Thursday, September 5, 2013

Orange Upside Down Cupcakes (★ ★ ★ ★ ☆)

But sadly, there were car fuzzies everywhere.

The End


Uh... ya....

This story is sort of a tragedy.  

So instead of just ending on a sad note, I thought I'd put the ending out there so you can brace yourself and not cry hysterically or anything like I did at the end of "500 Days of Summer."  

Yes, I know there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie!  That's what I get for blogging and movie-ing at the same time.  It took me 20 minutes to realize that the Bachelorette actually ended up with someone this season - I have a problem.

But not all was lost. I learned a lesson.

Remember that goody - "Pride cometh beforeth the falleth?"

Oh ya, we're going there.
And it's about to get good. 

As with many things in life - it all started with a "spark."

You see there was this cake - an orange cake.  It was getting ALL kinds of online love.  Features, comments, pins - you name it.  

It seemed like everywhere I went on the blogosphere that week - I was haunted by this orange cake.

The Cake From Where It All Began:

Now don't get me wrong - I'm a fan of orange and an even bigger fan of "easy," but I was dumbfounded to realize that what everybody was raving about was just so normal... so simple.

And that's the moment the dark seed took root.

"I can do that."

It became my presumptuous mission to become the toast of the blogs, the bees knees.  If an easy orange cake can do it...then I most definitely could.  

You guys like orange, right?  Obviously.  
And something that doesn't require frosting?  Boom - frosting on the ground!
Since I can't be a total copycat, instead of "simple" why don't we go with "classic?"  Upside down cake.
Then make it totes unique?  Mini-size 'em.

The stage was set.

The ingredients prepped. 

And honestly, I worked my magic.
These were good.  Like Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Garden, sophisticatedly-rustic-delicious good.   Even on Day 1, 2, and 3.

My evil plan was working.  Assuredly, my cupcakes would be the buzz of the week.

My friends and family drooled over them.  My brother who only eats my desserts if they are chocolate, begged for more.

Oh, I done good.

And that's when it happened...

I had carefully pack several away to bring to work.
Because the praises of family and friends can't be trusted.  They love me, you know?
But co-workers.  Co-workers have no obligation to boost my ego.  They can just as easily grab a cupcake, take a bite, and toss it in the trash.  No harm, no foul.

It was there that I would finally reign.  And my induction into the "Lauded Bakers of the Blogosphere" would be imminent.
That was before I was running late.

Before I couldn't find a container with a lid,

Before I had to slam on my brakes,

Before the treats I had so lovingly crafted, pummeled one by one to the floor...

...of my car.

My dreams crushed.
Replaced by smooshed cupcakes coated in car fuzzies.


I learned a valuable lesson that day.

Baking isn't about winning praise.
It's about enjoying the process.

It isn't about sugar and butter.
Baking is about sharing and bringing people closer.

Oh, who am I kidding?  It totally is!

But I also know that giving way to the cockiness within -- always ends badly.  I'm just lucky this time my penance was pieces of carpet.
Orange Upside Down Cupcakes
used Sallys Baking Addiction as my starting point
  • 3 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) of Butter, melted
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (Or Sour Cream)
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 4 tsp Vanilla
  • 2/3 Cups Butter [for cupcake tops]
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar [for cupcake tops]
  • 3-4 Small Oranges, cut into 24 thin slices and peeled
  • 24 Cupcake Liners
Makes 24 Cupcakes
Preheat Oven to 375F after baking for 7min lower to 350F
Bake for 15-20 minutes
1) In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
2) In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave 1 Cup (2 sticks) butter in 30 sec increments until melted. 
    Stirring in-between each heating.
3) Transfer melted butter into a medium sized bowl.  Add 2 Cups brown sugar and beat until combined.
4) Add eggs, yogurt, milk, orange juice, and vanilla.  Beat until combined.
5) Slowly add flour mixture to batter.  Once combined batter will be very thick.  Which makes it super
    easy to spoon into the cupcake tin. Yeah!
6) Because I needed the tops to slide out very easily, but I didn't want to have to eat these out of a 
    cupcake liner, I totally stole this idea from Glorious Treats.  Fold the liners in half and cut a small half 
    moon out of the bottom.  This will be just enough to cover the bottom of each of the muffin slots. 
7) Butter or spray the heck out off the muffin tin and then line with the cut cupcake liners.
8) In a small microwave bowl, melt 2/3 cups of butter and stir in 1 Cup brown sugar.
9) Drop in 1/2 Tbsp of this mixture into each liner.
10) Cut oranges into very thin slices - you need 24 total. 
11) I found that slicing the orange and then carefully peeling each one worked for me.  However, if
      you'd like to peel the whole orange first and then slice it that might work as long as you have a very
      sharp knife.
12) Next slit an opening in the slice, so you can easily wrap it into the bottom of a cupcake slot.  If you
      have more time cutting the slice into little "pie" pieces and placing them into the cupcake liner
      individually will make it easier to eat.
13) Press orange slice down so it gets immersed in the brown sugar and butter.
14) Spoon batter over orange slices and place into oven at 375F.  After 7 mins, lower the oven
      temperature to 350F.  Bake for another 8-13 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes
      out clean.
15) Let cupcakes cool on a rack for a few minutes, then flip upside down and let cupcakes slide out.  If
      some seem stuck, carefully tap the tops of the cupcake tin to get them to fall out.
Vanilla Whipped Cream
makes enough for 24 cupcakes
  • 2 Cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2/3 Cup of Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of Vanilla Bean Paste (or Vanilla Extract)
  • 2 tsp Unflavored Gelatin
1) Tip: But medium sized bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes beforehand.  It helps the cream to 
    whip up faster. Side Note: the gelatin helps the whipped cream to keep it's form and not to become
    a runny, puddly mess. 
2) Beat whipped cream until stiff peaks form.  Add powdered sugar (more or less to taste), vanilla, and 
    gelatin.  Beat until combined.  
3) Store in fridge if not using immediately.

