Orange Cream Cupcakes

by | Aug 18, 2021 | 2 comments

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A delightful Orange Cream Cupcake with your choice of Vanilla Buttercream, Orange Zest Whipped Cream, or Coconut Cream. “Orange” you glad you have options!

a single orange cream cupcake on the table

Summer and Winter Flavors

During the cookie shop days, I needed a bright, fun flavor of cupcakes to add variety. This Orange Cream Cupcake was the result. It is a desirable flavor in any season, hot or cold. 

I love that orange zest can be so effective in flavoring just about anything. It goes well with the yellow cake batter without the fake taste of orange extract. I like to use a boxed cake mix for this recipe so I can focus my energy on the frosting. With the right homemade frosting, even boxed cake tastes authentic and delicious. 

multiple orange cream cupcakes spread out on the counter

Balancing the Orange

If you like just a little orange, don’t put any zest in the topping. If you can’t get enough orange, add some zest to the frosting, as well as the cake. As far as toppings and decorations, let your imagination run wild. Strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries would taste good and be beautiful. Toasted coconut would add a tropical flair. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure with this Orange Cream Cupcake!

I used Vanilla Buttercream Frosting when I made these for photos. I stirred in some orange zest and used orange slices to decorate. 

orange cream cupcakes flatlay

Orange Cream Cupcake Recipe Ingredients

  1. Orange Zest – contributes great flavor to anything it touches. Great stirred into cake batter, cream or buttercream.
  2. Yellow Cake Mix – consistent results without a lot of effort. 
orange cream cupcakes with an orange

More Details About the Orange Cream Cupcake Components

  1. Orange Cupcakes: The moist dreamy base of this dessert. By using a boxed cake mix, you save lots of time and effort, making this a quick and easy dessert to whip up any time.
  2. Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: The iconic cupcake topping. Buttercream makes this a more rich, sweet dessert. If you want to kick up the orange factor, add a bit of orange zest to the frosting. I used Vanilla Buttercream Frosting the day I made these cupcakes for photos. 
  3. Orange Cream Cheese Whipped Cream: A lighter option for topping these yummy Orange Cupcakes. This stable whipped cream topping would be refreshing and light for a summer treat.
  4. Coconut Cream: Decadent and delicious on our Sweet Coconut Cake, the creamy coconut flavor of this topping would pair perfectly with the summery orange flavor of the cupcake. Top with toasted coconut flakes for a beautiful, delicious dessert.
orange cream cupcakes on the table with an orange

Assembling the Orange Cream Cupcakes

  1. Make the Orange Cupcakes. Start by emptying the yellow cake mix into a mixing bowl. Add the liquid ingredients, then mix to combine. Bake the cupcakes until the tops spring back when you gently touch them with your finger. Let them cool completely before adding any frosting.
  2.  Pick a Topping! With so many to choose from, you can’t go wrong. Just make sure that if you use one with cream in it, you store these cupcakes in the fridge. 
  3. Frost. After you’ve made the desired frosting, pipe or spread it on top of the cooled cupcakes. Decorate with orange slices, berries, cookie crumbles, or toasted coconut. 
  4. Enjoy!

No matter which topping you choose, you’ll enjoy these Orange Cupcakes any time of the year!

orange cream cupcakes with an orange in the back

Looking for more delicious cake recipes? Try these:

orange cream cupcakes pinterest pin
a single orange cream cupcake on the table

Orange Cream Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

A delightful Orange Cupcake with your choice of Vanilla Buttercream, Orange Zest Whipped Cream, or Coconut Cream. “Orange” you glad you have options!


Orange Cupcakes

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ¾ C (6 oz) buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ C (1.75 oz) oil
  • 4 T orange juice
  • 2 T orange zest (the zest of about one orange)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 C (8 oz) salted butter
  • 3 ½ C (16 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 T milk
  • 1 T orange zest, optional

Orange Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • ½ C (3.5 oz) white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¾ C (14 oz) heavy cream, cold
  • 1 T orange zest, optional

Coconut Cream

  • 1 (3 oz) box cook & serve vanilla pudding
  • 1 ½ C (12 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 ½ C (12 oz) heavy cream
  • ½ C (2.2 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ C toasted coconut flakes


  • ½ C toasted coconut flakes
  • Orange slices


Make Orange Cupcake

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. Empty yellow cake mix into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add milk, orange juice, oil, eggs, and orange zest.
  4. Beat together for 2 minutes.
  5. Line 2 (12 ct) cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners. Fill each cup ⅔ full of cake batter.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes or until the center of cupcake springs back to the touch.
  7. Cool completely before frosting. 

Make Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Soften the butter. Do NOT melt. Beat butter with a mixer until smooth. 
  2. Add powdered sugar. Beat together until combined and the mixture looks dry but uniform.  Scrape bowl. 
  3. Add vanilla. Add milk until frosting is light and creamy. Add up to 3 additional tablespoons of milk if too thick. 

Make Orange Zest Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add sugar and vanilla and mix. Scrape bowl. I can’t say this enough.
  3. Add heavy cream and mix for 30 seconds. Stop, scrape bowl, beat another 30 seconds, then stop and scrape bowl again. 
  4. Whip on high speed until pipeable and ready to spread. Pipe or spread onto your treat of choice. Store in the refrigerator.

Make Coconut Cream

  1. Make 3 oz box vanilla cook & serve pudding using the 1 ½ C (12 oz) coconut milk. Refrigerate until chilled. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat whipped cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Stir into chilled pudding and spread or pipe onto cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.


  1. Let the baked cupcake cool.
  2. Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting OR Orange Zest Cream Cheese Whipped Cream OR Coconut Cream. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.
  3. Garnish cupcakes with toasted coconut flakes and orange slices (optional). 
  4. Store whipped cream-type toppings in the fridge until an hour before serving.


  • No need to make all three frosting options. Just pick your favorite to make!


  1. Thank you to Kenzie for treating us to this deliciousness and for her time she took to make these. We thoroughly enjoyed eating them. I love baking and cooking but I have been finding it hard to do it now so I appreciate those who can bake such yummy things.

  2. These orange cupcakes sound good and they are delicious.

Hi, I’m Missy. Welcome to Taste Before Beauty. For 28 years I’ve been developing recipes that taste delicious, before they look delicious.

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