Everything paired really nicely, and nothing was overpowering. The chocolate blended very well with the orange flavors. The orange flavors were brought out very well in both the batter and the frosting. The orange zest also added nice color and specks to both elements, which added to the prettiness.
This recipe included one variation. I tried it, and didn't notice any difference between the variation and the original:
You can substitute orange extract for the orange oil in this recipe (although they are not always interchangeable).
Orange Chocolate Cupcakes
*makes 12 cupcakes*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp orange oil
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1) Preheat oven to 350F.
2) Line muffin pan with paper liners.
3) In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
4) In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add egg, beating well. Mix in orange zest and orange oil. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of milk, beating until smooth.
5) Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.
Orange Cream Cheese Icing
*makes enough to frost 16 or more cupcakes*
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 tsp grated orange zest
2 tsp orange-flavored liqueur
1) In a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together cream cheese, butter, and salt until creamy. With mixer on low speed, beat in confectioner's sugar, 1/2 cup at a time so that the sugar doesn't fly all over the place. Increase speed to medium-high, beating until light and fluffy. Add orange zest and liqueur, beating until mixed.
2) This frosting is on the soft side, so before frosting cupcakes, refrigerate it for 30 to 60 minutes to firm it up. Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes and refrigerate until ready to serve or for up to 1 day.
Recipes from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson