Vanilla Cupcakes with Orange Frosting Recipe

Vanilla Cupcakes with Orange Frosting


For the cupcakes:

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 225g butter, softened and at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup full fat milk, at room temperature
  • 2 cups caster sugar

For the icing:

  • 5 tbsp butter, softened and at room temperature
  • 6 cups of icing sugar
  • 7 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp very finely grated orange zest

How to make Vanilla Cupcakes with Orange Frosting

I think what everyone loves most about cupcakes is the frosting, and I'm no exception. However, because frostings are usually sooo sweet, I prefer to have a very mild tasting cake base. The base I've used here is a very simple vanilla-infused sponge, and I think it goes really well with the slightly tangy orange frosting, which was a nice change from the usual lemony icings. (Makes about 36 medium cupcakes, and there should be enough frosting to generously frost all of them.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C and line a cupcake tray with cups.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in the large bowl of your standing mixer on medium speed - about 5-8 minutes - until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg yolks, and mix for another 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla essence, and mix well.
  3. Combine the salt, baking powder and flour in a bowl, and add it in 4 batches, alternating with a quarter of the milk each time. Mix until fully incorporated.
  4. In a clean mixing bowl, and with a clean and dry whisk, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully, but quickly, fold the egg whites into the batter, taking care not to lose all the air.
  5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cups, so that it comes about halfway up the side of the cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted to the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack completely before frosting.

Frosting & Decoration:

  1. While the cupcakes are cooking, place the butter into a medium bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, and combine the orange juice and orange liquer.
  2. Cream the butter for about 1 minute. Add in the sugar 1 cup at a time, along with about 2 tbsp of the orange juice mixture, and continue to add the sugar and juice in until you reach your desired consistency. Add in the salt and zest, and beat at medium-high speed for 1 minute, until creamy.
  3. Pipe the frosting over the cooled cupcakes using a star nozzle, and serve! Try not to eat too many at once or you might get sugar high - I kinda did. :p
  • Unboundset
    Unboundset says

    Yum! And I agree about frosting. So good and then the sugar coma.

  • rachel
    rachel says

    haha.. lucky for you if you get sugar comas! i get sugar HIGH. very embarrassing.

  • deborah
    deborah says

    yummmmmm. i dont care! you're cooking for me when i next visit you!!

  • deborah
    deborah says

    eat your heart out everyone! =)

  • rachel
    rachel says

    deb you're cruuuuel. just cos you know where i live doesn't mean i will tolerate this! (btw, i've moved. hahaha)

  • eyes
    eyes says

    I ate 2 of these at one go :D

  • ModCloth
    ModCloth says

    we love cupcakes! These look wonderful!

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