From Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Julie Johnston shares the recipe for her cute cupcakes with mild orange flavor. "It's fun to dress up these cupcakes for Easter!" she writes. "As we raised four sons and a daughter, I prepared many, many school lunches and often added these springtime treats."
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon water
- 4 drops green food coloring
- 1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
- Red shoestring licorice
- Jelly beans
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and orange peel. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
- Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar; spread over cupcakes. Combine water and food coloring in a large resealable plastic bag; add coconut. Seal bag and shake to tint. Sprinkle over cupcakes.
- Using a metal or wooden skewer, poke a hole in the top on opposite sides of each cupcake. Cut licorice into 6-in. strips for handles; insert each end into a hole. Decorate with jelly beans. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Cupcake Easter Baskets in Taste of Home April/May 2003, p49
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