Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

These cupcakes are absolutely perfect for Halloween next week and even … I’m going to say it … Christmas!! They are chocolate orange marbled cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing and lots of sprinkles. The perfect treat for all of the dark, cold, long evenings we have to look forward to.

Now, while I am a devoted Bake Off fan and a lover of large wedges of cake, I’m unfortunately not a gifted baker. Part of the problem is that I am part of a family of enthusiastic and talented bakers. My mum is the best at birthday cakes (always has been, always will be) and my sister makes absolutely exceptional scones. Me on the other hand, I prefer to sit back and let them do the work.


So for this blog post I roped my sister in, as if I hadn’t it would have ended in complete disaster. This is also her own recipe, so not letting her join in seemed a little unfair.

Makes 16 small cupcakes.


For the cupcakes:

  • 100g butter (at room temperature)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 93g flour (a weird measurement which will make sense later)
  • 2 eggs
  • 7g cocoa powder
  • Zest of half an orange
  • Dessert spoon of freshly squeezed orange juice

For the icing:

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g butter (room temperature)
  • 40g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 40ml milk
  • Festive decorations!


Preheat the oven to 160 Fan or 350 Fahrenheit.

Using two mixing bowls, place half of the butter and sugar and 1 egg in each. Put 50g for flour in one bowl and 43g of flour in the other.

In the bowl that has less flour, sift in the cocoa powder. In the other, put in the orange zest and juice and mix until well incorporated.


Get two tablespoons and two teaspoons (a pair for each mixture) and spoon the mixture into the cupcakes cases, putting in half orange mix and half chocolate. The cases need to be about 3/4 full.


Using another, clean teaspoon, swirl the two mixtures together in the cupcake cases while being careful to not just mix them into a chocolatey orangey mess.

Put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes (keep an eye on them!)

When they are golden in colour and bounce back when you touch them, they are ready. Place on a wire rack to cool.

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For the icing, simply put all of the ingredients into a bowl (apart from the decorations obviously) and mix together. Wait until the cupcakes are completely cool before icing them. We used a piping bag but feel free to just dollop it on and smooth out using a spoon or a knife.

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Finally, get decorating! This is always my favourite part of making cupcakes, but especially when you have a seasonal theme to follow. We found our scary faces sugar decorations, golden stars, bronze sprinkles and the cupcake cases in Waitrose, but pretty much all supermarkets do great ones and you can find all sorts online.

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Sit back with a nice cup of tea and enjoy!

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Also, a quick final note… I’m going to be playing around with my scheduling a little bit just to work out what I like best. I’m going to start posting on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 6pm and see how I go. Three posts a week is quite a lot to churn out, so it might not stay that way, but for now that’s the plan!


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