sicilian citrus cupcakes

by Stacy

When Angela originally planned her trip to San Diego, her roommate was planning to come along. Unfortunately, the timing didn’t work out quite right and she wasn’t able to join us, but she did offer to send along a Tupperware container so that Angela could bring home cake for her.

I have no idea why she would think that I might have cake around here.

In fact, I ran out of cake. But I had promised cake, so cake had to be made. And it was.

sicilian citrus cupcakes

Also, let this be a lesson to us all: don’t leave your circular polarizing filter on your camera for food photos. It turns your cake stand sky blue. Combined with the colored cupcake papers I feel like these photos are straight out of my 1960s Betty Crocker Cookbook. Yikes.

After a survey of pantry supplies, I settled on an adaptation of Almost Bourdain’s Sicilian Orange Cake. Upon a survey of the contents of the fridge, I sent my husband to get butter and muffin liners. Yes, I could have greased the muffin tins, but to send these home with Angela, muffin liners seemed easier.

sicilian citrus cupcakes

While he ran to the store, I did some metric conversions. A few sticks of softened butter later and we were in business!

I did change up some of the instructions to be the more traditional mixing method of dry-wet-dry-wet-dry ingredients. The cupcakes were great — tender, light, and flavorful. Half of them got a simple buttercream, but the ones pictured just had a light orange glaze which was also delicious.

sicilian citrus cupcakes

The recipient said she enjoyed the courier-delivered cakes, and my husband managed to eat the ones I sent him for lunch. I’ll mark this one as a success.

Sicilian Citrus Cupcakes

Adapted from Almost Bourdain
Yields 24 cupcakes

I ran out of orange zest and used half-orange, half-lemon (hence the generic “citrus” term)
To frost them, I mixed up a quick buttercream for half and used a simple glaze for the other half. Both were good.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons finely-grated orange zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice

1.) Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners or grease them individually.

2.) Cream together the butter and sugar using an electric or stand mixer for about 5 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and light in color. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in orange zest.

3.) Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add 1/3 of sifted dry ingredients to the batter, then half the orange juice, 1/3 dry ingredients, rest of orange juice, and finally the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just combined.

4.) Spoon batter into muffin tins until about half to 2/3 full. Bake, turning halfway through, 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean. Leave cupcakes in the pan for a few minutes, then remove and let cool on wire racks before frosting.

Orange Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
~ 1 tablespoon orange juice

1.) Whisk together sugar and juice, adding a small amount at a time until desired consistency is reached. Dip cupcakes in glaze and let dry.

sicilian citrus cupcakes

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

katiebug February 20, 2010 at 7:15 am

Whenever I resort to using a mixture of orange and lemon out of a shortage of one or the other, I call it St. Clement’s. It sounds so fancy.

These look gorgeous. I have to make some treats for a meeting next week; I think you’ve convinced me that cupcakes are the way to go.


stacy February 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Hah, glad it’s not just me running out of the proper fruit. =)

They’re pretty darn good. I would solicit some other opinions, but I didn’t need much help eating them. Oops. You can also make it as a cake, but I always find cupcakes to be easier for sharing due to the lack of utensils and plates needed.


Kate H. June 10, 2010 at 9:06 am

OK — your blog is my new favorite cookbook. I’m totally making these for Ben’s b-day on Sunday! :)


Paula August 21, 2010 at 5:32 am

here is so many inspirations!

have a nice time,


lacey December 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

these look delicious.. ive been wantin to make somethin italian for christmas this yr sense my dad has passed and this is what ive got my mind set on. i hope they come out looking this good!! :)


lacey December 24, 2010 at 7:40 pm

can i use confectioners sugar for the glaze instead of powdered sugar?


Stacy December 26, 2010 at 4:58 am

Absolutely! Enjoy. =)


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