Orange Zest Blue Moon Cupcakes 
with Cream Cheese Frosting


This Time Last Year:  Edamame Hummus (2013)



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!


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!



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


  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!



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!):

Flourless Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes



I like to start and end most things with chocolate. Runs, vacation, every meal of the day, and food blog series, of course!

I started this lavender week with a delicious Lavender Hot Chocolate, and I thought it only appropriate to bookend this week with another scrumptious chocolate treat.

When I found this chocolate lavender recipe I knew I had to try it! Most gluten free recipes use substitute flour, which can be hit or miss. This gluten free recipe however, simply goes without flour.

At first I was skeptical about this- wondering if the cupcakes were going to come out as dry or overly moist, but they were perfect! They baked for exactly as long as instructed, and were a perfect blend of dense and moist.

Whether you are gluten free or not, you will love these chocolate lavender cupcakes! So, from my little rented kitchen to yours, I hope you have enjoyed this lavender week. I have had a blast sharing these scrumptious edible flowers with you 🙂

Come back soon!

Love, Sarah


Lavender Week

Day One- Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

Day Two- Roasted Yukon Potatoes with Lavender

Day Three- Lemon Lavender Loaf

Day Four- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Lavender

Day Five- Honey Roasted Pears with Lavender



  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon dried lavender
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Violet gel-paste food coloring (or a drop of red and blue food coloring)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and line 2 cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a durable heat-proof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter over a pot of simmering water, stirring consistently until melted together and smooth.
  3. Remove the chocolate and butter from the heat and whisk in the sugar and eggs.
  4. Once combined, stir in the cocoa powder until a thick batter has formed.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins until each liner is 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes are spongy but firm.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the milk and lavender buds to a boil over medium heat, and then immediately remove from heat. Allow the lavender to infuse for ten minutes.
  7. To make the icing, strain the milk to remove the lavender, and discard the used lavender buds. In a medium sized bowl, mix the sugar into the milk until smooth (you may want to add more sugar, depending on how firm you want the icing to be). Add food coloring as desired.
  8. Ice the cupcakes and sprinkle a few lavender buds on top for decoration. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to help the icing firm.
  9. Eat and enjoy!



Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Wall Flower Girl 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious treats from A Rented Kitchen. (Recipe links below):

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting



When you hear the word “vegan,” I am guessing you’re first thought is not rich, delicious, fluffy, desserts. I know a lot of people often just think of rabbits, lettuce, and all the cheese they can’t eat.

My boyfriend Brian and I are vegan for lent, which means vegan food for another five weeks.  During that time, I am going to throw a lot of vegan recipes your way, and I am really excited about it!  I want people to be able to appreciate how truly delicious and satisfying a vegan diet can be.

My first proof of this delicious and satisfying diet is these heavenly Lemon Cupcakes. Seriously, they’re divine. And if you’re worried about vegan baking, don’t be! Vegan baking is a breeze. There is a substitute for every dairy based ingredient- whether it simply is a vegan form of the same product, (such as vegan cream cheese or vegan butter), or an entirely new substitute (such as apple sauce and chia eggs)!

So, repeat after me: “rich, delicious, fluffy desserts.” Now get baking!



Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice/extract
  • 2 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

Lemon Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat the over to 350˚F and fill two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Combine the soy milk and vinegar, whisking together in a large bowl. Set this aside so that the soy has time to curdle.
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients- flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the oil, sugar, vanilla, almond, and vanilla extract to the soy milk mixture, beating well.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until smooth.
  6. Fold in the lemon zest.
  7. Fill each cupcake liner with batter and bake for 20-22 minutes.
  8. Wait for the cupcakes to cool completely and ice.

Icing Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, cream the shortening and margarine with a handheld mixer until combined.
  2. Add the sugar in ½ cup increments, adding a splash of lemon juice after each addition. Beat with the mixer until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes, until smooth, creamy, and fluffy.


Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Bake and Destroy
  • I iced these cupcakes by using an icing kit, which consisted of an icing bag and a scalloped metal tip. If you have one of these icing kits, insert the metal tip into the plastic bag, cut the bag around the bottom of the tip, and fill the bag with icing. Then slowly and evenly, ice the cupcake, starting on the edge and working towards the center. If you do not have an icing bag with a metal tip, you could try using a thin knife to ice the cupcakes, or simply cut the tip off of a Ziploc bag, fill it with icing, and go from there!
  • Check out these other scrumptious desserts from ‘a rented kitchen’!: Vegan Strawberry Oat Bars, Chocolate Stout Cake, Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting, and this delicious Fresh Fruit Dessert Tart!