Citrus Cupcakes & Buttercream


These flavorful cupcakes are a great twist on your traditional vanilla cupcake with buttercream icing. If these delights will be eaten by those who should not be consuming alcohol, feel free to use citrus juice in the icing in place of the Grand Marnier. But know that the liquor lends a real kick of flavor that will not go unappreciated.

Ingredients – Cupcakes
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp citrus zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
Instructions – Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes. In a separate bowl, mush together the sugar and citrus zest (until the sugar is lightly coloured and deeply scented) and add to the butter. Beat for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating all the while. In another bowl, combine orange juice with vanilla.

Add the rest of the ingredients, alternating between dry ingredients, yogurt or sour cream, and orange juice and vanilla. You’ll want to finish with the orange juice mix. Once everything is well incorporated, stop mixing. If you mix too much, you’ll overwork the gluten in the flour and end up with a tough, chewy cupcake. Ew. 

Divide into lined muffin tins. It should make 24 cupcakes. Bake at 350 and insert a toothpick or uncooked strand of spaghetti after 20 minutes to check if the cupcakes are cooked. You’ll probably have to give them a few more minutes to bake, 25 minutes is their ultimate cooking time.

Let them cool completely on a cooling rack, if you have one before icing.

Ingredients – Icing
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3½ cups icing sugar
  • Salt to taste (½-1 tsp)
  • 4-6 tbsp citrus liquid either freshly squeezed orange/lemon/grapefruit juice or Grand Marnier/Quantro or a mix.
Instructions – Icing

Beat the butter until light and fluffy (approx 3 minutes), then add the sugar and beat another few minutes. You’ll end with a really crumbly mixture. This will change as your add your citrus flavor and mix for a few more minutes. Your buttercream will be smooth and luscious. Add your salt, ice your cooled cupcakes and enjoy!


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