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Orange and Cinnamon Cupcakes With Orange Icing - Recipe

Updated on July 2, 2011

Orange and Cinnamon Cupcakes Recipe

It's always a bit of a thrill to come up with a new cupcake recipe, and these orange and cinnamon cupcakes are sure to become a firm favourite.

Cupcakes are a treat, something a little bit 'naughty' but very nice. They should light in texture, full of flavour and topped with some form of sticky goodness.

Orange is a lovely flavour for cakes of any description, but isn't a particularly strong flavour, hence the use of both the zest and the juice in this recipe as the oils in the zest hold a lot of the 'zing' you're after with an orange flavour. Cinnamon is a strong spice and is used sparingly in this recipe to add a hint of spice but without overpowering the orange.

The other main difference in this recipe is the used of soft dark brown sugar as opposed to caster. The dark sugar gives a richer colour and flavour to the cakes, which suits the zingy zest of the orange and the cinnamon spice.

Orange and Cinnamon Cupcakes
Orange and Cinnamon Cupcakes


 Makes 12 Cupcakes:

For the Cupcakes:

4oz (115g)  soft dark brown sugar

4oz (115g) salted butter (softened)

2 medium eggs

zest and juice of 2 oranges

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

5oz (150g) self raising flour (or 5oz plain flour with 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda)

For the Icing:

2 tablespoons orange juice (reserved from the orange juice above)

Enough icing sugar to make a thick runny paste

Orange and Cinnamon Cupcakes - Method

  • Heat the oven to 180C / 160C fan / 350F / Gas Mark 4
  • Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases
  • In a bowl cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add the zest and juice of 2 oranges (reserving a couple of tablespoons of the juice for the icing) and mix well - NB - once mixed the mixture may look as though it is curdling and splitting, this is simply due to the acidic content of the orange juice and it will be fine once the flour is added.
  • Add cinnamon and stir
  • Add the flour and fold in
  • Split the mixture between 12 cupcake cases, filling each one around 1/2 full.

Place on the middle shelf of the oven for approx 17 - 20 mins or until cooked then remove from the oven and allow to cool before icing.

To make the icing place a few tablespoons of icing sugar in a bowl and gradually add the orange juice, stirring all the time. Keep adding either orange juice or icing sugar until you have a thick but runny icing to drizzle over the cakes.

Decorate as required, then eat and enjoy.

Best Baking Equipment to Use

The right equipment makes a huge difference to the results of your baking.

If using muffin tins these should be sturdy and of good quality to allow the heat to distribute equally around the cupcakes. Using low quality muffin pans can result in unequal heat distribution which can mean over-cooked or burnt cakes on the outside while they are uncooked on the inside.

Silicone cooks well but due to its flexibility is better in trays of 6 than 12 (the last thing you want is cupcakes falling out all over the place).

Mixing bowls should be large enough that have room to 'fold' the mixture and allow air into it, rather than just stir. 

For small amounts of mixture (like this recipe) a silicone spatula is great for mixing the ingredients, folding in the flour and getting every last drop of mixture out of the bowl - it doesn't all have to go in the baking cases, I'll a huge believer in the 'taste test' before a mixture goes into the oven.

Need Dairy Free Cupcakes

If a recipe uses butter to provide it's fat content, then it's possibly to swap the butter for sunflower oil to make the cakes dairy free.

Oil should be used at 3/4 the amount of butter so in this case you would use 3 fld oz sunflower oil instead of the butter. It is added at the same point in the recipe and none of the other instructions change.

As the butter in this recipe is salted butter you may find that when using sunflower oil, adding a pinch of salt to the recipe improves the flavour.


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