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5 from 2 votes

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

Swap out the butterceam for lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired. If garnishing with orange wedges, set wedges on paper towels for a few minutes to prevent juicy drips on the frosting. Makes 18 cupcakes.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 -18
Author: Suzanne Cowden


  • Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large orange zested
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon kirsch optional
  • Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened but still cool
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease or paper-line 18 muffin tin cups.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and whisk briefly. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat together butter, sugar, and orange zest until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Whisk in sour cream, orange juice, and kirsch (if using). Stir in dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Scoop the thick batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one about halfway. Bake until pale golden and a skewer inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out mostly clean, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Turn out cupcakes on a rack and cool completely before frosting.
  • For the buttercream, beat the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer until light and creamy. Add 3 cups of the confectioners' sugar, mix slowly with the paddle attachment to combine, and then increase speed to medium-high and beat until well combined. Add vanilla extract, salt, and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Beat well, adding additional powdered sugar or cream, as needed, to achieve a smooth, creamy consistency that will hold up on your cupcakes.
  • Pipe frosting atop cooled cupcakes or use a small spatula to add a generous layer of frosting to each cupcake. Garnish with sprinkles or orange wedges, if desired.