Almost a Blue Ribbon Cupcake

Who doesn’t remember those tart and creamy orange creamsicle popsicles as a kid?

Do they even still make these things?

Check out the Popsicle story.

 Not sure...I couldn’t resist trying to make a cupcake taste like them.

Even better I couldn’t resist when the Colorado State Fair announced they were having a

C & H Sugar Cupcake Challenge. 

Only requirement – make an original recipe for 12 cupcakes with at least 2 c. of C & H sugar

I competed with 15 other amateur bakers on Sept. 2nd and whoa – I learned some very valuable lessons about a cupcake competition…

First and foremost, presentation is EVERYTHING! 

Silly me, I thought a cupcake competition was all about the taste and look of the cupcake.

That was part of it but more than anything the judges cared about how you presented them.

One competitor presented flower cupcakes in a basket with ribbons, another made a cardboard piano and each cupcake had the musical notes to Blue Suede Shoes on top (did I mention the theme was Fabulous Fifties).

The blue ribbon went to a gentlemen who placed malted milk balls in the bottom of 12 parfait glasses and then sat a malted chocolate cupcake on top with whip cream and a cherry and straws sticking out to look like a milk shake, they were called Cupshakes!

Check out the judges as my cupcakes were passed out…

After the winners were announced (Cupshakes got the Blue) Addison, my daughter, told me she thought I should have won first place…I love that kid. 

Here’s my frist place ticket

Print this Recipe

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

For the cake…

1 c. cake flour

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. C & H sugar

1 1/4 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

6 T. unsalted butter cut into 1 inch chunks

2 egg whites

1 egg

1/2 c. yogurt

1 t. vanilla extract

For the Frosting…

2 1/2 c. C & H powdered sugar

3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 inch chunks

3 T. mandarin orange juice

1 t. orange extract

Desired amount of neon orange gel food coloring

For the Cream Filling…

2 oz. white chocolate

1/2 c. heavy cream

Making the cupcakes…

Sift the flours, baking powder and salt together into a  bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high for several minutes until ribbons form. 

Add the sugar and beat another minute on high-speed.  Add the egg whites and beat another minute.  Add the yogurt and vanilla and beat another minute.  Add half of the flour mixture and beat on high for another minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining flour mixture and beat on high for another minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and beat for a final minute.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a 12 place muffin pan with Reynolds (silver) Cupcake liners.  I have tried a lot of different fancy cupcake liners and I truly believe these are the best! 

Fill the liners about 2/3 full.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes.

Let cool completely while making the buttercream frosting.

Making the Buttercream…

Beat the butter again with the paddle attachment and stand mixer on high-speed until ribbons form.  Add the powdered sugar and beat on low-speed while slowly pouring in the mandarin orange juice and orange extract.  Add the gel food coloring.  Beat on high-speed for several minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Making the Cream Filling…

In a small glass bowl, melt the 2 oz. of chocolate, 20 to 30 seconds at a time in the microwave.  Stir between each heating interval and continue just until the chocolate is melted.  Set aside.  In another glass bowl with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until starting to form peaks.  Slowly add the melted chocolate and continue to whip just until mixed.

Assembling the Cupcakes…

Using a small serrated knife, cut a small hole (like an upside down party hat) in the top of each cupcake. 

Fill each hole with the cream filling.  Using a 1M Wilton top, decorate the tops of each cupcake with the orange buttercream frosting.

Avoid the urge to decorate with sugars or sprinkles.  The popsicle is not crunchy and these shouldn’t be either.  Enjoy!


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