Pipe Dream #12: To Blog Fruits In Season – Blood Orange Cupcakes

Another citrus cake post, Lauren? Yes.

I like the idea of blood oranges more than I like blood oranges. This is likely due to the fact that I have never had a really good blood orange. They are only in season for about two weeks. Don’t let your neighborhood Rainbow deceive you–I know they carry them from December to July. But somehow, one in three blood oranges I buy looks like this on the inside, when they should look more, well, bloody.

That is not my hand, by the way. My nails are nubs compared to that slender elegance.

Also, I just decided that I don’t mind that “blood oranges” sounds kind of gory. It’s romantic.

Anyway, as in other posts where I’ve blogged about seasonal recipes, I regret to admit that this one is not in season either. But you can’t blame me, right? Not when blood oranges have a two-week season?

These cupcakes were an experiment. A fabulous experiment. I got the idea partly from seeing blood oranges at the grocer, which triggered memories of eating those chocolate oranges at Christmas. Do you remember those? My dad always used to make a big production out of SMACKing them on the table so they would break up into slices and then dole them out ceremoniously. (We’re never dramatic ever.) I was always fascinated at how the individual slices could have molding like a real orange.

So, my logical mind thought, “Well, we already know that chocolate and orange pair well together–let’s do blood orange and chocolate.” And I acted on my thought, to the general pleasure of my roommates and The Downstairs Girls.

I used my standard one-bowl chocolate cupcake recipe, a mint version of which you can find here. Instead of mint extract or vanilla, I added in the orange zest. The blood orange flavor was delicate and unique–so worth a try. I tried it the next week with a Cara Cara orange, and my palate didn’t quite flare up the same way, but they were still good. You could adapt it to any type of orange you have on hand.

Enjoy this eight months from now…


Chocolate Blood Orange Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon blood orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and zest, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

For the frosting:

3 cups of powdered sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk or cream
2 tablespoons blood orange juice
1 teaspoon blood orange zest

Beat butter and powdered sugar together until well-mixed. Ad 1 tablespoon of milk, the juice and the zest and beat on high until light and fluffy (three or four minutes). If the frosting is too thick, add more milk, a little at a time, and beat until incorporated.

25 Responses to “Pipe Dream #12: To Blog Fruits In Season – Blood Orange Cupcakes”

  1. 1 Jordan Noblitt April 25, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Lauren, darling, you’re amazing. Truly.

  2. 2 forgiven2007 April 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! Great idea:)

  3. 3 Lauren April 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Aw, J. Too much. Love

  4. 4 investment May 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Blood oranges are so yummy. :)

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