Dreamsicle Cupcakes with Citrus Buttercream :: simple thanksgiving

I had a vintage picnic yesterday for my daughter, Sara, and a few of her friends. Ronne kindly offered to bake up her Dreamsicle Cupcakes. Because they just happen to be my daughter’s  favorite. Simple thanks for good friends like Ronne …

What’s not to love about Sara Davis? She’s always smiling, always encouraging – and she has a bit of wandering gypsy in her soul that makes her soar through life with the biggest of big God dreams. When Susie asked me to be part of Sara’s special vintage picnic, I knew just what I would bring, because they make me think of Sara every time I make them: Sunny orange-kissed Dreamsicle Cupcakes with Citrus Buttercream.

This summer, Sara requested them at our church’s high school summer camp – and all 150 students there got to enjoy the treat. But for yesterday’s vintage picnic, they were all Sara’s … and a few of her senior friends. Of course, I made mini-cupcakes this time (because I love them). And I made a couple of other fun sweet treats (I’ll share the recipes soon). But today, I just had to share these Dreamsicle Cupcakes.

Dreamsicle Cupcakes with Citrus Buttercream

2 eggs, room temperature * 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened * 1 cup granulated sugar * 1/2 t. vanilla extract * 1/2 t. lime juice * 2 cups sifted cake flour * 2 t. baking powder * 1/4 t. salt * 1/2 cup half & half (don’t skimp) * 1/4 cup orange juice * 1 tablespoon orange zest and 1 box Orange Jell-O (yes, it’s says Jell-O)

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with paper liners (this will make about 15 regular cupcakes and 4 dozen mini-cupcakes).

In a large bowl, cream eggs, butter, sugar, and flavorings together until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix dry flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, mix milk and juice. Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients into creamed mixture until well-blended. Add orange zest and Jell-O, and blend until well-incorporated.

Fill cupcake liners to 1/2 full (1/4 cup for regulars and 1 T. for mini-cupcakes). Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 12-15 minutes for mini-cupcakes and 18-20 minutes for regulars). The cupcakes should be light and springy – almost like a spongecake (thanks to that lovely Jell-O). Remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Decorate to your heart’s content with citrus buttercream.

How to make Citrus Buttercream: Use that amazing recipe we shared a few weeks ago. Instead of vanilla, use 1 teaspoon lime juice. The citrus flavor is bright but not overwhelming – like sunshine in the fal!

written and shared by ronne

prepare your heart for the season :: 31 days of simple thanksgiving

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