It might only be May but the ice cream man has been driving down my street for well over a month now. Every time I hear his musical truck all I can think about are drumsticks, ice cream sandwiches and popsicles. It reminds me that the warm weather is here to stay and it’s time to start stocking my freezer full of cool summer treats! So thank you Mr. Ice Cream Man for inspiring me to create these based off of one of my all time favorite popsicle treats.
I took a shortcut with this recipe and used a vanilla box mix as the base, but don’t worry it is packed full of all kinds of orange citrus goodness that you won’t be able to tell once you take a bite. Orange juice and orange zest are used in both the cake and cream cheese icing which really creates a lovely refreshing citrus taste. These cupcakes are really moist and super light, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself eating more than one at a time.
To decorate I wanted to mimic the traditional Creamsicle popsicle so I used an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcake and added a white cream cheese filling. Orange cream cheese frosting was swirled on top and then one more dollop of white cream cheese icing was added to the center.
These cupcakes would be perfect for a summer pool party or a citrus theme birthday bash. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream along side and you’ve got one yummy treat!
recipe by Lauren Kapeluck
For the Cupcakes:
1 box white cake mix (dry)
3oz box orange gelatin (dry) Water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine dry cake mix and dry orange gelatin.
- Measure out the water, using the amount shown on the cake mix box. Do NOT pour it into the mixing bowl yet! First, remove 1/4 cup of the water and replace it with 1/4 cup orange juice. Now pour it into the mixing bowl.
- Add in eggs and oil, using the exact amounts shown on the cake mix box.
- Add in orange extract and orange zest.
- Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl as necessary.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.
- Once cupcakes are completely cool, hollow out the center using an apple corer.
For the Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
orange food coloring
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add in confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time and beat well, scraping down sides of bowl.
- Add extracts and mix well for about 2 minutes.
- Remove 1 cup of icing and set aside. This will be used as white cream center inside the cupcakes.
- Add orange zest to the remaining icing. Add orange food coloring, one drop at a time, until you reach the desired shade of orange.
To Assemble Cupcakes:
- Spoon white frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Spoon orange frosting into a seperate piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
- Fill center of each cupcake with white frosting.
- Use orange frosting and swirl around the center of the cupcake two times. Fill the inside of the swirl with a dollop of white frosting.