Fresh Orange Cupcakes with Double Chocolate Frosting

While at Trader Joe’s the other day, we picked up some fresh oranges that were just begging to be used in a recipe.  I immediately thought of orange and chocolate…can you tell I want Spring to get here??

These yummy cupcakes get a double hit of fresh oranges with orange zest and freshly-squeezed orange juice.  {There’s nothing better than freshly-squeezed orange juice!}  They’re super easy to make, extra moist, and they’re just bursting with orange flavor!

I actually mixed in the orange zest with the sugar, and the smell of that alone makes these cupcakes worthwhile.  Trust me, if you’re a fan at all of oranges or freshly-squeezed orange juice, these cupcakes are for you.

Wait, did I mention the frosting?  Double chocolate, because orange and chocolate go so well together, adding more chocolate makes it even better.

{I added a little candied orange peel in there, just to make them look extra nice.  You can find the recipe I used here!}

Fresh Orange Cupcakes with Double Chocolate Frosting



  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk*


  • 1 stick butter*, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Scharffen Berger 62%)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk*
  • 4 cups powdered sugar



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, use your fingers to mix the orange zest into the sugar.  Whisk in the flour, salt, and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the freshly-squeezed orange juice, oil, vanilla, and milk.

Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking until combined.

Divide the batter (which will be liquidy) evenly among the lined cupcake tins, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees, rotating halfway, for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool before frosting.


In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter until light, about 1 minute.

Add the cooled melted chocolate, and beat for 30 seconds.

Add the cocoa powder, and beat on low for 30 seconds, then on medium for 30 seconds.

Beat in the vanilla and milk.

Add in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating at low-medium speed for 15-20 seconds after each addition.

Beat the frosting for 1 additional minute.

Frost the cupcakes, and enjoy!

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Original recipe by La Casa de Sweets.

*To make the vegan version of these cupcakes, just use soy milk and Earth balance spread in place of the milk and butter in the recipe!

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Comments (6)

  • These look so YUM! I love fresh oranges, and it’s the best when you mix together sugar and orange zest. I think I could eat it by itself!

    The cupcakes look lovely. I could really use one of these babies right now.

    lacasadesweets 12 years ago Reply

    Thank you!!!! They are a new fav around here 🙂

  • Trader Joes Recipes 12 years ago Reply

    Can I have these cupcakes? Perfect combination!

  • […] all know how much I love the combination of orange and chocolate, but this really takes the cake (pun intended!).  You’ve got orange juice and orange zest […]

  • Ediakaran 12 years ago Reply

    Sounds good, but the cupcakes have no eggs? ^_^

    lacasadesweets 12 years ago Reply

    Yes, making cupcakes without eggs makes for a super moist and delicious cupcake!!

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