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Sunshine Cupcakes


Rainy spring weather makes me crave sunshine, and these Sunshine Cupcakes really hit the spot. Florida Sunshine Cake is a classic Southern dessert, an orange-spiked cake layered with marmalade and buttercream frosting. Turning the recipe into a cupcake makes it a nice everyday treat and adding coconut milk to the frosting gives it some additional tropical flair!

Makes 16 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar

2-1/2 cups flour

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup orange juice 3 eggs, room temperature 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

For the coconut buttercream frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of vanilla bean sea salt (optional)

1 cup orange marmalade (reserved for assembly)

Dried coconut flakes or chips (optional)

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium until creamy. Sift together the flour and baking powder and mix into the creamed butter, alternating with the orange juice until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the orange zest, mixing until smooth. Lightly brush the wells in the cupcake pan with oil or line with cupcake liners, then add batter to each cup, about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted in the center of a cupcake and comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a rack.

To make the frosting: Put the softened butter into an electric mixer and beat until creamy, then add the confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, until incorporated. Add the coconut milk a spoonful at a time and then add in the vanilla extract, then beat on medium-high until fluffy, about 5 minutes. If using the vanilla bean sea salt, add a small pinch, then taste and add more to taste, just a pinch at a time.

To assemble the cupcakes: Spread a tablespoon of marmalade over the top of each cupcake, then pipe the frosting over that; top with toasted coconut chips, if using. Serve immediately or store up to three days in the refrigerator.

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