Orangina is definitely one of my favorite sodas. I don’t remember exactly where I was when I first had the sparkling orange (it’s actually yellow) soda, made with real orange juice and pulp, but I do remember that I wanted more. It has a light, fresh flavor and is not too sweet – more like juice than soda, really. I also remember that there was a time when it was very difficult to find it in the States. Fortunately, times have changed and I am now able to easily pick up a bottle when I shop (Trader Joe’s in my area carries it). I am also able to play with it, as I did when I set out to make Orangina Cupcakes, because I can buy an extra bottle to drink while I work.
These cupcakes don’t have the effervescence of real Orangina, but they do have a very similar orange flavor. It’s almost refreshing to eat them, because the flavor is nice and light, and the cake is moist and tender. The recipe is a very simple one, made with butter, sugar, flour, eggs and a little sour cream. Where a regular cupcake recipe might use milk, however, I used Orangina. I also incorporated some into a cream cheese frosting to make sure the flavor carried throughout the entire cupcake. Cream cheese was still the dominant flavor in the frosting, but it added a little something extra.
If you want to boost the orange flavor of these, use a few drops of orange oil or a little orange zest, but not orange extract. Orange extract tastes a little fake to me, while orange oil (and zest, of course), have a more natural flavor that enhances the natural flavors of the Orangina.
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream (lowfat is fine)
1/4 tsp orange oil (optional)
3/4 cup Orangina
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 16 muffin cups with muffin papers.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg, followed by sour cream and optional orange oil, if using. Working in two or three additions, slowly alternate additions of the dry ingredients and the Orangina to the butter mixture, ending with an addition of dry ingredients.
Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake for 17-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. It’s fine to leave a batch on the counter if you can’t fit all the cupcakes in the oven at once.
Allow to cool completely before frosting. Cupcake tops may deflate slightly upon cooling, so don’t worry if it happens.
Makes 16 cupcakes.
4-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 tbsp Orangina
1 1/2-2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp orange oil (optional)
Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until well-combined. Blend in Orangina, and orange oil, if using. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar until the mixture reaches a thick easy-to-spread consistency. If you prefer stiffer icing, add a little extra confectioners’ sugar.
Spread on cooled Orangina cupcakes.