I came across this recipe a while ago, and it sits in my ‘fancy cakes’ category. It’s really not that fancy though. I set the bar pretty low. Light and airy, these are simple and utterly divine. If you’re planning a party, these definitely have to be on the baking list. The ganache frosting is a particular favourite, worth a little extra effort and super tempting to eat straight out of the bowl.* But the cakes are equally delicious naked if you’re baking in a hurry.
*I may have done this. Maybe. Probably…
Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
You’ll need a muffin tin and paper or silicone cases
Makes 8 – double it up if you want!
50g soft baking spread (or butter/margarine)
120g caster sugar
1tsp orange extract
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100g dark chocolate
120ml double cream
½ tsp orange extract
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
- Pop 8 cupcake cases into a muffin tin. You can line them up on a baking sheet, but using a muffin or cupcake tin ensures the cakes keep a good shape. I use reusable silicone cases, but you might want to use paper cases (the cakes do come out easier from paper cases and are more appropriate if baking for an event.)
- Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric hand or stand mixer.
- Add the orange extract and then the egg, mixing well.
- Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in the scale pan or in a separate bowl.
- Alternately add the milk and flour mixture and mix well together.
- Divide the mix between your cases using an ice cream scoop to ensure equal portions and a nice even bake.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes and then place onto a cooling rack.
Now… I know I don’t usually add a frosting to cakes, but this one is so easy and super delicious, so give it a go if you have time!
- Gently heat the cream in a saucepan.
- While that’s warming up, break the dark chocolate into pieces and put into a heatproof bowl.
- Once the cream’s heated, pour it over the chocolate and stir until melted.
- Add the orange extract and stir well.
- Set aside to cool.
- I then pop it into the fridge to help speed up the thickening process.
- Now you can either pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, or spread on with a pallet knife. I find piping bags a bit of a faff, so prefer to just spread it onto each cake.
- Feel free to add any chocolate treats to embellish – especially if you’re making them for a special occasion. Maltesers, chocolate buttons, slices of chocolate orange all work perfectly!
These are so light you could easily eat a few, so the richness of the frosting is an excellent addition to help you to share them with your friends!
Adapted from a Hummingbird Bakery recipe