These Double Chocolate Orange Cupcakes are a chocoholics dream! With real chocolate in both the sponge and the buttercream, and finished with an oven-dried slice of orange you'll soon be making another batch of these yummy cupcakes.
If there's a way to improve a double chocolate cupcake it surely has to be with the addition of orange to make Double Chocolate Orange Cupcakes!
These little beauties definitely taste as good as they look with real chocolate used in both the cupcake batter and buttercream frosting, along with a drop or two of orange extract to enhance the chocolate flavour.
The use of real chocolate in these Double Chocolate Orange Cupcakes plays an important role. It helps to keep the cupcakes moist (cakes often turn out dry when cocoa powder alone is used) and the chocolate buttercream frosting super silky. And of course, lets not forget about how delicious actual chocolate is!
The crowning glory, perched within the silky chocolate buttercream frosting, is a slice of oven dried orange. Their presence is two-fold. Not only does it add to the cupcakes' aesthetics making them incredibly inviting and eye catching, but as they're completely edible (assuming there are no pips in the slices!), they add a wonderful concentrated hit of real orange flavour.
How to make dried orange slices
Making your own dried orange slices is incredibly easy. It's simply a case of cutting the washed orange into thin slices, and baking them slowly on a grill pan or oven safe cooling rack which allows the heat of the oven to completely circulate around the whole orange slice.
This means that the orange slices dry out evenly without the need to flip them over. Of course you could place the orange slices directly onto a baking tray, but this will increase the baking time.
The dried orange slices taste seriously amazing with a wonderfully concentrated flavour of orange coming through with each bite. If you were to try these Double Chocolate Orange Cupcakes I really would encourage you to prepare some extra slices of dried orange, to be kept in an airtight container ready for those impromptu snacks, or even to be enjoyed with a yogurt or added to some breakfast granola.
The observant amongst you may have noticed the red tinges to our orange slices. Blood oranges have a very short season but are well worth seeking out for their flavour when they are in season. If you're not able to get hold of any blood oranges, or they are out of season, just use whichever orange variety you're able to source.
How to make Double Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
For the dried orange slices
- 1 orange
For the cupcakes
- 50 g milk chocolate (2oz)
- 120 g butter softened (4½ oz)
- 120 g golden caster sugar (4½ oz)
- 1½ tsp orange extract
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 100 g self-raising flour (4oz)
- 25 g cocoa powder (1oz)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 – 2 tbsp milk
For the chocolate buttercream
- 100 g dark chocolate (4oz)
- 200 g butter softened (7oz)
- 300 g icing sugar (1½oz)
- 1 – 1½ tsp orange extract
- sprinkles optional
To make the dried orange slices
- Preheat the oven to 130℃ (110℃ fan)/250°F/gas mark ½. Wash & dry the orange. Use a sharp knife to slice off the top and bottom ends of the orange. Discard them. Cut the orange into thin slices, about 2-3mm (⅛ in) thick. Gently remove any pips. Sit an oven-safe cooling rack in a large baking tray (or use a clean grill rack and pan). Arrange the orange slices on the rack.
- Place the baking tray and cooling rack with the oranges on top in the centre of the oven. Bake for 90 – 120 minutes (dependant upon their thickness) to allow them to slowly dry out. Check them after 90 minutes. Remove from the oven when they’re dry and crisp. Set aside to cool.
To make the cupcakes
- Increase the oven temperature to 190℃ (170℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 5. Place the muffin sized cases into the muffin tray. Break the milk chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof glass bowl. Create a bain marie by positioning the bowl over a pan of water, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the base of the pan. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring periodically with a spatula. Remove the bowl from the pan when it has almost finished melting (the residual heat will allow it to melt completely). Set aside allowing it to cool slightly
- Beat the butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy. Add the orange extract and beat again to combine. Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the mixture. Use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold this in gently. Add the milk and combine – you’re aiming for a nice dropping consistency. Then stir in the melted milk chocolate until just combined.
- Fill the muffin cases about half to two-thirds full. Place the muffin tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 – 23 minutes. You may need to rotate the tray after 15 minutes of baking. Once baked, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
To make the chocolate buttercream
- Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and melt in the same way you melted the milk chocolate
- Beat the butter until it is soft and creamy. Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter. Use a wooden spoon to combine the two ingredients. Sieve the remaining icing sugar into the bowl and mix until combined. Beat well. Add a little milk a teaspoon at a time and beat to create a creamy frosting. Add 1tsp of orange extract and mix to combine. Then add the melted chocolate and beat until combined. Taste. Add a little more orange extract as required, and mix to combine.
- Spoon the chocolate buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. It’s easier to pipe if it’s only half full (re-fill the bag when required). Pipe a generous swirl of the buttercream frosting over the cupcake sponge. Position a slice orange into the frosting. Finish with some sprinkles (optional).
- 7 Muffin sized cupcake cases & muffin tin,
- Piping bag fitted with large star nozzle,
- Oven safe cooling rack & large tray OR grill pan & tray.
- Use blood orange, when in season for the extra tinge of colour otherwise use any small oranges.
- I used Valencian orange extract which has a really good flavour.
- A semi dark chocolate for the worsting about 54% cocoa solids works well in this recipe but if you enjoy a richer dark flavour you could use a chocolate with a higher cocoa solid.
StoreStore in an airtight container in a cool place or the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days.
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