With most of the dessert recipes I bookmark, I do so because I know immediately that I will love them. However occasionally I save something because I think I will like it but though I am not sure, I am intrigued. This was the case with this recipe. I enjoy cinnamon as a supporting flavor, but I didn’t know how it would be as the leading player. I was concerned that it would really just be too much cinnamon. I’m happy I finally gave this a shot – these were great! The cinnamon was prominent but not at all overwhelming, and the cream cheese and orange zest complimented it nicely. Overall these had a very warm flavor, perfect for fall or winter. Next time I would probably only make 3/4 of a batch of frosting as I had quite a bit left over, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing.
For the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup whole milk
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. grated orange zest
½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Stir milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat just until butter melts; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick enough for the batter to fall in a heavy ribbon when the beater is lifted, about 5 minutes. Beat in orange peel and vanilla. Add the flour mixture; beat just until blended. Beat in the milk-butter mixture just until blended. Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream the butter and the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix until incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar, and keep adding until you reach the desired consistency and sweetness. Frost cooled cupcakes.
Source: adapted from A Southern Grace