Thursday, October 6, 2011

Orance Spice Cupcakes...with and without Raisins

Cupcakes to welcome my favorite season.

I love Fall.  It is far an away my favorite season.  I anxiously await every year for the heat of summer to break and the leaves to change.  For the record, summer is my least favorite season.   It appears Fall has finally arrived in the DC area.  The air has a cool crispness and the leaves are starting to get their first hint of orange.  I love it.  These cupcakes are the perfect addition to welcome in my favorite season.  They are not pumpkin, which is very traditional for Fall, but include the warm spices and make your house smell incredible!  I promise to post some pumpkin recipes this Fall but in the meantime you should really give these a try.  I made half with raisins and half you know if you have been following this blog for a while that I am definitely not a fan of raisins in my food.  The raisins add additional sweetness and actually change the flavor profile of the cupcakes.  I took a poll and people seemed to love both so it is really personal preference.

Orange Spice Cupcakes
recipe from Baked Perfection

makes approximately 15 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
Zest of  large orange
1 cup buttermilk
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Fill cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a small sauce pan bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Place raisins in boiling water and reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 3 - 5 minutes and drain.  Set raisins aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and orange zest.    In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk, beaten eggs, and vanilla extra.  In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.  Slowly add the flour and milk mixtures alternating between the two until just combined.  Gently fold in the raisins.  Pour batter into prepared cupcake tin.  Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe by Baked Perfection

1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Beat butter and cream cheese with until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Add salt, cinnamon, and vanilla; beat until smooth.

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