Recipe: Orange Cardamom Cupcakes
Happy Valentine’s Day. Unlike many other recipes you’ll read this week in search of the perfect dessert, mine does not include chocolate. Instead, it's a citrusy and exotic tasting cupcake that hits all the sweet spots you're looking for in a dessert to celebrate love and all its incarnations. These moist and flavorful cupcakes can also be made into a layer cake and topped with chocolate ganache if you’re a stickler for tradition, or apply an ample layer of my favorite butter cream cheese frosting and edible flowers for a truly celebratory finale to Valentine’s dinner. Either way, you won’t be able to eat just one cupcake or slice of cake because these are that good. Indulge, because that's what Valentine’s Day is all about.
Orange Cardamom Cupcakes
Yield: One 8-inch double layer cake or 2½ dozen cupcakes
4½ cups cake flour
3½ teaspoons ground cardamom
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
9 large eggs
1½ tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange-flower water
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3¾ cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1. Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake molds.
2. Sift flour, ground cardamom, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Whisk eggs, orange peel, vanilla, and orange-flower water in bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in another large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in egg mixture in 3 additions. Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk, scraping bowl occasionally.
3. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each paper mold. Bake cupcakes until puffed and tester inserted into center comes out clean, reversing sheets after 12 minutes, about 25 minutes total (cupcakes may not brown on top). Transfer cupcakes to racks; cool completely.
½ lb. salted butter (2 sticks) room temperature
¾ lb. cream cheese room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 vanilla bean scraped clean
In a large bowl with mixer on slow, carefully mix butter and cream cheese until thoroughly blended. Add vanilla bean. Now carefully blend in sugar one cup at a time until fully incorporated. If frosting feels a little thin add more sugar. Frost cupcakes and artfully decorate with edible flowers or candied roses.
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