Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes

The last time I did my swiss meringue buttercream, I got impatient and did not beat enough. I just had to redo to get a hang of it. And I'm a satisfied girl now.

And duh, I'm not too fond of my available piping tip options. This calls for a good reason to shop for new tips :)

Light on the chocolate, pronounced citrus-y orange flavor. Let them sit overnight and interesting things happen. The flavors seem to develop overtime and it screams orange the next day. If you like chocolate cupcakes but do not wish to be overwhelmed by its richness and depth, these cupcakes are for you. And if you are on the other side of the fence, frost it with chocolate buttercream or ganache instead and we'll have a happy ending.

Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes (adapted from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery)
(makes 12 regular sized cupcakes, 24 smaller ones for me)

115g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
90g unsalted butter, room temperature
175g caster sugar, preferably golden (I use 150g)
1 orange's zest (1 tsp for me)
2 large eggs, free range or organic
185g plain flour, sifted (125g top flour, 60g plain flour - no rocket science here, I ran out of top flour)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
75ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature (I use whole)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with the appropriate size cupcake cases.
2. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt on a medium setting in 30-seconds bursts until completely melted. Stir well between each session. Alternatively, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until completely melted. Set the bowl aside to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 mins using an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs and beat again briefly.
4. Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix the milk and orange juice in a jug.
5. Add the chocolate to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until the mixture is just combined. The batter will still be streaky. Add 1/3 of the flour and beat until it all just comes together. Add half of the juice/milk mix and beat again until the mixture just comes together. Repeat these steps until all the ingredients have been incorporated.
6. Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for abt 28-30mins (17mins for me). To check they are cooked, insert a skewer into the centre of one of the cakes - it should come out clean.
7. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for abt 10 mins before carefully placing on the wire rack to cool. Once they are completely cool, ice the cupcakes with buttercream.

Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

1 large egg white, room temperature
50g granulated sugar
90g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp orange zest
few drops of food coloring (optional)

1. Set egg whites and sugar in a bowl over gently simmering water and whisk until all sugar has dissolved and eggs are hot to touch, for abt 3mins. You can test if it's done by rubbing mixture in between fingers to see if there are still any gritty bits of sugar left.
2. Remove bowl from water and beat egg mixture on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, for abt 10mins.
3. Add butter one tbsp at a time, and beat until incorporated before adding in the next tbsp.
4. Add orange zest and beat until just combined.
5. Add food coloring if you have and mix till it's well blended.
6. Pipe as you like.


  1. Beautiful cupcake with nice frosting!

  2. Yummy! Do you know orange and chocolate is my favourite combination? Heehee...this sounds truly good for me!

  3. I love the colour of your frosting, it standout when place together with the chocolate cupcake!

  4. Chocolate and orange... I bet it taste great, and with the frosting as well!! :)

  5. Hmm. i love a happy ending. And i love chocolate and orange together.Congratulations on the buttercream now, satisfied girl :)

  6. looks very pretty and i guess that frosting is really frosting..infact i think all the cupcakes that you baked recently looked fabulous!

  7. thanks ladies!

    crustabakes: haha thanks! hope to be always 'satisfied'

    lena: hey im flattered hehe..thanks! :D

  8. Beautiful baked and what a right combination of chocolate+orange .... Yum Yum!

  9. definitely taste delish!
    here's an award for u:
    pls check it out when u're free ya
    thks :)