Chocolate and orange are the ultimate combination due to the contrast of the two flavors: rich, creamy chocolate and acidic, zesty orange. Throw in some toasted almonds for texture and this cupcake will astonish your taste buds.

Chocolate orange cupcakes

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I was never a cupcake-lover until I started filling the center of them with sweet surprises (nuts, jams, fruit compotes, Bavarian creams, etc…) Filling, or stuffing, a cupcake has made me a convert and I am now a ‘cupcake person.’ The filling should add flavor and texture to your confection – so get creative with the flavors you want to share with your friends and family.

The fudge icing which tops these cupcakes is a great recipe to add to your dessert repertoire. I use this recipe daily in the bakery for icing and filling cakes. My customers love this icing as it is not too sweet – nor is it bitter. A plus for me is it is easy to work with and pipes beautifully.

fudge cupcakes almonds

Tips for Making the Orange Almond Cupcakes

  • Making the Candied Orange Peels:
    • Make the candied orange peels a few days in advance as this will allow the peels to dry properly. Follow the steps below to make the candied peels:
      • Cut and peel the oranges into 4 vertical segments. Remove the inner fruit and most of the white pith (the pith is too bitter to use). Cut into ¼-inch-wide strips.
      • Place peel pieces in a pot with boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the peels.
      • Bring 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to boil – stirring to dissolve sugar. Add peel. Reduce heat; simmer until peel is very soft, about 35 – 40 minutes. Drain.
      • Toss the peels in ¾ cup of sugar on a baking sheet. Separate the pieces and place on aluminum foil and allow to dry. Peels are best if made a few days in advance.
  • Making the Fudge Icing:
    • Use a high-quality, bittersweet chocolate. You may also use packaged chocolate chips. If you do, I recommend softening the chips for 30 seconds at half-power in the microwave as they will not melt as easily as a quality chocolate.
    • Follow the instruction listed below to make the icing:
      • Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
      • Combine cream and corn syrup in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil.
        Stir occasionally so the ingredients do not scorch.
      • Pour cream/corn syrup over chocolate. Let stand 2 – 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
      • Add softened butter and stir until smooth. Heat in the microwave at 10 second bursts if the butter does not fully incorporate.
      • Allow the icing to sit at room temperature and cool until it is firm enough to spread or pipe (approximately one-half hour). The icing may be heated in a microwave at 50% power in 10 second increments to soften should it become too hard to spread.

How to make the Fudge Icing Video:

Filled Cupcakes

Orange Almond Cupcakes with Fudge Icing

A pillow-soft cupcake filled with orange marmalade and topped with a rich fudge icing, candied orange zest and toasted almonds.
5 from 11 votes
Course Dessert
Servings 18

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes

  • 390 Grams All Purpose Flour (or 3 cups)
  • 2.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • .5 tsp Salt
  • 400 Grams Granulated Sugar (or 2 cups)
  • 4 Large Eggs Room Temperature
  • 2/3 Cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 2/3 Cup Whole Milk Room Temperature
  • 2 tsp Almond Extract (may substitute with vanilla extract)

Candied Orange Peels

  • 1 Medium Orange
  • 400 Grams Sugar (2 Cups)
  • 16 Fluid Ounces Water (2 Cups)
  • 150 Grams Sugar (for tossing peels in after boiling) (¾ Cup)

Fudge Icing

  • 8 Fluid Ounces Heavy Cream (1 Cup)
  • 2 Fluid Ounces Light Corn Syrup (¼ Cup)
  • 350 Grams Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped in chunks (12 ounces)
  • 85 Grams Unsalted Butter, room temperature (6 Tbsp / ¾ Stick)
  • 3 Tbsp Slivered Almonds, roasted

Filling

  • 1 Jar Orange Marmalade

Instructions
 

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Prepare cupcake pans by placing liners in 18 cavities.
  • Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk well.
  • Add sugar and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes (note a hand mixer or whisk may also be used).
  • Add the almond extract and mix briefly.
  • Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add one-half of the milk and vegetable oil and mix until incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture and mix till smooth. Add the remaining oil and milk and mix till smooth. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and mix until smooth.
  • Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full of batter.
  • Bake for 20 – 24 minutes.

Candied Orange Peels (best if made a few days in advance)

  • Cut and peel the oranges into 4 vertical segments. Remove the inner fruit and most of the white pith (the pith is too bitter to use). Cut into ¼-inch-wide strips.
  • Place peel pieces in a pot with boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the peels.
  • Bring 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to boil – stirring to dissolve sugar. Add peel. Reduce heat; simmer until peel is very soft, about 35 – 40 minutes. Drain.
  • Toss the peels in ¾ cup of sugar on a baking sheet. Separate the pieces and place on aluminum foil and allow to dry. Peels are best if made a few days in advance.

Fudge Icing

  • Place the chocolate in a bowl.
  • Combine cream and corn syrup and bring to a boil.
  • Pour cream/corn syrup over chocolate. Let stand 2 – 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
  • Add softened butter and stir until smooth.
  • Allow the icing to sit at room temperature and cool until it is firm enough to spread or pipe.

Cupcake Assembly

  • Place an apple corer in the middle of each cupcake, press down about halfway into the cupcake, twist and remove the core of the cupcake. Fill the hollowed center of the cupcake with orange marmalade (use a spoon or piping bag)
  • Spread the fudge frosting over the cupcake or pipe onto the cupcake using a piping tip of your choice.
  • Place candied orange peels and slivered almonds on top of fudge icing.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword cupcake recipes, filled cupcakes, orange chocolate cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes
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