Sunday, May 8, 2011

Orange-Honey Cupcakes for Mother's Day

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This year for Mother's Day, I made cupcakes. I tend to do that a lot these days. When in doubt, I make cupcakes!

Today, I wanted to take some time to thank my mother. We always make fun of the fact that she isn't a great cook (though she does make a few fantastic dishes, including fabulous marshmallows!). Her cooking ability, or lack thereof, is a standing joke whenever we get together as a family. But, she makes up for it in so many other ways. Ever since the birth of my little girl 18 months ago, she has been so much more of a blessing than ever. Without my mother's help, I wonder how I could have made it through those first few tiring, frustrating, depressing months. So, I just wanted to say 'Thank you, Mom!'. Since she loved the Red Velvet cupcakes I made for her birthday, I was sure she would love these too!

I also wanted to say 'thank you' today, to my wonderful husband and my precious little girl for giving me the awesome gift of motherhood. I cannot begin to tell you how much my life has changed since she came along. And, they have also been the happiest months of my life.With each stage of her life, she continues to amaze me and take my breath away. And my husband is such a good dad & takes such good care of his baby girl. I am so blessed to have them.

I had some nice oranges at home and so I though this would make a nice combination. It is a variation of a lemon cupcake recipe I use sometimes. For the frosting, I adapted The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen website's "That's the best frosting I've ever had" recipe. It was very good! I can't say the same about my frosting abilities. I really need to invest in a good set of frosting bags and tips. I have a few random ones and while I can't really blame my tools, they didn't help much either!

Orange-Honey Cupcakes
2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp fine orange zest
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp mixed spices (cinnamon powder, freshly grated nutmeg & a pinch of clove powder)

1. Prepare a cupcake tray by lining with paper/foil liners. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the juice, honey, oil, egg yolks and orange zest.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
4. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
6. Fold in the whisked egg whites, folding gently until no white streaks remain.
7. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Cool on a wire rack and frost when completely cool.

Best Orange Frosting
5 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar (not powdered)
Orange food coloring (optional)

1. In a saucepan, combine the milk and flour and stir until smooth.
2. On a low heat, while stirring continuously, cook this mixture until it is very thick and creamy.
3. Allow the mixture to cool completely. It should not be even slightly warm.
4. Stir in the extracts and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add the sugar and continue creaming until the mixture is light and fluffy.
6. Add the cooled flour mixture to the butter mixture and continue beating until the frosting is light and has a whipped cream-like consistency.
7. Mix in food coloring if desired.

These cupcakes were very, very moist, light and had a very tender crumb. They were only mildly sweet & so the frosting worked very well with it. I will make this recipe again, only next time, I would probably add slivers of blanched almonds. I think it would really add something to these already flavorful cupcakes.

My mother liked the cupcakes, as did my husband and daughter. And that made me very happy this Mother's Day!

Hope all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day too!

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Pudding Pie Lane said...

I love these, and happy mothers day to you too! Your frosting skills are quite good, no need for those fancy tips :)

Frugal Antics said...

Orange honey sounds like such a great breakfast muffin. I think they turned out really pretty, too.

Christina said...

These sound really good! I like the orange-honey pairing. Cupcakes are really quick and I often make them when I need something quickly, too.

Erin @ Making Memories said...

These look so good and your pictures are beautiful!

Delightful Bitefuls said...

These sound and look sooooo great! Yum!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Xinmei. You are very kind :) I want to get better and I just thought the fancy tips might help :)

theharriedcook said...

I was debating whether to call these muffins or cupcakes, really! I just thought because of the whisked egg whites, they were very light and more cake-y. But the combination was very good! Thanks for your kind words, Kristen! :)

theharriedcook said...

Orange-honey was a great combination... and the spice in it was yummy as well! :) I know what you mean about cupcakes! :) Thanks for stopping by! :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Erin! :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Mary! :)

Nami said...

Hi Marsha! These look delicious! I know what you mean... Me too, after becoming a mom (of 2) I really appreciate my mom. It's not easy becoming a parent and she did a wonderful job raising me. I always wonder if I can be as good as her, but having her as a guide I should be able to... right? Hehee. I'm glad to hear you two had a wonderful Mother's Day . Happy Belated Mother's Day to you Marsha!

Mary@One Perfect Bite said...

These really look amazing and I'm sure your mother loved every morsel of them. I hope you had a great Mother's Day. Blessings ...Mary

Memoriesinthebaking said...

Being a big fan of citrus fruits, the title alone instantly made my mouth water. And then I looked at the photos, and came to the conclusion that next time, I'd better reach for a bib.

A little bit of everything said...

such a wonderful post Marsha. I love every second of my motherhood too and I'm so lucky to have hubby and our precious daughter so I know how you feel. the cupcakes look great, I'm pretty sure your mom loved them. thanks for sharing

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Nami! :) I know exactly what you mean! :) I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day too...

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Mary! She did like them... :) I had a great Mother's Day and I am sure you did too :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! :) That's so sweet... I am glad they turned out okay :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you so much! :) We are blessed to have wonderful families :) Thanks for stopping by! :)

Elizabeth Hyzy said...

I looove the sound of this combination, how yummy!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you! :) It really was a yummy combination!!!

Kate said...

These cupcakes are delicious!  Light and moist yet, still decadant.  Fantastic.  I hope you had an excellent mother's day.  :) 

theharriedcook said...

 You described it perfectly :) They were light and very moist, but very rich and flavorful! I did have a lovely Mother's day, thanks! I hope you did too!

Lizzy Do said...

I've missed way too many of your delicious posts...crazy life gets in the way!  These look like wonderful pretty and the frosting sounds incredible.  Belated Mother's Day wishes to you :)

theharriedcook said...

I understand, Lizzy! Life happens :) Thank you for your kind words about my post :) Belated wishes to you too!

Chi said...

Hey Marsha...
I am new to your blog... and would love to make some of these recipes...
alas... my cooking/baking skills are somewhat like you describe your mom's! :P
Is there a way to make these without using egg?

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