Did you have a favorite ice cream novelty as a kid? I did. We didn't have anything like an ice cream truck in the backwoods of southern VA, but if we had, I would've chased it for as many miles as my little legs would take me for an orange dreamsicle*.
*(Question: Are they called creamsicles in your neck of the woods? I've heard it both ways.)
These cupcakes stem from my fond memories of that treat made of vanilla ice cream covered in orange sherbet. I filled a lightly orange-flavored cupcake with a fluffy sweetened vanilla whipped cream and topped it with a luscious buttercream frosting beschpeckled with orange zest.
I'll be the first to admit that, while amazingly tasty, these still aren't as good as I remember those dreamsicles to be. (I suppose there's a teeny chance that my memories are skewed.) Regardless, it's just a different kind of satisfaction. The flavor is similar, the cupcakes are soft, the frosting is rich, and those things, my friends, are enough for this gal.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
zest of one orange
1/2 cup heavy cream (or more, if you're greedy)
3 tablespoons granulated or powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
orange buttercream frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. To make the cupcakes, cream butter, sugar, and orange zest until pale and fluffy. With mixer running, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until testers inserted in the centers come out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
To fill the cupcakes, first whip the cream and sugar until slightly stiff. Fold in the vanilla. Then carve out a cone-shaped hole in each cupcake and carefully spoon or squirt the whipped cream inside. Apply frosting generously to cupcakes and, after giving the components a few minutes to get friendly, feed your face.