Breaking News

ORANGE CREAMSICLE CUPCAKES

ORANGE CREAMSICLE CUPCAKES
These light and fluffy Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes are filled with a marshmallowy creme filling and topped with a sweet orange vanilla cream cheese frosting! It’s like eating an Orange Creamsicle in cupcake form!
Orange Creamsicles are one of those childhood treats that you never outgrow. For me though, it was always those little orange sherbet dixie cups with the cute wooden spoon paddles. They had the perfect balance of cool, creamy vanilla with the smooth, tangy orange sherbet. By far, one of my absolute favorites! Probably because it reminds me of of my Grandma Lil and how her freezer was consistently stocked with these sweet and refreshing treats. 
I’ve never met anyone who didn’t at least salivate over the mere mention of Orange Creamsicles. In fact, when I mentioned to coworkers that I was planning on making Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes, their eyes lit up like they had just won a date with John Stamos. Whoops–that’s my fantasy…
Now, before you get intimidated by the fact that there are three different components to these cupcakes, don’t. These cupcakes are a lot easier to make than you think. Why? Well for one thing, they start out with a box of white cake mix. Yes, a cake mix!
I added a hefty dose of orange zest along with some freshly-squeezed orange juice. And to up the orange flavor ante, I also added some orange gelatin mix. Not only does it add an orange tanginess, but it also has that subtle vanilla creme flavor that tastes so much like Orange Creamsicles. 
Once baked up and beautiful, I started in on the filling. Since I planned on topping these cupcakes with a generous amount of frosting, I decided to go light and airy with the filling. I wanted something similar to the filling of Twinkies, so I went with the same creme filling I used for my Homemade Hostess Cupcakes.
Moving on to the frosting…or should I say, the most important part of any cake/cupcake!
It didn’t take long for me to decide that cream cheese frosting was the best fit for these light, fluffy gems of orange lusciousness. I mean, these ARE Orange CREAMsicle cupcakes. Therefore, there’s nothing that goes better with the sweet tanginess of oranges than the creamy tanginess of cream cheese frosting. Am I right?
I reserved two tablespoons of the orange gelatin mix from the cupcakes to not only add a very light orange tint to the frosting, but also for some extra orange sweetness. Oh, and before I added the orange gelatin, I reserved about 1/3 cup of the frosting for the little white dollops on top. 
Now. Do I even need to describe how incredibly divine and heavenly these cupcakes were? Probably not, but I’ll go ahead and tell ya anyway.
The cupcake itself was so light, perfectly moist, and packed with so much of that iconically orange cream flavor!
And the marshmallow creme filling? So fluffy…so creamy…and absolutely PERFECT stuffed inside for that extra little surprise.
As for the orange cream cheese frosting…well, let’s just say that I found it nearly impossible to restrain myself from ravenously devouring the 3/4 cup or so that was leftover…
ORANGE CREAMSICLE CUPCAKES
YIELDS: 22 CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS
Cupcakes:
  • 1 (16.25 oz) box white cake mix
  • 1 (3 oz) box orange gelatin, less 2 Tablespoons to use for frosting
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 Tablespoons orange zest (about one large orange)
  • 3/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Filling:
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1/2 cup (115g) shortening
  • 1/3 cup (40g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar*
  • 2 Tablespoons orange gelatin
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk or cream
  • Orange sprinkles, optional
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, orange gelatin (reserve 2 Tablespoons for frosting), egg whites, orange zest, orange juice, milk, oil, and vanilla. Use a whisk to stir until well incorporated.
  3. Scoop batter evenly into prepared liners, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
  4. Make the Filling: Combine the hot water and salt in a small bowl and stir until dissolved. Let mixture cool.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the marshmallow creme and the shortening until combined. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix on high speed until fluffy–about 2 minutes. Add the salt solution to the mixture and mix until combined. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a tip**.
  6. Make the Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla.
  7. Gradually add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the milk/cream and continue beating until smooth.
  8. Remove about 1/3 cup of frosting and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
  9. Add the reserved 2 Tablespoons of orange gelatin to the remaining frosting, beating until combined. Spoon orange frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
  10. Assemble: Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, push the tip of the pastry bag with the filling into the center of the cupcake and squeeze the filling out as you slowly pull the tip out. Smooth down any filling that is sticking out with a butter knife or offset spatula. Continue with the rest of the cupcakes.
  11. Pipe orange frosting onto cupcakes, followed by a dollop of the white frosting as shown. (Or do whatever you want!) Garnish with sprinkles. Cupcakes will stay fresh sealed in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
NOTES
*I used 5 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.
**I used Wilton’s #2 tip. You can also use a plastic zip-top bag with the tip of the corner cut off.