would be wonderful with a cup of tea on a warm spring day.

Basically, use the recipe on the box of Gluten Free Pantry Old Fashioned Cake & Cookie Mix using the following substitutions: Use fresh orange juice instead of water, use 3 eggs instead of 2, add the zest of 2-3 oranges, depending on the size. You can also use Betty Crocker’s yellow cake mix, but I can’t seem to find that in my local store. But this was just wonderful, so no worries. Bake as directed (about 25-30 minutes).

I made this in a 9-inch round pan, but you could use an 8-inch square also. Poke holes in the top after it’s cooled a bit and drizzle on a glaze made from 1 cup of confectioners sugar and 2 TBS fresh orange juice with a little orange zest mixed in.

If you can wait for it to cool, the glaze will harden into a crunchy, yummy topping. But then again, it’s soooo good when it’s warm, I dare you to wait that long.

Enjoy!

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Filed under cake, gluten free, orange, vegetarian