Birthday mission: Creamsicle Cupcakes!

Today is my birthday! Woo hoo! :)

I have done tons of research the past few weeks to find the *perfect* birthday treat. I decided a while ago that I need a tropical vacation, life is so busy right now I want to scream at times, and our weather is disgusting! So, I figured, what better way to get a vacation than through a dreamy cupcake?! ;) I was torn between these creamsicle cupcakes and a pina colada cupcake. I fell in love with this creamsicle cupcake because it is filled with a creamy vanilla mousse. It sounded so good!

And you know what?

IT IS.

:)

Well, off to birthday dinner. Enjoy the cupcakes!

Creamsicle Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, best if not refrigerator cold
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of pure orange extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk, best if not refrigerator cold

Vanilla Mousse Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (4 serving) package vanilla Instant Pudding Mix (not Cook & Serve)

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • orange sprinkles or sanding sugar, if desired

Directions:
*Note: This recipe makes twice as much mousse as you need for filling the cupcakes. If you want to use half the pudding pack and save the rest for later, just measure it out and do so. Or use the extra mousse for another project (you know, like eating it with a spoon).

  1. Make cupcakes: Line two muffin tins with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate, medium bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light, fluffy, and pale yellow. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating after each, and then beat in the vanilla and orange extract. Add the dry ingredients in, alternating with the milk, in three additions. Begin and end by adding the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
    Fill the paper liners about 2/3 full of batter and bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove cupcakes from the oven and let cool completely.
  2. Make mousse: To make the vanilla mousse, combine milk, cream, and pudding mix in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer until you reach soft peaks, or a thick whipped cream consistency (this takes a few minutes). Refrigerate mousse until you’re ready to use it.
  3. Make frosting: To make the frosting, cream butter and cream cheese together until fluffy in a large bowl. Add extracts and mix. Add sugar gradually, mixing as you go, and then beat the frosting until smooth and creamy. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth until ready to use.
  4. Assemble cupcakes:  To fill the cupcakes, use the Cone Method: cut an upside-down cone out of the top of each one. Cut off the tip of the cone (and eat it, if you wish) leaving just the “lid.” Fill the cavity with mousse using a piping bag or zip-top bag with the corner cut off, and then replace the “lid” to give you a relatively smooth surface to frost. Use a piping bag or zip-top bag to pipe on the frosting. Sprinkle on orange sanding sugar, if desired.

Source & Recipe: Willow Bird Baking, originally adapted from My Baking Addiction

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