*Disclaimer* - While the events in this post are true, they may have been exaggerated for story telling purposes only.  I happen to really like orange in desserts and I get inspired by other blogs like twenty times a day! 


  1. What a great idea! I find whole cakes intimidating, but these are just right!

    1. Me too! But mostly frosting a whole cake intimidates me. Thankfully, no frosting here at all. :)

  2. YUM!! These look and sound delicious :) SO sorry about the ending to these beautiful cakes... I am always SO worried when I transport by car and never let my husband sit with the cakes, always me - just in case! They still look amazing. Pinning now and can't wait to try these out :) Thanks for sharing!

    Hannah ♫
    Sew Lah Tea Dough

    1. Haha, better safe than sorry! Thanks for reading!

  3. Haha. You're brilliant.
    And I'm hardheaded. I shall take this dessert and make it mine and be the ruler of all orange desserts in the blogosphere. I will not fall prey to your classic mistakes of orange cakes in cars for I know they are too precious for the upholstered seats of modern automobiles. I shall triumph and be lauded with orange praise and everyone will oooh and ahhh. Muahahahah.
    Just kidding. But I'm totes making these. You know, for my fam. :)

    1. This has to be my favorite comment EVER! Thanks for being funnier than I. Way to one up me, missy. ;)

  4. Holy moly this looks delicious! I'm about ready to lick the computer screen!

    1. Thanks Heather! My evil master plan is working! Muahahahah!!

  5. How fun! Individual upside-down cakes! Thanks for sharing at Sweet & Savory Saturdays #31.

    ~Amber @

    1. Thanks Amber! Thanks for being a gracious host. :)

  6. Hi Nat! Thanks for your beautiful comment in my Chocolate Baklava Bites! You have a beautiful blog and I am so happy to have met you! A similar story as the one you describe has happened to me too! I was so angry and desperate haha! Your upside down cakes looks absolutely fabulous! Pinned and hope to talk often from now on!

  7. Oh Nat, I love baking like you, so I'm following you now so I won't miss recipes such as this one of these awesome cupacakes! Thanks for your fun visit to me, hope you come again. (You can follow back if you wish) Enjoy your weekend.

    1. :) Thanks! I just followed you back. I hope you have a great weekend as well...I'm plan on baking quite a bit!

  8. Aw, Nat! I feel so bad for you and your beautiful little cakelets! But especially for your coworkers. I'm sure they would have boosted your ego with all sorts of praise! They look absolutely gorgeous and definitely Martha-worthy. I love how you fancified a basic recipe (I love to do that sort of thing!), and enjoying the process and bringing people together is totally my jam ;)

    1. Ahaha, thanks Allie. Your encouraging words have fueled my fire! I will fancify things to bring people together for weeks, months, nay, years to come!

  9. Dear Nat, Yes, I love orange, This story turned out with a delicious ending. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

    1. Thanks Catherine! I'm glad my theory is true!!

  10. These are just wonderful Nat !!
    We are very proud of our oranges here, and I need(!) to make these

    1. Aw, thanks Winnie! Well, if you are proud of your oranges you should definitely make these!