Orange cupcakes recipe

(111 ratings)

Orange cupcakes
  • healthy
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories444 Kcal22%
Sugar43.1 g48%
Fat21.9 g31%
Saturated Fat13.5 g68%
Protein3.6 g7%
Carbohydrates57.8 g22%

Infuse these citrus orange cupcakes with fresh orange zest and orange juice. 

These orange cupcakes take just 15 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to bake. Make the buttercream with a hint of elderflower cordial, which works wonderfully alongside the tangy orange flavours in this recipe. Decorations are optional. We’ve used flower paste to make edible flowers and sprinkles to top the cakes.


  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 160g golden caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml fresh orange juice

For the buttercream

  • 135g unsalted butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1tsp orange zest
  • ½tsp lemon juice
  • 3tbsp elderflower cordial

To decorate


  • 20g flower paste (white)
  • Yellow Hundreds and Thousands
  • Orange sugar pearls

You will also need:

  • Large piping bag with a Wilton 1B nozzle
  • Small primrose cutter
  • Veining tool (optional)




  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and line the tray with 10 muffin cases.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat again.
  3. Add the vanilla and orange zest and juice and beat. Don’t worry if the batter splits it will come back together when you add the flour.
  4. Add the flour and buttermilk a bit at a time beating in between each addition until just combined and smooth.
  5. Put into the paper cases and bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 mins in the tins before cooling completely on a wire rack.
  6. To make the buttercream: put all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat until smooth and shiny. Add the nozzle to the piping bag and fill with the buttercream. Starting in the centre and working your way out to the paper and using the paper as a guide, pipe a swirl by following the paper and building up. To finish push down slightly and pull up quickly.
  7. To make the flowers: knead the flower paste til warm and pliable and roll to 2 mm thick. Cut 30 flowers out and vein with the veining tool, if you wish.
  8. Using a brush of water, stick 3 yellow Hundreds and Thousands to the centre of the flower and place on the top of the cakes. Sprinkle with the orange sugar pearls.

Top tips for making orange cupcakes

If you can't find buttermilk in the shops, make your own by adding 1tbsp lemon juice to 115ml of milk. Find out everything you need to know about how to make buttermilk with our step-by-step guide.

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies