17 September 2013

Coffee Orange Cupcakes

This may not be a traditional flavour combination, but trust me - it works.

There's a coffee shop in Plymouth called Barista Brothers. They stock an odd variety of syrups amongst the more traditional flavours, examples being tiramisu, coconut and orange. I love getting syrups with my lattes, and though peppermint is my favourite I like to try new flavours when I'm in the more independent places.

The last time I visited Barista Brothers I had orange syrup in my coffee. The syrup had an artificial orange flavour similar to the kind you'd find in a chocolate orange or something from a chocolate box. To be honest, when I ordered the coffee I wasn't really expecting the combination to work, but it really did - so much so, in fact, that I decided to emulate the drink by transforming it into a cupcake.

I stirred instant coffee straight into the batter, and I love how the cupcakes ended up flecked with coffee once baked. If you really love your coffee, you could even make an espresso to stir into the batter instead of the milk, then add the instant coffee to get a double coffee hit when you bite into the cupcake later.

I hit a bit of a road block with the icing here. I had wanted to do a buttercream with icing sugar, but when it came to making it I discovered that I only had 75g left. I stick to a budget and didn't really want to go to the supermarket before the end of the week, so had to root through my excessively long favourites folder called 'Frosting etc' for something else suitable. Eventually I came across the Seven Minute Frosting used by Ellen at Bake It With Booze, which uses egg whites and caster sugar as its key ingredients. I had both of those!

The cupcakes are moist and delicious, and though I couldn't get a strong orange colour (I need to buy more food colouring), the Seven Minute Frosting really tastes good. It certainly tastes of orange, and you'd never guess that it's basically meringue. Give these cupcakes a try today - they're really easy, and don't take long to make. I made the cupcakes and frosting before work one morning after the other and each step took me about 30 mins.

Makes 12

For the cupcakes
  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 4 Tsp Instant Coffee
  • 50mL Milk
For the seven minute frosting (adapted from Bake It With Booze)

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 180g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Tsp Cream Of Tartar
  • 1 Tbsp Golden Syrup
  • Juice of 1/2 Orange
  • Orange Gel Food Colouring
  • To make the cupcakes, first preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan and line a cupcake tin with cases.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold into the batter.
  • Add enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency.
  • Stir in the instant coffee.
  • Divide the batter between the cupcake cases, then bake in the oven for 22 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • To make the Seven Minute Frosting, first stir the egg whites, water, caster sugar, golden syrup and cream of tartar together in a wide bowl.
  • Place the bowl over a pan of water, ensuring that the water doesn't touch the bowl. Heat the saucepan whilst stirring the mixture in the bowl until the sugar has melted.
  • Tip the egg mixture into a mixing bowl and whisk until stiff, smooth and glossy (about 5 mins).
  • Add the orange juice and gel food colouring, then whisk for a further 2 mins.
  • When the cupcakes are cool, pipe the frosting onto them and decorate as desired.

I'm entering these into this month's Calendar Cakes Challenge. It's hosted by Laura Loves Cakes this month, and Laura has chosen cupcakes as the theme in honour of National Cupcake Week, which takes place this week! The challenge was set up by both Laura and Rachel at Dollybakes.

Cakeyboi (this month's host) and The Baking Explorer have set up a new challenge called Treat Petite. This month it's a free for all for small treats, so these cupcakes fit in nicely. It's a great idea for a challenge and I bet it'll pick up a lot of entries.



  1. Thanks for entering Janine, I think this is a great flavour combo!

  2. This is an interesting flavor combination indeed. I've never tried orange and coffee together but would totally be up for it :)

  3. Thanks for entering these into September's Calendar Cakes...this is definitely an interesting flavour combination that I'd love to try! :-)

  4. I never thought of mixing coffee and orange flavors together! Very interesting... think I'll need to try these sometime!


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