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Close up cupcake with fresh orange in background.

Chocolate orange cupcakes

Author: Sarah Brooks
These simple chocolate orange cupcakes are made with real oranges and rich cocoa powder. Fabulous on their own or with decadent chocolate orange frosting.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 14 cupcakes
Calories 358 kcal


  • 14 Muffin/cupcake pans
  • 14 Patty pans/cupcake liners
  • Handheld electric beaters or stand mixer (for chocolate orange frosting)
  • Piping bag and piping tip (I used a Wilton 2B tip)


I highly recommend measuring by weight and mls instead of cups. You will get better, more consistent results!

    For the cupcakes

    • ¾ cup (115gms) plain flour
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • cup (150gms) tightly packed brown sugar
    • ⅔ of a stick (⅓ cup/75gms) unsalted butter
    • cup (35gms) natural cocoa powder
    • ¼ cup (65mls) vegetable oil
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3 small oranges, zested
    • ½ cup orange juice

    For the chocolate orange frosting

    • (200gms) unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 2 & ½ cups (400gms) icing sugar
    • ½ cup (50gms) natural cocoa powder
    • 2 oranges zested
    • ¼ cup (65mls) orange juice
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla


    To make the cupcakes

    • Pre-heat your oven to 340°F (170°C/150°C fan-forced). Line your muffin tins with patty pan or grease well with butter.
    • Sift the plain flour, baking powder and baking soda into a mixing bowl. Zest and juice the oranges.
    • Put the butter into a heat proof bowl and melt in the microwave. Sift in the cocoa powder and mix well.
    • Add the vegetable oil, orange zest and juice, eggs and vanilla and mix well.
    • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until Just combined i.e. you can't see any unmixed flour, Do not over mix or your will end up with flat rubbery cupcakes!
    • Divide the mix between the cupcakes. Bake for twenty minutes, or untill the top springs back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
    • Allow to cool complety befor frosting if desired.

    To make the chocolate orange frosting.

    • Zest and juice the oranges.
    • Add the butter to a large bowl or stand mixer. Sift in the icing sugar. Mix with electric hand beaters or stand mixer on low until just combined.
    • Sift in the cocoa powder and mix on low until just combined. Add the orange juice, zest and vanilla. Mix on medium until pale coloured.
    • Use a knife or spatula to spread on the cupcakes or transfer to a piping bag and pipe on. Decorate with some extra orange zest or orange sprinkles.


    • I highly recommend measuring by weight and mls instead of cups. You will get better, more consistent results!
    • You can make these cupcakes plain or with chocolate orange frosting as you prefer.
    • I used a Wilton 2D tip to get this lovely swirl look for the frosting
    These cupcakes will store frosting or unfrosted in an airtight container in a cool place for up to three days.
    To freeze unfrosted wrap each cupcake in clingfilm and put in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.  The frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for the same amount of time.


    Calories: 358kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 73mgPotassium: 350mgFiber: 6gSugar: 57gVitamin A: 106IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 3mg

    Nutritional Disclaimer

    Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.

    Keywords: Chocolate orange cake
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