Orange Zest Blue Moon Cupcakes 
with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This Time Last Year:  Edamame Hummus (2013)

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H-o-l-y C-o-W these cupcakes are SO good. Drop what you’re doing, yes, drop everything you’re doing, and make them. Make them now!

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I had a huge paper due yesterday, so naturally, I went to the grocery store and got completely lost in an afternoon of baking. That’s very helpful for my sweet tooth and sense of joy, but less helpful for my paper…..woops.

If you were concerned, I did get my paper done and turned in on time- in between batches of these divine cupcakes. However, if these cupcakes had cost me my paper, it probably would have been worth it. They were that good.

The orange zest and juice in these muffins takes these muffins from normative to incredibly flavorful. The cream cheese frosting tops these cupcakes with moist citrusy tang, and the Blue Moon in this adds a slight hoppy honey tang.

So, good luck not eating them all in one setting. Consider yourself warned- it’s a real challenge!

Come back and see me 🙂 More recipes coming your way soon!

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Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zested (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 2/3 cup Blue Moon beer

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 376˚ F, and line either 1 mini muffin tin, or two normal muffin tins, with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate, medium sized bowl, cream the butter with a hand mixer for one minute. Add the sugar and beat together for two minutes, or until smooth.
  4. One at a time, add the eggs to the sugar and butter, beating after each until smooth. Once fully incorporated, add the orange zest and vanilla until well combined.
  5. In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the milk and beer.
  6. Combine the ingredients together, stirring the beer mixture and sugar mixture into the flour until fully incorporated.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick can come out clean.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by creaming together the butter and cream cheese. Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar, ½ cup at a time, until it has all been fully added.
  9. Add the orange juice to the frosting mixture, stir in thoroughly, and chill until ready to use.
  10. Once the cupcakes are room temperature, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using either a piping bag, or a ziplock bag with the corner tip cut off. Sprinkle with orange zest, serve, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 24 mini cupcakes
  • Source: Spoon Fok Bacon
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious sweet treats from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links found below!):

One Year Review!: My Top 20 Favorite Recipies + an Apple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Well, it’s kind of hard to believe, but this food blog has officially been in existence for one whole year! Yay! Happy birthday a rented kitchen!

I started this project about a year and a half ago as I started collecting recipes and taking pictures of everything I cooked. I figured if nothing else, I’d at least have created a really cool online recipe book for myself. However ideally, I was hoping to at least have a few regular viewers- mainly family and friends- who may be inspired to be more intentional regarding their diet and how it affects the environment.

I am so shocked and honored to report that the blog now has 86 individuals following updates by e-mail, over 16,150 views, hundreds of re-pins on pinterest, and visitors from 86 different countries around the globe. These numbers are more than I ever thought they would be, and constantly inspire me to keep learning and growing in my culinary experiences.

To those of you who found this blog by chance and now regularly follow it- thank you. To those of you who have been following since day one- thank you. To all of you who just stumbled upon this post for no reason at all- feel free to stay, and thanks for stopping by!

As is appropriate for a birthday celebration, I had to share a cake recipe with you all today. While on vacation last week I made this delicious Apple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It is truly delicious- fresh, moist, flavorful, rich, everything you’d want in a good carrot cake!

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However, since this post celebrates not only a birthday, but a reflection on the past year, I also thought I’d do a little one year review of the recipes I’ve done. In January of 2012, around the New Year, I posted the viewer’s top 20 favorite recipes. I had a blast compiling that list and seeing what y’all really enjoyed. Today, I thought I would do something similar, but instead post My top favorite recipes.  Some of them may be ones you all enjoy as well, and some that may have been overlooked.  

One Year Review:

So, here it goes, my top 20 favorite recipes, in no particular order, of the past year.

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And in honor of the one year birthday, here is that delicious carrot cake, as promised. Enjoy!

Apple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 

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Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped (pared) apples
  • ¾ cup golden raisins or craisins
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 7 ½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.  Once smooth, stir in the carrots, apple, raisins, and pecans.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In increments of three, add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture, stirring well after each addition.
  5. Evenly pour the batter into the two prepared baking pans.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 5-20 minutes, and then remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  7. While the cakes are cooling, combine the icing ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well.  Add the confectioners sugar in increments- beating after each addition to maintain a smooth icing consistency.
  8. Once the cakes are completely cool, ice the cakes with a thick layer of icing in middle and all sides covered.  Garnish with chopped pecans or coconuts (optional). Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!: