The 3-hour, 4-person Plus a Dog Cupcakes
My friend Audrey and I co-hosted a baby shower on Saturday. In preparation for the big event, I took on the task of dessert. I’ve been following Love and Olive Oil for a few months now, and they make the most gorgeous cupcakes you’ve ever seen. Of course, my self-proclaimed being said, It can’t be that hard. I can do this. Naturally, I envisioned crafting these beautiful, bakery-esque perfect cupcakes in my head. I was also wearing pearls, a sun dress, red lipstick and pumps while pulling the perfect cupcakes out of the oven. I admit; there was a momentary lapse in sanity.
Did I mention that this is the second time I’ve made cupcakes in my whole life? Let me also add … they are completely, 100% from scratch.
Ummm … so it was a bit more difficult that I thought. Three hours, two batches of frosting, three helpers plus one dog, a pitcher of margaritas and one bottle of wine later, we conquered the cupcakes, and the cupcakes conquered us.
Orange-Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
From the recipe collection of my dad’s mother, Grace Wagner. I never got to meet her but I hear she was one amazing cook. She majored in Home Economics in college. If only Miami had offered that, I would have graduated Magna Cum Laude. Oh, wait I did, they just forgot to call my name. I stood up during that part of the ceremony regardless. Anyway, when my dad was younger, he said they (the children) used to bake cakes and hide them under their bed while their parents were out. I bet this was one of the cakes because if I were a kid, I’d shovel this cake like there’s no tomorrow. Think of all the trouble they could get into … yet they chose to bake cakes.
- 1 tablespoon of grated orange rind
- ¼ cup of orange juice
- ¾ cup of vegetable oil
- 1½ cup of sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon of orange extract
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¾ cup of water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place grated orange rind in the juice and let it stand while proceeding with the mixing of the cake. Cream oil, add sugar gradually and cream thoroughly. Beat eggs into the mixture. Add orange and vanilla extract and blend.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the liquid (orange juice and water).
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into cupcake liners until ¾ full. Bake for 20-24 minutes at 350 degrees. Perform the toothpick test as necessary. Cool cupcakes on a rack while you prepare the frosting.
Orange-Vanilla Buttercream Frosting – Round II
After attempting this Foolproof Buttercream frosting, we had to migrate to Plan B and use this adaptation from Cooking in the South with Johnnie Gabriel. I don’t even want to talk about the fact that it’s called foolproof buttercream. I am a fool, and it’s not foolproof.
- 5 sticks of butter (I know, it’s a lot of butter. After making this now, I would omit one stick. I would also recommend using unsalted butter.)
- 1 ¼ cup of vegetable oil
- 16-ounce package of confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 teaspoon of orange extract
- 1 tablespoon of grated orange rind
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and oil until soft. Add the confectioners’ sugar in two to three increments. Add the vanilla, orange extract and orange zest and whip for about 5 minutes.
To frost the cupcakes, place about ½ cup of frosting in icing bag and squeeze out frosting in a decorative manner.
Here are my helpers – Audrey on the left, the ‘Puter Hub and Scott on the right. The boys compared frosting the cupcakes to caulking a bathtub as not to lose their man card. Check out those mad skills.
Check out the cute labels Audrey made.
And, I am spent.