Creamsicle Cupcakes

Divided Cupcake: Orange and Orange Tinted with a Vanilla Buttercream Center and a Swirl of Vanilla Buttercream

In celebration of the end of summer, I drew inspiration from a nostalgic ice cream treat: The Creamsicle.  The orange sherbet goodness and vanilla ice cream make for a delightful taste combination.  What a perfect cupcake!

While on holiday to the States, a friend of mine saw this amazing little Sweet Creations cupcake divider and brought one back to me!  Oh heavens – you bet I want to put this to good use.  This cupcake seemed like the perfect platform for the test kitchen.  It only took about six cupcakes to dial-in my technique to keep things from being a big mess.

I prepared my Orange Cake batter; however, knowing the Creamsicle is sherbet – I decided to reduce the orange flavor and only used half of what the recipe calls for in all things orange related.  For example, instead of zesting two oranges, I only used one.  We did look at the market for orange yogurt, but found none.  I stayed the course with plain yogurt.  It worked beautifully.

Orange Cake

Yield:  triple-layer, 8″ or 9″ round cake or approx 26-30 cupcakes


  • 3 ½ c. flour, all-purpose
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 c. salted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 T orange zest (1-2 large oranges)
  • ½ c. orange juice (juice from 1 large orange)
  • 1 t. orange extract
  • 1 ½ t. vanilla extract, clear
  • 2 c. plain yogurt or sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare cake rounds with non-stick cooking spray or line cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl cream butter, add sugar until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, beat thoroughly after each addition then beat until fluffy.
  4. Add orange zest and fresh orange juice; mix well.  Add orange extract, mix.  Add vanilla extract, mix.
  5. Alternately add flour and yogurt.  Mix well, until just combined.
  6. Batter is thick.  Divide evenly among 8″ rounds or fill cupcake tin 3/4 full – use an ice cream scoop.
  7. Bake cakes approx. 32-37 minutes; bake cupcakes approx. 21-25 minutes.
  8. Cool cake rounds for 10 minutes before removing cake to cooling rack; remove cupcakes after allowing to cool 4-5 minutes.
  9. Batter does not rise significantly.
  10. Frost when completely cool.

After the cupcakes were cooled, I cored the center and filled with each with delicious vanilla buttercream.  Topping each little cake with a generous swirl of the same buttercream seamed natural.


I debated on whether to add the popsicle stick.  In the end, I added it to most – I mean really, this is an ice cream treat inspired cupcake… I like to aim for authenticity.  I like the look.

This sweet little cupcake is a yummy bite to mark the end of summer and look toward fall.  I can do that.  Especially since I have my life partner and my family and sobriety. 

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5 Responses

  1. John Murphy says:

    Dreamy deliciousness! Sad that summer is ending, but these almost made me forget… Maybe if I had 3 or 4 more… 🙂

  2. CatherineWO says:

    Oh, Julia, I have always loved creamsicles but haven’t had one for a very long time. This seems like a perfect combination cake for the vanilla buttercream and brings back such fond memories of summers past.

    • Julia Murphy says:

      Catherine – I thought this same thing! It’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed a Creamsicle – and that treat always says ‘summer’ to me. The light flavor of the orange and the vanilla yumminess was simply delightful.

  1. May 14, 2015

    […] After all three layers were cooled, I constructed this using Vanilla Buttercream.  An Orange Creamsicle is one of my favorite childhood memories…. all that deliciousness melting in the heat of the Midwest and hurrying to enjoy it before it ran down my arm.  Easily, vanilla was a natural choice.  I’ve baked cupcakes similar to this cake and blogged about it here. […]

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