Meeting Your Half Orange inspired me so much that I wanted this week’s treat to be an orange treat! After all, it’s easy to fall into Valentine’s Day cliches this time of year; why not make something sweet for your love, but with a modern twist?
These cupcakes (via AllRecipes.com) are, hands down, the best recipe I’ve ever made. White chocolate. Coconut. Orange. Even if you are single, I’m telling you, at first bite, you’ll have a renewed sense of optimism and a feeling that everything is going to turn out OK.
(The recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but I figured for something so indulgent, it would be more fun to make big cupcakes — they just feel more special that way. So I made six cupcakes; each was approximately the size of a puppy.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained and chopped into bite-size pieces (look for a small can of oranges in juice)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
For the topping….
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar
This recipe also needed the loving touch of my special Valentine’s Day spatula.
This Is How We Do It
Preheat the oven to 375. Combine the sugar, oil, eggs and orange juice in a large bowl and mix well.
Combine the dry ingredients up to the oranges; stir into orange juice mixture just until moistened.
Fold in the oranges and chips in a few small batches.
Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
Now you are supposed to combine the topping ingredients and bake the cupcakes with the topping, so the coconut gets toasted. I did not do this because I didn’t read the directions carefully. I just baked, per usual, for 22 minutes….
….and topped with the coconut mixture once the cupcakes had cooled!
You can do it either way; trust me when I say this mistake did not cause any problems in the taste of the final product.
Now, I had tasted the batter before I baked the cupcakes and, honestly, I was underwhelmed. It wasn’t too orangey, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the cupcakes were love at first bite. Honestly, these are hands down the most amazing dessert I’ve ever made, and one of the best I’d ever tasted. The combination of white chocolate and orange is just heavenly, and the coconut takes it over the top for me.
These cupcakes weren’t at all hard to make but they just feel so over-the-top and special. Don’t make them for just anyone!