I’ve been thinking a lot about what summer means….what it meant to me as a child. The only thing bigger was Christmas. It meant playing chase outside ‘til dark thirty….catching lightening bugs….running through sprinklers….the smell of fresh cut grass….and the ice cream truck’s happy music wafting through the neighborhood. He had the timing down just right….early enough not to “ruin my supper” as my grandmother said.
All the kids raced inside to retrieve their allowance or beg for small change. My mother gave me enough money for two treats—one for me and one for my beagle named Rebel. This was a defensive move on her part :). It prevented the inevitable tears over stolen ice cream. Rebel preferred vanilla. But my favorite was a push up…. about four inches of cold delicious orange sherbet….air conditioning for your insides.
I saw this recipe for creamsicle cupcakes in Woman’s Day magazine and was immediately reminded of those days. They are light with just the right amount of orange flavor.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. each baking powder, baking soda, and salt
3 large eggs
2 tbsp. grated orange zest
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
Orange Cream Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
orange paste food color (optional—I used red and yellow mixed)
For the cupcakes preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium bowl whisk flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until blended. In a large bowl mix eggs, orange zest, and vanilla until blended. I used my new Kitchen Aid mixer from Designs by Gollum! Beat in remaining 1 cup sugar. Add oil and then buttermilk until blended. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just blended. Spoon about 1/4 cup mixture into each muffin cup
**Measuring the amount I put into each muffin liner is one of the best hints I learned from the Viking Cooking School. It ensures uniform sizes.
Bake 25-28 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely
For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, vanilla and orange zest on low until well blended. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until fluffy. Add food coloring (if using) until light orange. Refrigerate until firm enough to spread. Garnish as desired. I made flowers with the homemade fondant recipe.
Sometimes you can go home again….even if it’s just for a moment.
I am joining our generous and gracious hostess Michael Lee West for Foodie Friday. Check out her giveaways and click on her button on my sidebar for immediate transportation! I am also linking to Stepahanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party. You can find her here!