Best Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Top Winning Minnesota Recipe

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Plated Best Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
For holiday baking – or any time of year – these “Best Chocolate Orange Cupcakes” are a sure-fire favorite. Seriously. Total crowd pleaser!
8 plated Best Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
The batter has vegetable oil and buttermilk in it, creating a rich, fudgy cupcake that practically glows.
Batter in cupcake pan
Best Chocolate Orange Cupcakes - Mid Frosting
With a thick citrus buttercream frosting and festive chocolate orange section on top, you get an eye-catching dessert everyone will love.
Decorated Best Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
Baker Tips:
  • Use a high-quality cocoa powder for a rich chocolate flavor to the cupcake. We used a combo of Dutch cocoa powder and black cocoa and loved the results.
  • Stock up on Terry’s Chocolate Oranges when you find them. They’re seasonal and can be hard to find
  • Because the orange extract goes in both the batter and the frosting, use a high-quality brand for a natural tasting citrus flavor. We like these citrus oils from the King Arthur Baking Company. Fresh juice and zest is key also.


Winner at Minnesota State Fair

These best chocolate orange cupcakes are an award-winning creation from Colleen Jensen.
She had a big win with them at the 2022 Minnesota State Fair. Out of 75 entries, these placed third, bested only by this show-stopper winning cake (1st Place) and a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake (2nd place) we hope to make at some point. That’s essentially a second runner up or a “bronze medal” Olympic win. =)
Colleen titled her contest entry “Merry’s Chocolate Orange Cupcakes.” The name is a play on the “merry” holidays and the popular Terry’s brand that makes the festive candy that the cupcakes feature.
Terry's Chocolate Orange Popping Candy
Terry’s Chocolate Oranges are quite an experience. Gifting them to family and friends is a long-time tradition in the U.K. The whack/crack way of opening the candy is delightful.
Chocolate Orange Candy
If you don’t have first-hand knowledge of the “tap it and unwrap it” process, be sure try it out soon.
These Chocolate Orange Cupcakes are a “must-bake” for anyone who loves chocolate or citrus sweet treats. Enjoy!

Best Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Cake Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa
1 tablespoon soda bicarb (baking soda)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon orange zest

Frosting Ingredients:

2 stick softened butter
6 – 8 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 – 2 tablespoons orange zest
5 tablespoons orange juice
Orange extract to-taste
Food coloring, optional
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all dry goods then add all wet goods. Mix until combined. Pour into pan(s). For cupcakes, fill just over half way full to allow space to rise.
Bake 30 minutes for 9-inch cake tins, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Bake 15 minutes for cupcakes. Toothpick in center should come out clean.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cupcakes or one 3-layer 9-inch round cake.
Frosting: Cream, butter and sugar. Add liquid ingredients and mix until desired consistency. Use more orange zest/extract if you prefer a more intense orange flavor. Double the recipe if you like extra generous, thick layers of frosting.

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