Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Bright October

Bright October

It’s getting dark earlier and earlier. The mornings and evenings are colder than I’d like. The shops are filled with Halloween ‘tat’* and I think I could smell fireworks the other morning. I’m trying to embrace the change of seasons but for all I can enjoy the autumnal colours and appreciate that summer can never go on forever, this year the calendar’s march makes me panicky that there’s still so much PhD to do.

Let’s see if some deep, dark chocolate cupcakes will help my mood.

I’m upgrading my sundries for cakes. The last few batches (rum cakes, I’m looking at you) have had a nasty tendency to stick to their paper cases so I’m going for foil for this lot. Black foil. Because Halloween, of course. The orange sprinkles were left over from another experiment that I’ll write about soon. Pretty, eh? And maybe a tiny bit spooky?

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes (original recipe here)



Makes 5 large, 2 small (adapted from original making 9-12)

For the cakes

  • 50g well softened butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 large eggs
  • 25g self- raising flour
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 20g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp milk

For the buttercream

  • 125g butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsbp milk (you may need more)
  • 1 tsp orange extract

1) Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2) Stir in the eggs one at a time. If the mixture begins to look a bit curdled add some of the flour.
3) Mix in the orange extract, flour, cocoa and milk. The mixture should now be of dropping consistency.
4) Place cupcake liners in a tin and fill until liners are 2/3 full.
5) Bake at 160°c for 15 minutes or until cakes are risen and cooked through. Allow to cool on a wire rack while you make the buttercream.
6) Place the softened butter, icing sugar, orange extract, cocoa and milk in a bowl. Using an electric whisk beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Due to the cocoa the mixture can be very stiff. If this is the case add more milk 1 tbsp at a time.
7) Put the buttercream in to a piping bag with 1M tip and pipe on to the cooled cakes.

* I like Halloween tat. I never grew out of being a goth.

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