Orange creamsicle cupcakes make warm weather even better

April 4 | Guest post by HeatherB

Cupcakes are one of my all-time favorite things and while some people are snooty and don't believe in the use of cake mix, I think cake mix is awesome. Yes, I often make my own cupcakes from scratch. Yes they are amazingly delicious. But when I need a quick treat, I don't want to have to worry that I don't have all of the exact right ingredients.

I made these cupcakes with ingredients I bought at the drug store (with the exception of the food coloring which I already had). And they taste delicious. And they look delicious. And I put time and effort into them — but not too much of either, thanks to cake mix!

Then there's frosting. Make your own frosting. It's SO much better and takes practically no time and effort to make. In the frosting scenario, I am the snooty person.

Creamsicle Cupcake

Ingredients
For the Cake

  • One box cake mix (yellow or white)
  • Ingredients to make the cake mix (eggs, oil, butter, water… different brands call for different things. I used Duncan Hines yellow cake for mine)
  • One/half a box of orange gelatin mix

For the Frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter
  • The other half of the box of orange gelatin mix
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk
  • about 5-6 cups powdered confectioner's sugar
  • orange food coloring (or red and yellow food coloring to make orange)
  • A bag of candy orange slices for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Prepare the cake batter as directed. Divide the batter into two bowls (about two cups is half the batter). Into one of the bowls add half the packet of orange gelatin mix. This will turn the batter a bright orange.
  3. Into a lined muffin tin (yes, use liners. they save sooo much cleaning time) put one heaping spoonful of yellow batter into the bottom of each cup. Top with another heaping spoon of orange cake batter. This should fill the cup a little over half way.
  4. Bake for about 13-15 minutes. Here's a secret of box cake mix. They are required to tell you to bake it a long time so that the internal temperature reaches a certain minimum. Usually, this is longer than it actually takes a cupcake to cook and so your cupcake will be dry and gross. If you use the toothpick method of when the toothpick comes out clean, it will probably be a few minutes beforehand. You can always cook it longer!
  5. Let cool a few minutes in the pan and then transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack until completely cool.
  6. While the cupcakes are cooling prepare the frosting.
  7. In a mixing bowl, cream together the room temperature butter, milk, and vanilla. Beat in the sugar, one cup at a time until incorporated. If you feel the frosting is not stiff enough, add more sugar. If it's very stiff add a tiny bit more milk.
  8. Divide the frosting into two bowls. Into one bowl add the remaining orange gelatin mix and any necessary food coloring to get the frosting a pleasant orange color. If you're mixing red and yellow coloring, about 2 drops of red and 4-5 of yellow is good.
  9. In a pastry or ziplock bag (I used a ziplock, fyi) spread a couple of spoons of orange frosing along the bottom. On top, put in some white frosting. Clip the corner of the bag and push all the frosting down towards the corner. Use as a pastry bag to create an orange and white swirl of frosting. Top with a candy orange slice for garnish.

Enjoy!

  1. I love doing the jello mix in cake thing. I usually do cherry or lime. Sooo tasty.

    Also, if you're vegan certain types of cake mix are free of offending ingredients and you can add a can of orange (or any flavor) soda to it, then bake as directed. I usually eyeball the liquid, a whole can always seems like so much.

    • yum! I made butter beer cupcakes once with cream soda and the carbonation gave the cake a really nice, light texture.

      1 agrees
      • Wait, wait. Butter beer cupcakes? What did you use besides cream soda?? RECIPE!

        • I made them based on a recipe for adult butter beer that was cream soda, butterscotch schnapps, and whipped cream. I used a yellow cake mix and replaced the water with cream soda plus a couple of glugs (measuring is not my strong suit) of butterscotch schnapps. With the icing, I added a few Tbsp of butterscotch schnapps in place of milk. Then I crushed some butterscotch hard candies and mixed some into the frosting and sprinkled some on top.

          1 agrees
        • I made these butterbeer cupcakes not from a box, and they were really delicious. I did use store bought caramel sauce because I didn't want to mess with making my own.
          http://amybites.com/?p=623

  2. Oh….you just took two of my most favourite things in the world and combined them into amazing deliciousness.

    I am so making these tonight!!

  3. Oh jello cake. In mah mouth. Yes.
    You can also make the cake regularly, make the hot jello mixture, poke holes in the cake, and pour it over. Refrigerate for several hours. Probably wouldn't work for cupcakes, as the cake becomes really moist, but looks and tastes awesome!

  4. My brother in law is a pastry chef and even HE says that cake mix is the best bet for cupcakes. YAYYYY!!!

    2 agree
  5. Yep, I usually use cake mix when I want to make decorated birthday cakes. The texture always comes out right, not too soft for loading on the icing or cutting into shapes.

  6. This sounds amazing. I love creamsicles, they must bring back fond childhood memories. In fact it's making me want one right now! I look forward to trying out this recipe.

  7. please tell me how m,any cupcakes a box/this recipe makes? Thanks!

    • Most box mixes will make 2 dozen (24) cupcakes. I generally find that they only really make about 20 or so… it depends on how much batter you put in each cup.

  8. I made these yesterday. Absolutely gorgeous cupcakes. But I should have read everyones comments & questions because I guessed and used a large box of jello…the orange frosting was grainy from the jello, I am assuming from too much jello. They were still a big hit though.

  9. I just made these using a coconut cake mix and pineapple gelatin. Pina Colada Cupcakes! They are divine. Thanks for the inspiration!

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