Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

filed under: Cupcakes on April 3, 2015

Did you have a favorite treat from the ice cream man? Whenever I would hear that music playing in our neighborhood I would start to dream of just one thing… orange creamsicle ice cream bars. Making a cupcake with those flavors in mind seemed like a good idea. It ended up being a great idea!

Orange Creamsicle Cupcake with Whipped Buttercream!

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

These cupcakes are easy enough to do and have a really wonderful citrus flavor. I give options for maximizing the orange flavor with extracts or pure orange juice, so you can really customize it to fit your tastes! I have also paired these cupcakes with a Vanilla Buttercream, but you can certainly use Whipped Topping or something lighter during hot summer months. No matter what you do, these cupcakes are sure to impress!

Orange Creamsicle Cupcake with Whipped Buttercream!

These were created using my Cherry Limeade Cupcakes as the base recipe.

I adore the texture of the cupcakes, it is a bit dense with a light crumb and a delicate, velvety consistency.

Cupcakes topped with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream.

Orange Creamsicle Cupcake with Whipped Buttercream!

How to Make Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

In the recipe above I listed orange extract as optional. While the natural flavor is wonderful, I wanted to add just a bit of a kick. You can, of course, omit and add a tablespoon more of the fresh-squeezed orange juice; either directly into the batter or afterward when brushing the cupcakes. I have also made this recipe using Cuties and found it to be just a tad sweeter! 🙂

I also listed orange food coloring as optional. There is no need to add it other than for aesthetic reasons, but I do love how the color really prepares your mind for a wonderful orange flavored experience.

I sampled many recipes for the frosting (whipped, orange buttercream, chocolate) and determined that WHIPPED VANILLA is the best. Specifically, with an orange cupcake, you want that texture to be light and as airy as possible. I did experiment with adding a teaspoon of orange extract to the buttercream and enjoyed that as well!

To frost the cupcakes I used an ice cream scoop. I scooped the frosting onto the cupcake (do not press down hard) then gently tapped the bottom of the cupcake on the counter to get the frosting to settle. Since it is so light this ended up being the best method.

Orange Creamsicle Cupcake with Whipped Buttercream!

If you are an Orangesicle fan like I am, you are not going to want to miss these fabulous cupcakes!


5 from 1 vote
Orange Creamsicle Cupcake with Whipped Buttercream!
Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

A favorite treat from childhood is now a delicious cupcake!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. McCormick® orange extract (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice, divided
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cups (115g) whole milk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 drop orange food coloring, or one small drop red + yellow
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare muffins tins. (This recipe yielded 15 muffins for me.)

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in eggs, one at a time and mix until just blended.

  4. Add in vanilla, 1 tablespoon of orange juice and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

  5. Remove from mixer then fold in orange zest with spatula.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 16 to 20 minutes.

  7. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack.
  8. Use pastry brush to brush remaining orange juice over the top of the cupcake.
  9. Let cupcakes cool completely and dry before topping with Whipped Vanilla frosting.

Recipe Video


Do you want to know how to get PURE WHITE buttercream?!?!

Here is a video where Cakes by Raewyn describes how to do this!!

The trick is… adding a touch of PURPLE to your buttercream. The tiniest amount!

Trust me, it’s LIFE CHANGING!!! When you do this you don’t have to worry about the color of your butter or extract.

Want more amazing CUPCAKE recipes? I’ve got you covered! <3

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  • Donna long says:

    Is your vanilla frosting the same as buttercream? I’ve never heard buttercream referred to as vanilla frosting. Thx for ur answer.

  • Jenn says:

    Will this recipe work for a 2 layer 8” cake?

  • Cindy says:

    I admit that I just saw this recipe and have not tried it YET! But, I have to tell you that there is a local bakery here that makes the most delicious orange dreamcicle cake ever! It adds white chocolate chips to the batter—just enough to have a surprise every few bites! Wow! Yummy! They use a cream cheese frosting on theirs, I believe. I had to share this with you as you share so many great tips with all of us! Thank you!

  • April says:

    Hi i am a young baker 12 to be exact we are having a school field trip to the beach and i was gonna have all my friends take a pic with me since i have to get on the bus and everything with them i would make it a little thicker

  • Kari says:

    Hi Amanda, I consistently print your recipes and am waiting for the day you have everything in a book, then my husband won’t complain about all the paper and ink I use, lol!

    Question: I’d like to make this with a popsicle stick sticking out of them (after baking) and give people the ability to grab the stick and eat then like they WERE a creamsicle. Any suggestions on how to make that happen? Thank you!

  • Carol Hammon says:

    How do you make the whipped vanilla frosting?

  • Shannon says:

    I made these Orange Dreamsicle cupcakes and everyone loved them except they asked if they could be lighter…meaning not as dense or heavy a cupcake

  • Barbara says:

    I’ve made creamsicle cupcakes before and have used orange soda as a flavoring, also orange liquor brushed on after baking. You can even add these to a boxed cake mix! I add white chocolate chips to the top.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Sounds delish!

  • Elle says:

    These are so yummy, Amanda. I just made a batch. I followed your recipe to a T, but the top and sides of my cupcakes have a lot of tiny brown spots. Do you know why?

  • Laurie says:

    The reason the purple works to make it a purer white is because on the color wheel, purple counteracts and cancels out the yellow from the butter…I use this type of “science” daily as a hair stylists…its why if you have yellow/brass in blonde hair, you use the purple shampoo 😉

  • Leanne says:

    Hi, I made your orange creamsicle cupcakes. They were so good. I need to make an orange cake. Do you think the recipe would work as a big cake. If not do you have any really good orange cake recipes

    Thanks heaps

    Ps love all your recipes

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Leanne! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Here is an orange cake recipe you could try. Have a great day!

  • Leanne Smith says:

    Hi Amanda
    Ive just discovered your page and am loving all your recipes. I made your orange creamsicle cupcakes and they were really good. I didn’t even get to ice them as the kids ate them before icing. Have you ever tried making it into a full size cake? I need to make an orange cake for a friend and I wondered if it would work. If not have you got any good orange cake recipes

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Leanne – I haven’t tried making it as a cake, but I think it could work! So glad you all liked the cupcakes.