This recipe is adapted from the Food Network Magazine May 2014.
3/4 C Fresh Orange Juice (it takes about 2 oranges)
1 8 oz. Pkg Cream Cheese, softened to room temp
10 Tbls Butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 C Powdered Sugar (more, if necessary)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (again, I used the clear so as to not effect the color)
2 tsp Finely Grated Orange Zest
Orange Food Coloring Gel (or 3 drops yellow and 1 drop red liquid food coloring)
|The juice of 2 oranges came out to be just a little more than 3/4 C of juice|
I found that juicing 2 oranges gave me just slightly over 3/4 C of juice. Measure the juice, put it in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, then reduce it to medium and simmer until it is reduced down to 1 1/2 Tbls. This took me about 20 minutes, but I was taking it slow because I didn't want to mess it up. I do not recommend taste testing this - I did and WOW! It is TART! Set the syrup aside to cool.
|Reduce the orange juice to a syrup - about 1 1/4 Tbls|
Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl on medium high until it's fluffy. Add the pieces of butter, one at a time until the mixture is smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar (Food Magazine's instructions say to sift the sugar in, but it was taking forever so I sifted a little bit and then just added the rest a little at a time). I added an extra 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar because I felt that the frosting wasn't going to hold a piped shape. Add the vanilla and the orange syrup, and finally the food coloring and beat it until it is well combined. I also added about 1/4 tsp of orange flavoring because when I tasted the frosting, it didn't taste distinctly orange.
|Assemble the frosting ingredients - the reduced orange juice on the right|
Aaaand .... TA DA!!
|Orange Cupcakes decorated for fall|
The next time I make these, I will use my lemon cupcake recipe and substitute oranges for the lemons. Even if the frosting gives the majority of the flavor, at least the cupcakes will be soft and fluffy.