These Orange Creamsicle cupcakes are delicious!... thanks to a recipe from abajillianrecipes.com. I only followed her recipe for the cupcakes themselves. I opted for a different filling and icing.
Step 1: Making the Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
1 3oz box orange gelatin, less 2 Tablespoons to use for frosting
3 egg whites at room temperature
2 Tablespoons orange zest (approximately one large orange)
3/4 Cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oi (I used unsweetened applesauce instead)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Make the cupcakes;
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Recipe yeilds 18 cupcakes.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, orange gelatin (minus 2 Tbs for frosting), egg whites, orange zest, orange juice, milk, oil (or unsweetened applesauce), and vanilla. Use a whisk to stir until well incorporated.
Scoop batter evenly into prepared liners, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
**unsweetened applesauce can be substituted for oil, using the exact amount as the recipe calls for. It not only cuts a few calories, but I think it makes cakes/cupcakes lighter, fluffier and more moist than oil.. I don't use applesauce when I'm stacking cakes though.
Step 2: Make the Filling
For the filling, I used instant cream cheese pudding. Follow the directions on the box. The pudding should be set up by the time the cupcakes are completely cooled and frosting is made.
Step 3: Wilton Buttercream
While Jillian had a delicious frosting recipe accompanying the cupcake recipe, I used the Wilton buttercream recipe instead.
1 Cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons water (plus more if needed later)
4 Cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons orange gelatin
In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening, vanilla and 2 Tbs water until well incorporated. Begin sifting powdered sugar into the bowl, 1 Cup at a time, and a little of the gelatin. Mix well. Repeat until all powdered sugar and gelatin is mixed into the shortening mixture. I add a 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time and mix until I get the stiffness desired.
(Adding water is how you get a thinner frosting for crumb-coating, or a stiff consistency to make things such as roses)
Step 4: Filling the Cupcakes
I had a cupcake hollowing spoon, but a regular small spoon or a pairing knife would work. Carefully scoop out the center of each cupcake, making sure to not go too deep, and reserve each center in a separate bowl. Next, spoon pudding into the hollowed out centers of the cupcakes so the pudding is flush with the top of the cupcake. Then, replace the removed centers back onto the cupcakes. I tear off the bottom most part of the removed center so it doesn't stick up too far.
Step 5: Icing the Cupcakes
I find a QuikTrip cup is a great piping bag holder. I used Wilton tip #32 for these cupcakes. I start just outside the hollowed out center now filled and circle to the center moving up and away from the cake as I go. As a cute decorative touch, I added a small Popsicle stick.
With the pudding center, these can be kept out on the counter for a day or two, but should be refrigerated if you're keeping them longer than that.