My mom has been working her way through a cupcake cookbook recently. Two recipes down, and so far I haven’t had the chance to taste any yet. She was killing me; she knows how much I like cupcakes! I asked which cookbook it was and when she told me it was Cupcakes! From the Cake Mix Doctor, I went online to order a copy for myself. As soon as I saw the cover, I stopped for a second. I could swear I have that book somewhere. I searched through all my cookbook shelves, one title at a time. Nothing. So either I’m losing my mind, I lost the book during the move, or I just remember seeing the cover online, perhaps from looking at Anne’s other books, and never actually purchased it. After making sure I really didn’t have it, I ordered it. You know how I am with cupcakes. I couldn’t not order it, right?
I had to go to Nick‘s school for a function last week, and I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to try out my first recipe from the cookbook. I chose a recipe that my mom had already made, the Orange Marmalade Ricotta Cupcakes with Marmalade Buttercream Frosting. She raved about it when she made it, so it seemed only right to start there, especially since I had all the ingredients on hand already.
Because Anne is “doctoring” a cake mix, you get to skip all those pesky steps of measuring flour, baking soda, baking powder and what have you. In just a few minutes, the batter was in the oven, peacefully doing its thing. Once they come out, you brush them with a marmalade glaze and then after they’ve cooled, you slather marmalade-enhanced buttercream frosting over the tops.
Some of us couldn’t wait that long. Madeline is becoming quite the cupcake aficionado like the rest of us and as soon as she saw the rows of cupcakes sitting on the counter, she started shrieking for one. She has inherited my mom’s sweet tooth, no doubt, and nothing was going to stand in her way. She pushed the stepstool over to the counter and started climbing up to reach them. I rescued the batch and started peeling off the liner of one of the frosting-free ones for her.
Hands down, these have got to be the moistest cupcakes I have ever had or made to date. They are to-die-for moist. The buttercream frosting was good, though I added a bit more sugar because I like mine a little stiffer (a la Billy’s Bakery). With this being my first introduction to the Cupcakes! cookbook, I think we might be in a little trouble here.
*Besides being a popular cookbook author, Anne Byrn is also a contributor to Cottage Living magazine, among other places. When I saw some of her recipes up on the MyRecipes site (part of the Cooking Light family), that reminded me that I’m a little tardy in telling you of some of my recent articles over there. You can check out a favorite salad, this piece on cooking classes, a delicious homemade pizza, chocolate covered pretzel rods, and … well, there’s plenty more, but that should keep you busy for now. :)
Orange Marmalade-Ricotta Cupcakes with Marmalade Buttercream Frosting
Recipe courtesy of Cupcakes! from the Cake Mix Doctor
Prep: 20 minutes, Bake: 18 minutes, Cool: 5 minutes.
Makes about 20 cupcakes (I got 24)
- 1 (18.25-ounce) package plain white or yellow cake mix*
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange juice, divided
- 2/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup orange marmalade
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons orange zest
- Marmalade Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Insert paper liners into 20 muffin cups; set aside.
2. Beat cake mix, 1 cup orange juice, and next 5 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula, and beat at medium speed 2 minutes or until batter is thick and well combined. Spoon about 1/3 cup batter into each liner.
3. Bake at 350° for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
4. Brush tops of warm cupcakes evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice. Let cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
5. Spread about 1 heaping tablespoon of Marmalade Buttercream Frosting on each cupcake. Store at room temperature in an airtight container up to 3 days, up to a week in refrigerator, or (unfrosted) up to 6 months in freezer.
*We tried several different cake mixes and found we prefer white over yellow.
Marmalade Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
- 1-1/2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
Beat first 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until combined. Gradually add orange juice, beating at medium speed 30 seconds or until frosting is spreadable. Beat at medium-high 30 seconds or until fluffy.