Bring back those childhood memories with a taste from the past. This homemade version of your favorite Hostess Orange cupcakes tastes even better than the original and without all the artificial ingredients!
Remember those delicious hostess orange cupcakes from your childhood? They were delicious and such a treat! But as adults, we know that some of those ingredients are best avoided as often as possible. Who wants artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, calcium sulphate and disodium phosphate in their baked goods? Not me!
So I took it upon myself to recreate the recipe for these orange cupcake, much like I recently recreated my favorite Panera Lemon Drop Cookies.
After many rounds of recipe testing, the result is a light and fluffy cupcake filled with a delicious orange cream and topped with a perfectly sweet glaze. You may actually prefer this version once you've tried it!
Why This Recipe Works
- All of the orange flavors mesh together perfectly.
- It is a great way to use up oranges from the fridge for their zest and juice.
- They have the perfect amount of orange flavor!
- The glaze, buttercream and cupcakes come together really quickly.
These cupcakes come together quickly with all purpose flour as the base. Then adding the essentials such as: baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, sugar, eggs and buttermilk to create a delicious cupcake base. You finish off the batter with orange zest, orange juice and orange extract to really jam pack the batter full of orange flavor.
The glaze whips up with simple ingredients like confectioners sugar, orange extract, orange juice and melted butter. There is no lack of orange flavor in this glaze.
The buttercream filling is made up like a traditional buttercream with confectioners sugar, unsalted butter, orange extract, orange juice and orange zest.
- For all the orange and chocolate lovers out there, you could add a few chocolate mini chips into the batter for your tastebuds.
- You could also replace all the orange with lemon for a lemon flavored version!
For the Cupcakes:
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed for about 5 minutes, until light in color and thick and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition.
Add the orange extract and beat to combine.
Reduce speed to medium and the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk, make sure they are well incorporated between each addition. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth.
Add in the Orange zest, mix well.
You should have a nice thick batter for these cupcakes.
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liners, filling about ⅔ full.
Bake for 20 – 23 minutes or until the tops spring back or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully before filling with buttercream and frosting.
For the Glaze
In a large bowl, sift the confectioners sugar.
Add the orange juice, orange extract and mix till smooth with a whisk.
Once smooth, add in melted butter. Mix well and use on completely cooled cupcakes.
Add in equal parts of yellow and red food coloring to create an orange colored glaze.
Sift the confectioners' sugar to assure there are no lumps
With a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy (approx. 2 mins.) Gradually add the sifted sugar alternating with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition.
Add in orange zest and mix well.
Once your cupcakes are cooled, cut out a small portion of the top with a knife, to make a space for the buttercream filling. You could also use a cupcake filling tip if you own one, but I like this method.
Fill the cupcakes and replace the top.
With the top in place, dip each cupcake into the orange glaze up to 3 times, depending on how much of a glazed top you prefer.
Let the cupcakes sit until the glaze has hardened.
With the leftover buttercream, make the signature swirls on top of the cupcakes.
Hint: Make sure these homemade hostess orange cupcakes are completely cool before you fill them with the buttercream filling and dip them into the icing glaze or everything will melt!
You can store these homemade hostess orange cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. These are best when consumed fresh on day 1.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make orange flavored cupcakes?
You can make orange flavored cupcakes by adding in orange juice, orange zest and also orange extract.
What is orange extract?
Orange Extract is a highly concentrated flavor, extracted from oranges onto an alcohol base. The industry minimum is 33% alcohol for all extracts, which is burned off in the cooking or baking process, leaving a rich flavor in baked goods.
How do you make orange frosting?
By adding in equal amounts of red and yellow food coloring and any orange flavor (zest or extract) that you may wish.
Everyone loves a good hostess cupcake and these hostess orange cupcakes definitely compare. These are made with simple ingredients from your pantry and packed full of orange flavors. If you want a taste of your childhood, then you're going to love this recipe!
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Homemade Hostess Orange Cupcakes
For the orange cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs large, room temperature
- zest of one orange
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
For the orange buttercream filling
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
For the Orange glaze
- 1½ cups confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- 4-6 tablespoons orange juice depending on how thick you want your glaze to be.
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until light in color and thick and fluffy. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
- Reduce speed to medium and the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk, make sure they are well incorporated between each addition. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liners, filling about ⅔ full.
- Bake for 20 – 23 minutes or until the tops spring back or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully before frosting.
For the Orange Buttercream Filling
- Sift the confectioners' sugar to assure there are no lumps.
- With a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy (approx. 2 mins.) Gradually add the sifted sugar alternating with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Stop adding cream when the desired consistency has been reached.
- Once Cupcakes are completely cool, cut out the top center of each one with a knife.
- Pipe the buttercream filling into the hole and then place the top back on.
For the Orange Glaze
- Sift the confectioners sugar to assure there are no lumps.
- With a whisk gently mix the confectioners sugar with the orange juice and orange extract until smooth.
- Add in melted butter. Mix well.
- Once Cupcakes are cool and stuffed with the buttercream filling, hand dip each cupcake into the glaze. You can dip each one up to 3 times until you reach the desired glaze amount on top.
- Once the glaze is dry/hardened, using the leftover buttercream filling, pipe the signature loops on top of each cupcake.
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