Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Creamsicle Cupcakes Topped With Candied Oranges

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Do you remember that distinct musical sound that came from a loudspeaker proudly displayed on the top of a white truck? You could hear them, those wonderful musical tones, before even seeing anything coming down your street. I believe they planned it that way, giving you, just enough, time to run in and ask your parents for money to buy ice cream! Those were some of my best childhood memories. I would always get the creamsicle, it was my favorite! Today I relived those memories with my Creamsicle Cupcakes Topped With Candied Oranges.

I’ve made 3 boxes of cake mix, yielding around 72 of these cupcakes, celebrating two co-worker’s birthdays. My recipe below yields 24 cupcakes. It’s really important to note, anytime you want to make more than one box, only mix one box mix at a time. After the completion of the box mix then you can combine them together in one large bowl. For the frosting, you can mix all the ingredients at one time together, no problem!

I like to start by making the candied oranges.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes ( follow the cooking time on the back of the cake box)
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Equipment: cupcake pan, paper liners

Ingredients For The Cupcakes:
1 box of Duncan Hines French Vanilla cake mix
3 egg whites, room temperature (large eggs)
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of Orange Crush soda ( this replaces the water from the box instructions)
1/3 cup of room temperature Ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons of Orange Jello Mix

Ingredients For Creamsicle Frosting:
2 sticks of butter, unsalted and room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 to 3 tablespoons of Orange Crush Soda
2 tablespoons of Orange Jello Mix

Directions For Creamsicle Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Line cupcake pan with paper liners. In one large bowl mix egg whites, Ricotta cheese, vegetable oil, jello mix, and Orange Crush soda. Once all these ingredients are well combined, slowly add in the dry cake mix, stirring ( do not over mix) until just combined. Fill the liners 3/4 of the way full and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on sheet pans with cooling racks.

Directions For Creamsicle Frosting:
In a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, whip butter until light and fluffy. Add in jello mix. Next, gradually add in the powdered sugar a little at a time. Finally, add in the Orange Crush Soda as needed to reach the desired consistency. Pipe the frosting (using a piping bag and preferred tip) on the cooled cupcakes.

Candied Oranges:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour (stovetop)
Bake Time: 2 hours @ 200 degrees F. (leave in the oven 1 extra hour with the oven turned off)
Total Cook Time: 4 hours
Equipment: 3 (1/4) rimmed baking sheet pans with racks, aluminum foil

Ingredients:
1 orange yield, approx. 25 triangles
3 navel oranges sliced into rounds around 1/8 inch thick. Discard seeds and ends.
1 large bowl of ice water
3 cups of granulated sugar
3 cups of water
6 tablespoons of orange juice
Turbinado sugar

Directions For Candied Oranges:
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a large saucepan with water to a boil and add in orange slices. Boil for 1 minute, place the orange slices in the bowl of ice water to shock and stop the cooking process. Once the orange slices have cooled, drain and place them into a large container and set them aside.

In another large saucepan over medium heat, bring 3 cups of water, 3 cups of sugar, and 6 tablespoons of orange juice just to a boil. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn the heat down to medium-low and place the orange slices into the sugar-water. Simmer (very low boil) the orange slices for 1 hour, until the rinds are slightly translucent, turning the slices over every 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200-degrees F.
Place a rack on a sheet pan lined with foil and lay the orange slices in a single layer on the racks. Sprinkle each of the orange slices with Turbinado sugar. Place the racks of oranges into the oven for 2 hours. This process will dry the candied oranges out so they are not so sticky. Turn the oven off and do not open the oven for an extra hour.

I’ve made extra candies oranges in this recipe and that’s because I want to use only the best-looking ones as toppers and, at the end of the day, the cook needs a treat too!

Once the candied oranges have come out of the oven, slice them into triangles. Do this by using a paring knife and start at the center of the circle using the segment lines within the circle, cut into triangles. For appearance reasons, use only the best ones to place on top of each cupcake. Each circle yields around 5 triangles.

To Finish:
Nestle the candied orange slices on top of each of the cupcakes. That’s my Creamsicle Cupcakes With Candied Oranges.

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12/13/2014 Grand Opening of Jillycakes Orlando-Cupcakes

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When you think of cupcakes, what could be a better visual than this entrance? Step into a whimsical world of sweet treats. The atmosphere at Jillycakes will take you back to your childhood. The memories of all things sweet and colorful. Jillian’s cakes are nothing less awesome works of art, masterpieces.

Jillycakes is a gourmet cupcake and specialty cake bakery serving the greater Orlando area of Central Florida. Food Network’s Cupcake Wars Winner!

I met Jillian a couple of years ago while I was catering a party for a friend. She walked in with this cake, that was simply just amazing. The theme for the birthday party was turning 50. Let me just show you what I’m talking about.

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Anyway, her first store opened on 12/13/2014, how cute is that for an opening date, in Winter Park. The shopping center’s backdrop is a lake. It’s beautiful landscaping and water fountains enhance every square foot of this mini-mall. Let me give you a peek into Jillycakes. For more information visit their website at http://www.jillycakesorlando.com.

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French Vanilla Cupcakes

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I can’t say this enough, your local grocery store offers so many varieties of box cake mix to choose from and they’re all really good. The brand of cake mix I’m partial to is the Duncan Hines French Vanilla. All you have to do is to add a few of your own secret ingredients and Voila!

If you’re looking for an easy dessert to make, my French Vanilla Cupcakes will work in a pinch!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 to 19 minutes
Decorating Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 49 minutes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Equipment: 2-12 non-stick muffin tin pans, 2 large mixing bowls, whisk, 2 small bowls, hand-held electric mixer, 1-quart saucepan

Ingredients:
2 16.5-ounce boxes of Duncan Hines French Vanilla cake mix
6 large eggs, room temperature, divided
2/3 cup of vegetable oil, divided
2 cups of water, divided
1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, room temperature, divided
2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract, divided
Topping:
2 sticks (1/2 pound) of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by spraying the muffin tin pans, liberally, with a non-stick cooking spray. Lightly flour each of the muffin tins.

In a large mixing bowl add the eggs, water, vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract, and ricotta cheese, mix to combine. Slowly add the cake mix into the wet ingredients whisking together until moistened, about 30 seconds.

Switch to a hand-held mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Pour cake batter into the first muffin tin pan.

Repeat the process to make the second box of cake mix.

Bake in the center rack of the oven for 16 to 19 minutes. Note: Add 3 to 5 minutes to bake time for dark or coated pans. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing.

Topping:
Melt 2 sticks of unsalted butter in a small saucepan. Transfer the melted butter to a small mixing bowl. In another bowl mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, whisk to combine.

Take a cupcake and dip the top into the warm melted butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, place back onto the cooling rack. I promise you won’t be able to eat just one of my French Vanilla Cupcakes because they are so darn good.

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