I have become a bit of a baker. It didn’t used to be my thing, but it is slowly becoming exactly that, my thing! I was always more of a cook than a baker, making meals without a recipe, tossing in whatever I felt like and experimenting. With baking though, you need to be precise, measurements matter, and quite frankly that was annoying to me. But then I discovered that when it comes to baking, as long as you get the base right you can still play with flavors. And that is exactly what I did with these Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Orange Zest Glaze!
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The Cake Batter:
These sweet little cupcakes are made with the same batter as my Blueberry Lime Cake, but I cut the recipe in half and subbed the lime for orange zest. That little experiment turned out 12 of the most lovely cupcakes I have ever eaten. Quite dreamy if I do say so myself!
How to Zest an Orange:
Use a microplane to zest citrus, scraping just until the white is exposed and then move onto a new area. There is nothing like the aroma of freshly grated citrus and it adds so much flavor to baked goods!
The Glaze: To quote The Beetles, let it be, let it be…
The glaze for these charming little cakes is as simple as whisking together powdered sugar, orange juice and zest and spooning onto slightly warm cupcakes. Then you just let it melt and go where it goes. You don’t have to make it perfect, in fact I think the imperfections make them perfect! There I go with the free form cooking again. But that’s my advice. Let it be people, let it be.
The Recipe: Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes
Tips and what you will need: this recipe makes 12 cupcakes, if you need more of course you can double up. Fresh blueberries are preferred but in a pinch you can use frozen (thaw first!) You will need a cupcake tin, cupcake liners, and a microplane for the orange zest. As always I prefer vanilla paste over extract.
Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes
Yield 12 cupcakes
Beautiful orange blueberry cupcakes with orange zest glaze! I make this recipe with fresh blueberries. When in a pinch you can use frozen, just thaw them first. These cupcakes taste great the day you make them but are also wonderful a day or two later!
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup soft butter (1stick) room temp
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or baking oil of your choice)
- zest of half of one large orange (you will use the other half for icing)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 3 eggs, room temp
- 2/3 cup cultured buttermilk (room temp)
- 3/4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, dried and stems removed (plus a few more for the top of cupcakes)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- zest of half a large orange
- 2 tablespoons orange juice (give or take)
Preheat oven to 350, place oven rack in center position, place cupcake liners into cupcake pan and spray with organic cooking spray. Set aside
Place flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside
Use a microplane to zest orange, scraping the skin of the orange until the white is exposed and then moving to a new area
Use a mixer to beat together butter, sugar, coconut oil and orange zest until smooth
Add vanilla paste or extract, eggs (one at a time) mixing until incorporated
Add buttermilk and flour alternately and mix until smooth
Gently stir in blueberries by hand
Spoon into cupcake liners (3/4 full), tap pan on counter to take out any bubbles
If desired, place 2-3 blueberries on top of batter and press them in a little. This way you will have berries showing on the top of each cupcake
Bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so, you'll spoon the glaze on while still warm
Whisk together powdered sugar, zest and juice
Glaze should be pretty thick, you'll be spooning it onto warm cupcakes so it will melt a bit and become spreadable. But if needed, add a few more drops of orange juice to thin out.
By the spoonful, spoon glaze onto cupcakes. Use the back of the spoon to spread the icing towards (but not quite to) the edges. Then let the warmth of the cupcake do the rest! Serve when cool. Enjoy.