Never tell me the odds.
If you’re frantically flipping through your copy of Betty’s Big Red looking for this recipe, you can stop. Kinda like what we did with the Pink Lemonade, Peanut Brittle, and Soy Nog Cupcakes, we used a vegan version of Betty recipes as a starting point, and then applied a little creativity to make these. They may seem a little summer-y for January, but who couldn’t use a sunny treat on a cold winter night?
These cupcakes began with some meddling with our vegan version of Betty’s Starlight Yellow Cake recipe and Vanilla Frosting, and were inspired by this Betty Crocker Ad I saw from 1969… and maybe a little of The Han Solo style of Ship Enhancement and Repair. They are super simple and kitschy… in the very best way. We made them this weekend for a (not vegan) food writer that came to hangout with us and they got the thumbs up*. So if you’re looking for something fun for a office potluck, birthday party or maybe something to make for your not-yet-vegan sweetheart… I think you can count on these being just as popular as those frozen treats we all loved so much we would’ve chased an ice cream truck through an asteroid field. Of course, without the hyper drive and C-3PO backseat driving, the odds of us finding vegan creamcicles in space are 99,678,345,102 to 1**. Yet another reason we just made our own.
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 ccups Sugar
1/2 cup Margarine (softened)
1 1/4 cups Soy Milk
3 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Orange Extract
1 Tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon Orange Zest
3 Tablespoons Applesauce
Red and Yellow Food Coloring if you want that bright Creamsicle Color
Heat over to 350. Put cupcake liners in your cupcake pan.
In large bowl, mix all the ingredients except Orange Zest and Food Coloring with an electric mixer on a low speed for about 3 minutes until it is smooth. If you tilt your bowl a little you can get a nicer creamier batter. With a large spoon stir in Orange Zest. In a clear glass cup mix 8 drops of Red food coloring with 25-30 drops of Yellow food coloring to make orange. After you mix it – hold it up to a sunny window or light and roll your wrist with the glass so some of the food coloring goes up on the sides. Your cupcakes will be a little lighter than the color on the sides. So add a little more Red or Yellow based on your preference of shade. Once you have the desired shade of orange, stir the color in with a large spoon or blend until the batter is a uniform orange color and not streaky.
Fill your cupcake liners 3/4 of the way with your batter and bake for around 25-30 minutes. remove from the oven when you can stick a tooth pick in the center of a cupcake and remove it cleanly.
Let them cool on a wire rack for around 10 minutes before filling and decorating with frosting.
You might remember this frosting from our Devil’s Food Mummy Cupcakes we made around Halloween. It’s my very favorite vanilla frosting recipe; not just because it’s so easy, but I love the flavor so much I find myself scraping the bowl to get every bit every time we make it. And I don’t even consider myself to be a “frosting person”! You people know who you are…
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 cups Powdered Sugar
1/3 cup Margarine (softened)
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Soy Milk
In a bowl, blend Powdered Sugar, Margarine, Vanilla and Soy Milk with an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy. If it’s a little thick, blend in more Soy Milk one Teaspoon at a time or add more Powder Sugar one Tablespoon at a time if it is too thin.
To fill your cupcake, use the longest and thinnest decorating tip you have. Every brand of baking tool seems to have different numbers, but you want to use the one closest to a Bismark tip. Just very gently poke a hole in the top of your cupcake with your frosting gun’s Bismark tip. Then, gently fill the center. Stop filling when you feel the cupcake expand a little and see it start to come out of the top. Then we just swaped out the tip on the frosting gun for one that was more decorative and added a little more on top with some colorful sprinkles. Let’s face it – Creamsicle cupcakes are pretty whimsical – they need some cute sprinkles to really show that off.
*When I was around 12, I used to watch a lot of Dick Van Dyke Show and I Love Lucy… mostly for the clothes, but I liked the hair too. This might explain my love affair with having hair the color of these cupcakes in 8th and 9th grade – or perhaps it was just bad judgment. That’s a tangent, but my point is this: this weekend, when the food writer was here, I admit between our tiny kitchen and an experimental pie crust recipe… I felt a little Lucy. I know I say this a lot, but I’m really lucky to have Dan here to be my Desi. He kept me from having a straight up chocolate factory moment and made some of the best orange zest I have ever seen.
** Not an actual statistic. The cats are still working on those numbers. They aren’t as good at math as androids.